Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale, illustrated by Nathan Hale
Copyright 2008, Bloomsbury
144 pages, fantasy (graphic novel)
For as long as she can remember, Rapunzel has lived in a grand villa with her Mother, Gothel. The outside world is blocked completely by a high stone wall. On her twelfth birthday, Rapunzel ventures over the wall against Mother Gothel’s wishes and meets her real mother, who has been working as a slave in Gothel’s mines. When brought back into the villa, Rapunzel is taken away by one of Gothel’s guards and is locked in a humongous tower-like tree. All Rapunzel knows is that she has to get out, get rid of Gothel, and rescue her mother.
After that little synopsis, the similarities to the Grimm Brothers’s fairy tale pretty much end. Set in a fantasized version of what seems to me to be the American Wild West, Rapunzel’s Revenge is an exciting and creative retelling of “Rapunzel.” Shannon Hale, one of my favorite writers, teamed up with her husband Dean and the amazing artist Nathan Hale (no relation to Shannon or Dean, according to the front and back flaps of the book jacket) to produce this graphic novel; unless you count the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney, this is the first graphic novel I’ve read.
More on the illustrations. They were perfect. Nathan Hale captured the essence of the story perfectly in his active and detailed illustrations. Apparently, he spent more than a year on them. I can certainly see why!
There are a few minor, minor negatives. Rapunzel and her sidekick Jack (of “Jack and the Beanstalk”) seem to run into a little too much trouble to be realistic. But what am I saying? This is a fantasy! We need action! Besides, with that old witch Gothel controlling everything, you’d expect it to be a little crazy.
Overall Rating: 4/5 stars.
P.S. Before I forget: I just need to announce that I’ll only be writing reviews for books, movies, and music albums that came out in very recent years. For example right now, I’ll be writing about 2008/2009. It will stay like that until maybe February 2010, then I’ll write about 2009/2010. I thought that would be a good idea to keep things up-to-date and allow for some other types of posts. However, books that aren’t so recent will still appear in my “I’m currently reading…” widget.