Book Review: Disney-Hyperion’s “The Heartless Prince” is a Bloody and Glorious Graphic Novel

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A fairy tale meets a fast-paced animated adventure in Heartless prince.

A fierce warrior must save the heart of her beloved prince before it’s too late. The results are gory and glorious as author Leigh Dragoon and writer and illustrator Angela Devito take readers on a whole new journey in one of the latest graphic novels released by Disney-Hyperion.

What is Heartless prince In regards to?

Heartless prince is the first book in a new trilogy of fantasy-adventure graphic novels for young adults. Evony is an orphan princess from a kingdom destroyed by a power-hungry witch. Prince Ammon is struck by his strange ability to detect when familiars, servants of witches, approach the borders of his kingdom. While Evony has always yearned for something more with Ammon, her feelings don’t seem to be immediately reciprocated. Wanting to prove himself to his kingdom and his parents, Ammon takes Evony across borders to fight the familiars one-on-one. However, the intrepid duo are soon captured by Aradia, a mysterious and sinister witch who steals Ammon’s heart and abandons his body – leaving him to transform into one of his familiars. Meanwhile, Ammon’s younger sister, Nissa, has been removed from the castle and taken hostage by Aradia’s daughter. Evony is on a mission to recover Ammon’s heart and save Nissa with the help of Ymyr, a friendly and humorous creature of the Guard. Once in Witchland, Evony will discover a secret about her past that will change everything.

Rarely are the scary elements and humor so beautifully illustrated

This graphic novel is aimed at young adults, that is, generally readers between the ages of 12 and 18. While it depends on the tolerance of the individual reader for readings of a more frightening genre, there are certainly some frightening elements to this tale. The most obvious of these is the withdrawal of Ammon’s heart. If this turns your stomach upside down, maybe a refuge full of hearts might be too much. Prepare yourselves. (Not-so-spoiler alert as it appears on the cover: there’s a stash full of hearts.) That said, Devito’s alluring illustrations temper the grim themes perfectly, not least because the images are black and white. There’s a lot of humor in this book too, thanks to the jokes between the Prophet Witch, Iona, and the Guard when she meets Evony. The dialogue between these characters was for me the highlight of the story, followed closely by the captivating themes of the story.

Evony is not a princess who needs to be saved – she saves money

Evony is a warrior – she is not a princess who waits. She doesn’t wait for Ammon to love her and she certainly doesn’t wait for someone else to do the rescue. Evony takes care of it and, in doing so, discovers more than she had planned. While her discovery is confronting and a little uncomfortable, it is necessary and part of her truth. This is essential not only for its development, but also for the development of readers, young and old, and this theme has been beautifully communicated in this story. Equally impressive is Nissa, she is resourceful in her own way. While she learns the hard lesson that you can’t always trust your loved ones, if you embrace your skills, you might be able to pull yourself out of a sticky situation.

A gripping cover is the perfect prelude to this grim and satisfying story

This review wouldn’t be complete without high praise for the cover of this graphic novel. The color is captivating (perhaps even more than it would be otherwise because no color appears in the illustrations inside the book) and the images strike an intriguing and dramatic chord. While much of the fighting, action, and magic is left out, they can’t be missed inside the pages. It was an interesting choice to promote the romantic aspect of the story of this particular tale. Things are not always what they seem. The cover prompts questions that encourage readers to pick up this book. The biggest I got was: what are all those floating hearts ?! I had to know. And boy, I’m glad I did.

The end will hook readers

Finally, the ending will hook readers in an exciting, not-so-happy forever way. In doing so, readers will look forward to the next books in the trilogy and hope they incorporate an equally compelling level of dread, story, humor, action, and strength of character as the first book, Prince without heart, does so well.

Heartless prince will go on sale on November 30, 2021.


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