Written & Illustrated by: Katie O’Neill
For Ages: 9-12 years
Topics Covered: LGBT, Strong Women, POC-Centric Narratives.
Summary: In this graphic novel, princess Amira comes upon princess Sadie locked in a tower. Amira rescues Sadie, and the chemistry between them is immediately apparent. Together the pair rescues Prince Vladric, who was put in a tree by an ogre. The trio sets out to find the ogre, but the villain that was behind Sadie’s captivity is hot on their trail. That evening, after finding out that the ogre is just dancing and not smashing villages for fun, the heroes settle in for the night. Unfortunately, Amira is kidnapped by an evil spirit sent by Sadie’s captor! Sadie wakes up and hears a disembodied voice calling to her, telling her to come home and rescue Amira. Sadie has an intense flashback and the reader realizes that the villain is her older sister, mad about their father wanting the girls to rule the kingdom as a team after his death. When Sadie returns to her home kingdom to rescue Amira and confront her sister, the dialogue becomes rather fatphobic and unoriginal. A spell that Sadie’s sister tries to cast to turn Sadie into a pig backfires and she herself is turned into one! Sadie remains in her kingdom and rules as queen. Amira wants to go and continue to rescue others and be a hero, and asks Sadie to wait for her. The next few pages take place several years later, on Amira and Sadie’s wedding day. The epilogue shows their wedding, and the two queens live happily ever after.
This is a very quick read, suitable for elementary/middle school students. The graphic novel style makes it approachable and fun. The insults that the sister trade could be more original, and mostly center around being called ‘fat’ as well as a ‘crybaby’. That being said, the insults are on-par for the teenage characters.
About the Author & the Illustrator:
Katie O’Neill is a self-taught writer and illustrator based in New Zealand. Her first book, Princess Princess Ever After was released by Oni Press in September 2016, and her second, The Tea Dragon Society, was released October 2017 and can currently be read as a webcomic. She is available for illustration work across a range of mediums including books, cards, and video games. Outside of work she loves tea and food, plants, transitional seasons, reading, walking and listening to podcasts.