Heartless Prince by Leigh Dragoon, illustrated by Angela De Vito. Disney-Hyperion, 2021. 9781368028356
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4
Genre: Graphic novel/fantasy
What did you like about the book? Evony is the orphaned princess from the kingdom of Destireth. She is taken in by the royal family of Gallea, and becomes a beloved member of the family. Her ability to detect evil Familiars who try to steal human hearts has motivated Prince Ammon to take her hunting with him for Familiars at night when the rest of the family is in bed. Evony treasures this time with Ammon, and wonders if he could ever think of her as more than a friend. When Ammon is taken and his heart is stolen, Evony must confront the dangers outside Gallea’s walls on her own. Can she find him? Can she save him? And, when she discovers the truth about her powers, what will happen to her relationship with the royal family?
Beginning with “Once upon a time,” Heartless Prince is indeed a fairy tale, with noble royals, witches and evil henchmen. I like that the women characters all have special super powers, making them more interesting than many fairy tale characters. The romance is mild, and will appeal to tweens as well as older readers. The graphic art is atmospheric and beautiful, nicely conveying romance, danger, and magic, with a bit of art deco flair.
Although the story is nicely tied up at the end, a pictorial detail hints that further adventures could befall Prince Ammon…
Anything you didn’t like about it? In many ways, it feels like a familiar fairy tale, and all characters are White.
To whom would you recommend this book? For fantasy and fairy tale lovers, ages 12-16.
Who should buy this book? Elementary and middle school and public libraries
Where would you shelve it ? Graphic novels
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA
Date of review: November 16, 2021