Hi All! It’s Becky, here. I originally read about Damsel by Elana K. Arnold almost a year ago and I thought it sounded fascinating. The book rocketed to the top of my to-read list after it was award Printz Honors. I finally listened to the audio book. Here are my thoughts:
Author: Elana K. Arnold
Note: I listened to the the audio book.
Summary: It is time for a new king. The prince must slay the dragon and save the beautiful damsel to become king. It has been days since Prince Emory’s father’s death and he must find the dragon’s lair and save his future queen. Emory save Ama a beautiful maiden who is unwilling to fall into the role of docile queen and will change the course of the kingdom.
Review: I’m not sure what to make of this book. I have to admit the whole time I was reading Damsel I kept trying to figure out what the Printz committee saw in this book that prompted them make it an honor book. There are aspects of this book that are powerful and have important message for teen girls. Ama fights to have whatever power she can muster. She is forced into a world where she is viewed as nothing more than an incubator and she wants more. In that manner Damsel is an important book. However, technically I had some issues with this book. The pacing felt off with Ama’s rescue from the dragon taking over the first ten percent of the book and the resolution felt rushed. Plus, the book takes a lot of time illustrating the evil of the men in the kingdom but never really developed Ama. Also, there is the issue of who this story is aimed at. Throughout most of the book I kept thinking that this was the kind of story I would have been assigned in one of my college women studies class but it’s not the kind of story I would give to the average teen girl. Yes, Damsel is a great conversation starter and will appeal to people academically but it really doesn’t feel like it should be included in the discussion of teen literature.
Final Rating: 2.5 out of 5