(“A graphic novel” from the Reading Challenge)
I have enjoyed Elaine Tipping’s art and comics for quite some time, and her latest graphic novel, Princess Retribution, was a very welcome addition! As usual, the art was great, and I especially enjoy her character and clothing designs. Add to that the fact that there is a fun story to go with it, and I’m very glad I was able to contribute to her Kickstarter to support this book! (I’ll cut for minor spoilers.)
I grinned throughout much of Princess Retribution. It has its serious moments, of course, but overall it is a fun and happy story, done fairy-tale style. In the early chapters, we meet the princesses and their partners spending time together and supporting each other. Princess Celyse shares a fun birthday with her fiancé Prince Eten; Princess Lynne finishes her training and goes on a date with her fiancée Princess Sasha; and Princess Hana wins a fighting tournament and enjoys a treat baked for her by her fiancé Prince Varik. The happiness of all three couples is soon broken, though, as three jealous queens come and steal away the princesses’ betrotheds.
Rather than give in to despair, or wait for others, all three princesses immediately set out to retrieve their loved ones for themselves. After some trials along the way, and of course some great final fights against the evil queens, they succeed, and are happily reunited with their loves.
I enjoy stories where people work hard or fight for their values, and this story is a good example of that. The princesses all have worked hard to gain the skills that they have (whether in magic, swordplay or fighting), and because of that they are able to fight for and save the people that they love. There is an obvious role-reversal going on this story, with two of the princesses going out to rescue their princes, but it is done very well – the story never left me with the sense that any of the kidnapped partners were lesser in any way, or that they were somehow useless or powerless. Rather, they were people forced into a bad situation and needed some help from their partners in getting out of it, which is of course an important part of a romantic partnership. The bonus story, in which Princess Lynne is in trouble and normally quiet and gentle Princess Sasha must save her, simply reinforces this theme.
Princess Retribution was a fun, happy story with great art that I would definitely recommend. Anyone fond of graphic novels in general, fairy tales, princess stories, or role-reversal stories will likely enjoy this.