Post #50: Rapunzel’s Revenge

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Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale

Post number fifty is for Shannon and Dean Hale’s Rapunzel’s Revenge, another required reading assignment for my Fantasy Lit course. The first part of the on-campus session is focusing on fairy tales, and the fairy tale she’s chosen for us to look at is Rapunzel. So we read Zel, a picture book of the actual fairytale (this one, by Paul O. Zelinsky) and this graphic novel, all of which have the basic story down in some form or fashion, but for Zel and Rapunzel’s Revenge, we get the same old story with a significant twist.

The catch for Rapunzel’s Revenge is that it’s set in a sort of Wild West – Rapunzel actually uses the phrase “howdy” at one point, and there are lots of gun-toting hooligans. It was also cute, and LOL funny in some places, and all in all a very quick, enjoyable read. If you like fairy tales, check this one out.

Quick spoilery thoughts follow.

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So Rapunzel meets her real mother much earlier in this book. Because she’s defiant and rude and very angry with her “Mother” for lying to her, her mother imprisoners her in a tower, which in this case is actually a tree that’s extremely tall that has a hollowed out room at the top. Rapunzel escapes on her own after four years of imprisonment (yay for strong female characters!) and runs into Jack (of Jack and the Beanstalk fame), who is spectacularly fun. Their banter throughout the book is fabulous, and one of my favorite parts of this book. Here was one of my favorite exchanges:

(Rapunzel has gone around a rock to change out of her dress, and Jack is waiting for her to return)

Jack: Aren’t you done yet?
Rapunzel: Hold your horses.
Jack: [in small print] Technically, they aren’t mine.

I don’t know what it is about this part that made me laugh, but it did. I really loved Jack.

Anyway, the whole point of this is that Rapunzel wants revenge on Mother Gothel, so she spends the entirety of the book trying to figure out how to get back to her manor. Throughout all of this, she’s exposed to everything Mother Gothel’s been doing – she’s magical, and is using it for her own gains – and her and Jack try to set things right. He’s very much the sidekick companion, but at the same time, she couldn’t have done any of it without him, as he’s far more savvy than she is (having been locked up in a tree for four years) and really handy to have around.

Anyway, it was a cute book, and a fun twist on the original story. Worth a read, but not a purchase.

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