In Katie O’Neill’s graphic novel, Princess Princess Ever After, Princess Sadie is locked in a tower. One day, Princess Amira rescues her. Together, they go adventuring, learning about each other and overcoming obstacles to become stronger. But someone from Sadie’s past is coming after her, and might threaten the growing closeness between the princesses.
This was a cute little graphic novel! The art style is simple but pretty, the characters charming, and the story is fun. It doesn’t go too in depth about things, but is still entertaining, does what it sets out to accomplish, and plays with tropes and gender roles in fun ways. Amira and Sadie are excellent leads, and I like Vladric and Oliver as well. The antagonist is great, too.
This is a very short book, but the pacing is perfect. O’Neill uses scenery and images without dialogue to portray the passage of time, and it’s so well done. Some graphic novels I’ve read struggle with this, for me, but this one doesn’t at all.
I love the message of love and friendship and believing in yourself, and I adore the racial diversity and queer representation! The romance isn’t explicit or anything (this being a graphic novel for children) but the love between Amira and Sadie is still evident and so sweet.
In the end, Princess Princess Ever After is a succinct, lovely story. Good characters, plot, and themes make this a perfect choice for kids, maybe in a diversity unit in school, or just for fun. After all, there’s adventure, a dragon, love, and princesses who save the day. What’s not to like?
Overall rating: 8.6/10
Note: There are some lines spoken by the antagonist that are hateful towards overweight people, but the main characters stand up to this, and in the end this story is body-positive and very empowering.