A princess, locked in a tower, guarded by a dragon, waiting for a prince to save her so she can marry him and they can live Happily Ever After. It's a familiar story, which is why it is such a delight when Princeless by Jeremy Whitley and M. Goodwin turns the trope on its head.
Princess Adrienne is sick of waiting for a knight to come rescue her. In fact, she never wanted to be rescued in the first place. In an attempt to get their daughters married off, her father has locked up Adrienne and all of her sisters in different prisons around the land. Guarded by fearsome beasts and tricky riddles, this will make sure that they are only rescued by someone strong enough to rule.
After berating a knight who attempts to rescue her, Adrienne finds a sword hidden in her tower. She decides to make an escape, and flies off on Sparky, the dragon who guarded her tower. Adrienne sets off to rescue her sisters on her own.
Adrienne has a few misadventures before she gets to her sisters, and she picks up help along the way. When she needs armor, she runs into Bedelia Smith, a half-dwarf blacksmith. (Their
hilarious discussion about the practicality of armor for women has been distributed in geek circles for a few years now.) Once Adrienne's father finds out she is missing, and that the "knight" responsible probably killed her, he sends the most vicious bounty hunters in the kingdom after her.
Princeless is a great all-ages comic. It's perfect for parents and kids to read together. Adrienne and Bedelia are funny, and are great role models for young kids. It explores gender roles in a fun and accessible way that is sure to spark conversations about why there are "girl things" and "boy things." Most of all, you will cheer for Adrienne as she makes her way to each sister and finds out that nothing is as clear as it seems.
- Libby, Youth Services