Fairytale meets Western in this humorous, rollicking adventure tale featuring Rapunzel, a pampered only child growing up in a beautiful castle. Her mother, Gothel, is the ruler of the castle - at least, Rapunzel believes she is her mother.
When Rapunzel becomes dissatisfied with her life, yearning to see the world beyond the picture-perfect palace and gardens, beset by disturbing dreams that hint at forgotten people and places, Gothel grows angry. "Ignore the dreams, my dear," she says, "And they'll go away." But Rapunzel can't ignore them. Against Gothel's wishes, she finds a way out of the castle - and what she discovers beyond its walls shakes her world, leaving her horrified, angry and determined to take action.
And so her adventures begin - taking her from a safe, stultifying existence to the rough-and-tumble life of a wild west outlaw. When she teams up with Jack, a young man she meets in her travels, they journey together, experiencing all kinds of hilarious and hair-raising adventures. But Rapunzel knows she must return to face Gothel - yet how can she hope to defeat someone with such amazingly strong magical powers?
This graphic novel was great fun to read. I particularly enjoyed the slapstick humor and the many "inside" fairytale jokes that are a great payoff to fairytale fans. Rapunzel is an excellent, feisty, tough and kind heroine, and the wild west setting was a surprising and effective backdrop for the tale. I will be looking forward to further works by this talented team - and I hope I won't have to wait too long!
Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale; illustrated by Nathan Hale (Bloomsbury, 2008)
This review was cross-posted on my blog, Books and Other Thoughts.