Monday, January 9, 2017

Review: Princeless Vol. 1 and 2

Princeless by Jeremy Whitley with art by Emily Martin

Book 1: Save Yourself; Book 2: Get Over Yourself; and Short Stories Vol. 1

Published 2012, 2013, 2014 by Action Lab

140 pages, fairy tale spoof/comic book.

Oh my stars.

This series is such a delight.  I know someone just talked it up to me, but I can't for the life of me find the conversation.  Was it on FB?  A blog?  Twitter?  I am having a 21st century problem for sure.  If it was you--THANK YOU.

It starts off with a young black princess named Adrienne arguing with her mom about how dumb Rapunzel's story is.  Yet her father, too, believes that the only way to find husbands suitable for his daughters is to put them in a guarded castle, and give her to the first man who defeats the guard.

Soon Adrienne, like her many sisters, finds herself in her very own castle, this one guarded by a man eating dragon.  She gets positively bored watching men get burnt and eaten--or, if they're lucky, fleeing madly--but then everything changes when she discovers a sword under her bed.

After explaining to her dragon (a sweetly cartoonish creature) that her father fully intends for it to be killed by one of these knights, the two escape together and set off on a mission to rescue the rest of her sisters.

So far, I was enjoying the story.  But then it REALLY started to turn up the feminist heat.  Her little brother is equally pressured by gender expectations.  Her father is disrespectful of her mother's input. Adrienne sets out to buy armor, and is faced with the "Women's Armor" selection of metal bikinis and wristlets.  As the action moves into book two, objectification of women and ridiculous hero tropes are explored.

But if this sounds serious or negative, I'm saying it wrong.  It is HILARIOUS.  From facial expressions to one-liners to madcap escapades, this series is joyful and silly.  It laughs WITH as much as it laughs AT.  And several mysteries and subplots have been introduced, making me eager to keep reading.  Who is the mysterious black knight?  (Okay, that one's actually pretty obvious.) How did the light-hearted Prince Ashe become the overbearing father of Adrienne?  What role do the elves and the wolf people play in the future of the kingdom?  Will any of the obnoxious suitors ever learn to see the princesses as people, not objects?

4.5/5 stars

This review is part of my Dumbledore's Army contribution, serving as my "Reducto" spell, in which glass ceilings are smashed.  I'm pretty sure that both Hermione and Professor McGonagall would approve.

1 comment:

  1. LOL, metal bikinis. What’s sad is that women actually wear those in superhero movies. These books sound fantastic. Great review.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!


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