by and & illustrated by
Age Range: 10 - 14
Email this review


A beloved fairy tale gets a glossy graphic-novel makeover, reworked in a fanciful Old West setting. Rapunzel lives an idyllic life in Mother Gothel’s verdant villa until she dares question her about what lies beyond the outer wall. Her curiosity leads her to uncover the shocking truth about her past, resulting in her subsequent isolation in a faraway tower. Propelled by her strong desire to see Gothel brought to justice for her misdeeds, she escapes and embarks upon a journey to seek the truth. Along the way, she meets up with Jack (of beanstalk fame) and faces enemies of epic proportions, including sea serpents and a pack of murderous coyotes. The Hales apply a new twist (or three) to the classic tale, creating a strong, sassy, braid-whipping character who waits for no prince. Nathan Hale’s art, stylistically reminiscent of a picture book, provides a snazzy counterpoint to the folksy text. A dash of typical fairy-tale romance, a strong sense of social justice and a spunky heroine make this a standout choice for younger teens. (Graphic fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-59990-070-4
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2008

Kirkus Interview
Dean Hale and Shannon Hale
November 25, 2014

In Shannon and Dean Hale’s new book The Princess in Black, Princess Magnolia is having hot chocolate and scones with Duchess Wigtower when . . . Brring! Brring! The monster alarm! A big blue monster is threatening the goats! Stopping monsters is no job for dainty Princess Magnolia. But luckily Princess Magnolia has a secret —she’s also the Princess in Black, and stopping monsters is the perfect job for her! Our reviewer writes that The Princess in Black has “action, clever humor, delightful illustrations and expectation-defying secret identities—when does the next one come out?” The Princess in Black made it onto our Best Middle-Grade Books of 2014 list, which is one reason we’re delighted to talk to the Hales this week on Kirkus TV. View video >


ChildrenTHE LEGEND OF SHADOW HIGH by Shannon Hale
by Shannon Hale
ChildrenREAL FRIENDS by Shannon Hale
by Shannon Hale


ChildrenPRINCE OF THE ELVES by Kazu Kibuishi
by Kazu Kibuishi
ChildrenFAIRY TALE COMICS by Chris Duffy
by Chris Duffy
ChildrenMY BOYFRIEND BITES by Dan Jolley
by Dan Jolley
ChildrenCURSES! FOILED AGAIN by Jane Yolen
by Jane Yolen