You can’t have Rapunzel!
After coming off reading Wiley Blevins’ Cinderella and the Vampire Prince, I thought I would fall in love with Rapunzel and the Werewolf. I’ve always really loved Rapunzel’s story, even more so than I loved Cinderella’s. And with the success of blending an amazing classic fairytale with some spooky element that I’d already experienced, I was crazy excited to read this one. Featuring the same illustrator from Cinderella and the Vampire Prince, Steve Cox, everything pointed toward this story being fantastic. And, much to my dismay, I was deeply disappointed with this one.
So, as with the last Blevins story I read, Rapunzel and the Werewolf very much follows the path expected of it. This story begins just as the original Rapunzel does. You have the wife, desperate for a food from the witch’s garden. Her husband goes over to steal it on numerous occasions. The witch catches him and spares his life in exchange for his firstborn. Rapunzel is locked in a tower by her witchy surrogate mother.
And then the prince comes.
That Ending, Though
Honestly, I can’t really explain my issues with this story without explaining the ending. Suffice to say, I hated it. Rapunzel has a huge place in my heart, admittedly largely due to Marissa Meyers’ retelling with Cress, and I couldn’t stand the direction Blevins took. The idea wasn’t bad and I was excited by it at first, but the whole thing took a bad turn when that thing happened to the prince.
The ending of this story basically feels…anti-climactic and somewhat deceptive. I think most people would go into a story like this with a certain expectation for how it would end. And certain twists would be welcome while others won’t be well received. There didn’t really seem to be any rhyme or reason for why this one had to end the way it did. And frankly, I can’t stand the sort of non-ending I got stuck with.
What I’m Left With
I said before that I wasn’t a huge fan of Cox’s artwork. I liked it a bit more in this one, largely because the monster-like characters were kept to a minimum. There’s a small amount of diversity with Rapunzel and her mother, though the other characters are either the witch or white. I did appreciate the inclusivity here. Rapunzel was beautiful, though her prince looked ridiculous. They aren’t my favorite illustrations, but I did enjoy them.
And the story was fantastic, right up until that terrible ending.