Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon Hale, Dean Hale and Nathan Hale
|Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon Hale, Dean Hale and Nathan Hale|
|Genre: Graphic Novels|
|Reviewer: Sharon Hall|
|Summary: This Wild West re-working of the classic Rapunzel fairytale has much to recommend it. It is a well-paced adventure story, with excellent characters which shine through both the text and illustrations.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 144||Date: August 2008|
|Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC|
Rapunzel's Revenge is a re-telling of the Grimm Brothers' fairy tale. It is set in the Wild West and is in the form of a graphic novel.
Rapunzel is a feisty 12-year-old living in a grand villa with Mother Gothel. She wants for nothing in the material sense, but is bored and rather lonely. A large wall surrounds the villa, and Rapunzel is determined to climb it, despite being forbidden to do so. She scales the wall and is amazed at what lies on the other side. On her return, she has a chance encounter with her real mother who is enslaved in the mine camps beyond the villa. To punish her rebellion, Rapunzel is banished and imprisoned in a lofty magical tree, but the magic also helps her hair to grow and eventually gives provides her with the means to escape. She is determined to help her real mother and to get back to the villa and confront Mother Gothel with her years of treachery and lies. She teams up with a fellow adventurer Jack (who has a brief cross-dressing moment) and his golden goose. Jack and Rapunzel go on to become outlaws, involved in horse stealing, kidnapping and jail breaking. She uses her amazingly long hair as a lasso and weapon to good effect. Eventually, she gets back to the villa, frees her real mother and, despite her hair being cut off, deals with Mother Gothel, whose magical powers lead to her downfall. And, of course, everything turns happily ever after, for the land made barren by mining, for the previously enslaved workers, for Rapunzel, for Jack, and even for the goose.
Rapunzel is a tomboy, inquisitive and determined. She is resourceful and brave, but is also sad, frightened, angry and lonely at times. I liked the fact she freed herself from the magical tree, although not in the graceful way she imagined! She learns a lot about herself and others, good and bad. There is a lot of humour in the book, but also some unpleasant characters and ferocious beasts. However, it's a well rounded story and the lessons to be learnt from the tale are not so thickly plastered on as to affect the enjoyment of reading. I slightly worried about a 12-year-old falling in love, but there you go.
For those readers used to fairy tales being slightly more sugary, this version may come as a bit of a surprise with its graphic/comic book format and treatment, but I thought it made a refreshing change. The illustrations are excellent, with much detail and vibrancy which carries the story on at a good pace. The main characters are engaging and satisfyingly complex, with some excellent dialogue and scenes between them.
I think a wide range of readers from Teens upwards would enjoy this book, both for the fairy/folktale element and the illustrations.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.
If you like graphic novels, you could try Tamara Drewe by Posy Simmonds for a very different type of story and illustration.
You can read more book reviews and buy Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon Hale, Dean Hale and Nathan Hale at Amazon
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.