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Princess Princess Ever After: True Love Is Universal

Written by Writrzblok on Thursday, September 15 2016 and posted in Reviews

Princess Princess Ever After: True Love Is Universal

A tale of love and strength, written for those who need it the most.

Source: Oni Press

Written and illustrated by Katie O'Neill

Edited by Ari Yarwood

Designed by Fred Chao

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess named Sadie. She was trapped by her wicked sorceress sister in a great tower in the middle of nowhere. But a young heroic princess named Amira rides in to rescue her and suddenly a bond forms between the two princesses. Struggling against the expectations of royalty and their own insecurities, Sadie and Amira begin to find strength in one another. Together, they may just yet find that "Happily Ever After" is not what anyone, least of all yourself, could've foreseen.

Originally a webcomic, Katie O'Neill pens a charming, sweet, and empowering tale of finding your own happy ending and being true to yourself through the power of love. Princess Princess Ever After deftly combines real personal responsibility with the standard magical glamour one would typically associate with a story about princesses. The idea of how to rule a country comes into play, when discussing Sadie in particular, due to her fear of her looks and youth hindering her ability. It's an insecurity that her sister Claire, a dark sorceress, uses to her advantage to usurp the kingdom shortly after the king's passing.

Amira, in contrast, fights her own battle to establish herself as a worthy hero and a responsible royal who gives back to those less fortunate. It's through her that Sadie finds the strength to step into her destiny as a queen. Conversely, through Sadie, Amira finds her heroism and the courage inside her to be the hero she strives for.

Princess Princess Ever After is a rare tale in that it's one that had to be told. I imagine many a young girl struggling with her identity would have loved to read a story like this many years ago. A story that shows that love comes from the most unexpected of places and that if it happens to be another girl, that's perfectly okay. Love knows no gender or color or creed. It's universal and all encompassing. Most importantly, it's about how loving yourself is as important as loving others.

The plot is very basic and by the numbers, which is understandable as this reads like a children's book. Despite the format and lighter tone, the story doesn't talk down to its audience and treats the reader with enough respect to figure things out along the way. While it does deal with mature themes like death, self-image, and self-worth/self-love, it never takes itself too seriously or devolves into a broodfest. It maintains a bright and positive tone throughout the story.

O'Neill's illustrations are a delight to behold, with the character models of Sadie and Amira, to the simplistic, but well-defined backgrounds of the setting. The few moments of genuine comedy come through and the sight of an Ogre dancing makes me smile. Even her monsters are adorable.

Simply put, Princess Princess Ever After is a children's book that every child should read. It's the LGBT children's book that has needed to be told for a very long time and it is imperative that it be seen by everyone.


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About the Author - Writrzblok

Jeff Gwinnup/Writrzblok is a comic book-loving, movie-watching, mac-and-cheese devouring Florida-born nerd who would like to write for a living one day. That is, if the inanities and stress of modern living don't kill him first. He's been reviewing/critiquing in either print or video form for almost seven years and shows no signs of stop- Wait, why is he writing in the third person? Who's typing this? WHO IS THIS?! GET AWAY FROM THAT KEYBOARD!
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