Written by: Katie O'Neill
Illustrated by: Katie O'Neill
Publisher: Oni Press
Format: Hardcover, 6 x 9, 56 pages, Full Color, $12.99
Reviewed by: Diamond BookShelf
Oni Press is bringing Katie O'Neill's popular web comic series Princess Princess to print with a gorgeous hardcover edition of the unconventional fairy tale. A delightful take on the traditional fantasy tropes, Princess Princess Ever After flips the script and never looks back.
This tale opens conventionally enough, with a princess being rescued from her tower prison; but when the kind-hearted Sadie finds that her hero, Amira, is really a runaway princess from another realm she gains a friend as well as an ally. As Sadie and Amira begin their adventure across the kingdom an evil lurks in the shadows; the jealous sorceress who put Sadie in her tower isn't happy Sadie was freed and will do anything to get rid of her once and for all. When Amira is captured by the evil sorceress she discovers that the mastermind behind Sadie's imprisonment is her own sister who imprisoned her to gain control of the kingdom they share. The roles are reversed once again as now Sadie must rescue Amira from her sister using her newfound courage to stand her ground against her bullying sister and take back her kingdom.
Katie O'Neill is a master at weaving modern commentary into her stories without the enjoyment of the tale being weighted down, and Princess Princess is a stellar example of it. Touching on subjects like sibling bullying, body positivity, traditional gender roles, and the weight of responsibility; these issues become a natural part of the characters and the world in which they inhabit.
Young adult readers from the ages of eight and up will love the loose manga style art full of frenetic energy and protagonists they can identify with. The story of Sadie and Amira is a must read for fans of Revolutionary Girl Utena, Steven Universe, Princeless, or young readers looking for something outside the normal fantasy fare available.