princeless volume 4 be yourselfAdrienne, Bedelia, and Sparky continue their quest to save Adrienne’s sisters in the newest volume of Princeless. The next princess on their list is Adrienne’s middle sister Angoisse. To find her they must travel to a tower located in the middle of a dark and scary swamp full of man-eating goblins, zombies, and a mysterious monster called the Grimmorax. As usual Adrienne and Bedelia’s rescue attempt does not go as planned and instead of landing on Angoisse’s tower they end up deep in the swamp. There follows a series of events involving goblin politics, spa treatments, a run in with the Grimmorax, a case of flaming hair, and a chance encounter with a pack of zombies.

If you have been following the series you are aware by now that while we mainly follow the events of Adrienne and Bedelia’s quest to save Adrienne’s sisters, there are several side plots percolating as well. In one of these plots Adrienne’s brother Devon is dragged off by their father on a quest to save his mother from the Black Knight (following up on events from volume 2) and he is joined on his quest by Kira of the wolf pack, much to their dismay. The mysterious Black Knight is also still on the trail of Adrienne and Bedelia and is seen several times in this book observing their actions.

As usual Jeremy Whitley’s writing stays light and witty. His characters, however, still address serious issues from race to gender equality. They simply do so while maintaining their dry humor. This volume is similar structurally to his previous volumes. There are incremental increases in plot, new characters, misunderstandings, and the introduction and “rescue” of one of Adrienne’s sisters. Emily Martin returns from volume 1 and 2 to do the art on this volume. Her style is slightly reminiscent of that found in manga with character’s reactions often overdramatized for effect and humor. If you are looking for photo realistic art and full backgrounds in your graphic novels then this is not the book for you. Martin’s art is accompanied by Brett Grunig’s colors which are soft and jewel toned, lending support to the book’s fantasy setting and plot.

This title is marked as all-ages by its publisher and would do well in either the kids or teen’s graphic novel section due to the manga-influenced art, wry humor, sight gags, and the ongoing reversal of gender roles in the narrative. I think kids will appreciate the story at face value and teens will better be able to enjoy more of the meat in the text. Princeless is a fun book, and volume 4 continues to deliver on both its title and premise.

Princeless, vol. 4: Be Yourself 
by Jeremy Whitley
Art by Emily Martin
ISBN: 9781632291165
Action Lab, 2015
Publisher Age Rating: All Ages

  • Danielle Boyd

    Past Reviewer

    This reviewer is not longer actively working on our site, but we would not be here if not for our many dedicated contributors over the years. We thank all of them for their reviews, features, and support! Danielle Boyd worked hard through four years of college at the University of Idaho to receive a BS in Business Economics. When she woke up from nightmares of office jobs during her final semester she immediately turned around and pursued a MLS from the University of North Texas in 2011. Between degrees she worked for two years at Captain Comics where her love of X-Men comics and all things Wonder Woman turned into a money-hogging obsession. She is a diehard DC fan and will argue the merits of Superman over Batman all day long. When adulthood came calling in 2014 she became a Youth Services Librarian at the Main Library branch of the Boise Public Library in Boise, Idaho. She currently creates and promotes programs at the library based on all forms of geekery and nerdiness as well as peddling comics to patrons, staff, and family members at every opportunity.

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