No prince has succeeded in rescuing Princess Sadie from her tower prison – but Princess Amria is no prince! Together, the two princesses will save one other and each find their place in the world.
The two princesses are endearing from the start. Amira is optimistic and determined. Sadie is outspoken and emotional. Seriously. That girl could drown a small village with her tears. It's practically a superpower.
Amira's rescuing methods are a little questionable. She could have maimed or killed Sadie on multiple occasions, but her perseverance is admirable. Sadie has that inexplicable sheltered blonde girl ability to solve problems with compassion. If anyone else tried this, they'd probably get themselves squished or smote.
Sadie and Amira also meet Prince Vladric. After decrying being helped by women, he then proceeds to tell them how easy they have it and how much baggage comes with the expectations of manly princeliness. Boo-hoo. I think Vladric could have been a more sympathetic character if there had been enough time in the story for more character development. Alas, he shall forever be Butthead.
'Princess Princess Ever After' touches on real insecurities. Amira is feeling lost, unsure of where she belongs. Sadie, belittled and degraded, bears a scar of self-doubt. Vladric...well, we covered him. The comic features a diverse cast of characters and an unspoken romantic thread between Amira and Sadie. This might have been argued as ambiguous (by the tragic and desperate) but the epilogue – which was not featured in the original web comic – makes it undeniable.
This is a short but enjoyable story for young readers (and old-er people too) from New Zealand writer and illustrator, Katie O'Neill. I look forward to reading more of her work.