Saturday, April 4, 2009

Faye Stories Part 2: She's not your Ordinary Golden Hair Damsel

Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale is not your mother's Rapunzel tale. As my dear cousin said, "What's up with the Cowboy Rapunzel with snake hair?" Rapunzel's Revenge starts ordinarily enough, but she is no damsel in distress. This western version of Rapunzel mixes the Wild West with old fairy tales and mysticism. Additionally, Nathan Hale paints her world with vibrant colors to make the personality of the girl. He creates a vivacious redhead to replace the wilting golden haired would be princess. Both the story telling and the images give life to this new Rapunzel.

Rapunzel starts her life living in a lovely garden with her mother a growth witch. She find out her life is a lie supported by the work of slaves and her "mother" sucks the life out of the land using her magic. As Rapunzel rebels against her adoptive mother, she is locked in a tree tower that was magically grown. While the beginning starts out normal it is at the tower that things change. With magically grown hair Rapunzel learns to use her hair as rope and whips. With her own strength she escapes planning to end her evil "mother's" reign while saving her birth mother. The girl name after a leafy green joins forces with Jack (of Beanstalk fame) and his goose (Goldy, guess why). She makes a name for herself by saving the oppressed. Rapunzel quickly becomes a cowgirl with whip braids faster than most guns. The stereotypical hero is a fool and out smarted by Rapunzel who needs no rescuing by plans to do some herself.

Nathan Hale makes an interesting choice with her red hair and pale skin. She is as lovely as any princess but with plenty of spunk. Jack is a smaller guy in comparison to the other men in the story. He is clearly from a poorer class with sun tanned skin and cunning sense of the world. His dress blends in with the environment which is colorful despite the desolate background. Nathan Hale gives vibrant moving images to go with the plot.

The story is enjoyable and takes a clever twist to Rapunzel's story. Overall, I give it a 4 out of 5.

Wishing that her hair could be used as weapons,
J.R. West the Raccoon

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