Damsel by Elana K. Arnold
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The way of the world has never changed. Before a prince can become king, he must slay a dragon and rescue the damsel who will become his bride. Prince Emory is like his father and his father's father before him.
Ama awakes in Emory's arms with no memory of her rescue. It is now her fate to be the queen of Harding and the wife of Emory after his coronation. As she adjusts to life in the castle, Ama begins to suspect that there is much more to the tales of kings and dragons than she has been told.
“That is the way of being a woman, to carve away at herself, to fit herself to the task, but, also, to be able to carve herself in a different way, when a different shape is needed.”
Arnold's Damsel is a remarkable story. It takes the reader directly to the fiery heart of the issues while framing them as a dark, ancient fairy tale. This story is quite raw. It will not be for every young reader. But for the young women who are trying to make space in the world for themselves, I hope this book helps them find their power.
[CW: Sexual violence and suicide]
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