I know it's about a decade since I was a teenager but OMG!OMG!OMG!OMG! I LOVE THIS BOOK!
Ahem. Sorry about that.
The fact of the matter is, this story is amazing. The first few pages set up the entire thing perfectly. A queen, reading a stereotypical fairy tale to her daughter, and the daughter arguing with every little thing. To quote the Queen, " You are determined to take everything from this story except what you are supposed to." When the daughter, Princess Adrienne, finally gets old enough to have a tower and dragon of her own, she is so completely against the idea that her parents have to drug her food!* After some time, and many dead princes, Adrienne finds a sword hidden underneath her bed and decides to take action. She has the dragon burn the tower, making it look like the "wild beast" killed her, and then sets off to free her sisters.
Unfortunately the armor she has was designed for guys that weren't quite her size, so she has to get something new. She goes into town and finds a Dwarf Blacksmith. Turns out, the dwarf just drinks at the tavern. It's his daughter, Bedelia, who does all the smithing, but if anyone found out, they'd be run out of business. No one wants armor from a female blacksmith. After getting her armor and accidentally getting the shop burned down, Bedelia joins Adrienne on her quest. Thus ends the first book.
I am so glad that this series is garnering a lot of attention. There are a lot of people, kids and adults, that I think would benefit from reading this. The fact that the book is so popular is a positive sign that the comics industry and girl geeks are ready for a change. We can start replacing all the stereotypical princess stuff with actual, cool, relatable princess stuff. Adrienne and Bedelia are the type of heroes I'd still love to aspire to be. Confident, strong (physically, emotionally, etc.), talented. These are traits that we're told are associated with Disney Princesses, but they all still needed a prince to come and rescue them.
Though I will say this, those kids who go through Prince Charming's Charm School for Future Kings do NOT have it easy! Everyday having to make sure your hair is perfect, fighting in a style that could easily get you killed "How will anyone even know you're sword fighting without our arm up?". And then your only choices are to either go slay a dragon, or go fight in wars for king and country. I'd have rather stayed playing in the mud, too. Clearly royalty ain't easy.
So I will be eagerly searching my comic book store's shelves for this book and any other issues Whitley and Goodwin may have put out in the time it for this one to get published and get in my hands. This read was over with far too quickly and I'd LOVE to find out what happens next! This book gets a top rating of 5 Hoots!