Princess Amethyst joins the rank of DC superheroes to get a standalone graphic novel featuring her teenage years. In this story, we get a glimpse of Amaya’s troublemaking habits in Gemworld before she goes too far and is sentenced to a week of grounding on the non-magical Earth. Unfortunately, something happens to her connection to home and we skip three years into the future where Amaya doesn’t remember anything about her parents or her home until she is pulled through a portal, along with her new bestie, Autumn, by Prince Topaz.
Once in Gemworld, the trio sets out to restore the princess’s memories as well as convince the grownups that they have good ideas on how to fix the situation caused by Flaw and his flawlings. Along the way to save a world, Amaya, Autumn, and Topaz trade sleepover and magic tips as their friendship grows.
Being a fan of Princess Amethyst, I enjoyed this playful take on her origin story, which feels like the perfect entry point for middle school or tween readers as they explore the multitude of superhero stories available. The range of colors used by the artist does a great job showcasing just how magical and different Gemworld is while not muting or dulling Earth’s colors. Just using a limited color palette instead. This appears to be the first release for artist Asiah Fulmore, and I hope she has more releases coming, because I think she did a fantastic job.
Although the primary focus is on embracing humility and growing into your own power, there’s also a secondary focus on sibling rivalry and how that can cause rifts in the family dynamics when you favor one’s ability over the other’s. Any library that needs more graphic novels about family and friendship will get good use out of this book as well as anyone looking for strong princesses who stand up for what’s right. And if you already have fans of Shannon Hale, this is sure to be a hit.
Amethyst: Princess of Gemworld
By Shannon Hale, Dean Hale
Art by Asiah Fulmore
Publisher Age Rating: 8-12
NFNT Age Recommendation: Middle Grade (7-11), Tween (10-13)
Creator Representation: Black