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text 2019-09-01 16:24
Raven the Pirate Princess 1-6 + Princeless Short Stories
Princeless: Raven The Pirate Princess Book 1: Captain Raven and the All-Girl Pirate Crew (Princeless Raven Pirate Princess Tp) - Jeremy Whitley
Princeless: Raven the Pirate Princess Book 2: Free Women - Jeremy Whitley
Princeless: Raven the Pirate Princess Book 3: Two Boys, Five Girls, and Three Love Stories - Jeremy Whitley
Princeless: Raven the Pirate Princess Book 4: Two Ships in the Night - Jeremy Whitley,Xenia Pamfil
Princeless: Raven the Pirate Princess Book 5: Get Lost Together - Jeremy Whitley, Christine Hipp
Princeless: Raven the Pirate Princess Book 6 - Jeremy Whitley
Princeless Short Stories Volume 1 - Jeremy Whitley,Various

Raven the Pirate Princess is a spin-off of the Princeless series, and features Raven (duh) who was to inherit her father's pirate fleet until her jerky young brothers convinced her father to put her in a tower.  She is now determined to reclaim her rights.  To do so, she needs pirates for her ship.


The first volume is a set up, a gathering of the crew.  When Raven interviews pirates, it is a brilliant play on (1) minority girls who are hit on by white boys who claim to know about the culture and (2) men talking down to women. Eventually, she hires an all girl (lady) crew, largely made up of women who play a version of D&D.  Serious, read the first volume or that alone.


The next volumes focus on the quest and the various relationships among the crew.  At times, it felt a little too heavy on the personal matters, though in fairness a character does reference this.  There is an attempt at a romantic triangle, but thankfully, Whitely resolves it and it works.


The real selling point of the book is the diversity in terms of the crew.  The women are all different - there women of color (and various shades of color as well), there is a variety of interests (from fighting to science to writing) as well as a variety of skills (and each skill is valued), various body shapes, various religions, and various sexual  tastes (cis, bi, asexual).  It's quite lovely.  We are not given a Utopia, but a reality.  It makes for a good read.  I wish this had been around when I was in my teens or younger.


A quick note about the artwork -the artists change so the artwork went from a type that I loved to a type that I found so-so.  


The Princeless Short Story Volume isn't something you really need if you have read the other volumes.  The short stories aren't really connected to each other, so there is a scattershot feeling.  The best one is the one about B and her mother.  I did enjoy the artwork with the first short story the best.

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review 2019-07-02 16:28
Out tomorrow
Princeless Vol 8: Princesses - Jeremy Whitley

Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley.


                There is so much to love about the Princeless comics, and this volume in the collections give us stories featuring Adrienne’s sisters and the goblins.  The sisters each get one story (though the twins have to share) and one story for the goblins.  The goblin story is the most direct comment on modern politics in the book – it is hard not to see Trump and Hilary on the stage.  The story will play on a different level for adult readers than younger readers.  The goblin story also brings back the Goblin Captain who aided Adrienne and Belinda.


                But the main focus of the collection are the Ashe citizens, and while the art, to my mind, isn’t as good as the artwork in some of the other volumes (hence a 3.5 star rating instead of a 4), it was wonderful that the other Ashe sisters got a chance to shine as while as moving the story slightly forward to the coming conflict that was set up at the end of volume 7.


                The first story features Alize and her Sphinx.  It is set in the past, so how Alize formed her community and met her husband is addressed. Then Angelica learns that she is more than just a pretty face by playing a game that looks familiar.  Angoisse learns that she doesn’t need a man, but just a focus.  The goblin story follows Angoisse’s story (which makes sense).  Then finally, the twins appear as they struggle to put aside sniping at each other long enough to help people.  In many of the stories, the Black Knight makes an appearance, tying the stories together in another way as well as pointing towards the future of the series.  Even in Angoisse’s tale where the Black Knight does not show up, there are hints that her adventure is connected to the larger issues playing out in the series.

                The particular strength of this volume is the different ways in which the princesses learn and become more secure in who they are.  Adrienne, who stars in the other volumes, is physically strong - she is not dumb – but her talent lies in the physical.  Here, in these stories, we have sisters whose talents are not the physical but that rest on a different type of learning.  Alize learns from books (and other teachers), the twins studied magic, Angoisse learns by studying human behavior, and Angelica by watching.  While the sisters who were more immature, gain more maturity in these stories, they don’t lose their essential selves.  Angelica might become more than a pretty face, but she also still loves fashion.  The great thing about Princeless is that strength is being shown in so many different ways, not just in terms of Adrienne and Devan, but, now, more fully in terms of each sister.  This putting worth on talents other than simply physical or looking beautiful is wonderful.


                The stories do feature humor.  The two funniest are Angoisse’s and Angelica’s.  Angelica’s story has some great descriptive phrases, and Angoisse’s makes excellent use of the Squint Spiderslayer and the Grimmorax.  The best line comes from the Grimmorax who asks Angoisse, “Are you telling me you want to be weaker so you can find a man who can protect?”  And when Angoisse answers in the affirmative replies, “Do you need me to explain how stupid that sounds?”.  In some ways, Angoisse’s story is the most powerful because she learns the value of herself.  The weakest story, maybe because it is trying too hard for laughs, is the story of the twins, though that makes excellent use of the magical knowledge.  Additionally, weak is a relative term for this collection.


                Can’t wait to see what happens next.

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review 2019-06-22 01:05
Good installment
Princeless Vol 7: Find Yourself - Jeremy Whitley

And back to form.

I love the story of the last sister - from her monster to her intelligence to her hair. I can't say the Black Knight reveal was all that surprising but both the knight and sister show Adrienne different ways, and the Sphinx asks a very important.

Devon's story is good too. It has the right about of drama and humor.

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review 2019-06-22 00:54
Perhaps the weakest collected volume.
Princeless Vol 6: Make Yourself Part 2 - Jeremy Whitley

Three stars because the main story was short and the side short, while good, the art work didn't quite match what the characters looked like in the main story.

I really like the sisters working together though. I loved that.

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review 2019-06-17 15:46
Princeless Volume 5: Make Yourself - Jeremy Whitley

This one shifts the focus a bit.  We are introduced to Bedelia's family - basically the dwarven side which includes the difference between male and female dwarves as well as queer couples.  This leads to Adrienne and Bedelia splitting up because Bedelia wants to visit her mother.  Adrienne uses the break to ask questions about sexuality which was handled quite well.  The first part of the collection is a beautiful story about Adrienne coming to terms with hair.  I wish I had read this when one my students had written a research paper about natural hair because I really think she would have liked this.


The second focus is on Adrienne's brother Devin and his quest to save his mother.  He is aided by a new team of friends which includes a girl wolf-shifter as well as a prince and a elf girl.  Devin is great because he shows intelligence and creatively are just as important as the ability to whack things.

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