About The Book
Paris, at the dawn of the modern age:
Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride―or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia―the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!
Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances―one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend? Jen Wang weaves an exuberantly romantic tale of identity, young love, art, and family. A fairy tale for any age, The Prince and the Dressmaker will steal your heart.
I was really interested to read this book after seeing the gorgeous cover art and that it was a period (historical) graphic novel. I have heard a lot of wonderful things about Jen Wang’s writing and illustration so I knew I had to give this story a try.
The story follows a young teenage seamstress named Frances, who aspires to be a famous fashion designer. Through her unique clothes she creates she catches the eye of young prince Sebastian who hires her to become his seamstress. Sebastian loves to wear dresses and feels ashamed of himself so he keeps his secret hidden from his family. The two develop a friendship with each other as they learn more about each other and share a deep appreciation for fashion itself.
I thought this was a very beautiful story! Not only were the illustration, color, and character/outfit designs eye-catching. but the message of the story is too. It spreads a message of self-acceptance to the audience and tells readers to never be afraid to show the real you. Sebastian and Frances are unsure of the world around them by the end of the story we see them grow into these confident people who are ready to take the world by storm.
I loved the diversity and the LGBT representation in this story and I hope to see even more fairy tale-esque books like this in the future. It was utterly heartwarming to read these characters stories and watch their growth of self-discover. The book also made me reminiscence about the anime/manga Princess Jellyfish which has a similar story line (check it out if you haven’t already).
I would definitely recommend this book to any graphic novel fan or reader of fairy tale stories. I’m looking forward to reading Wang’s other works.
*FTC Disclaimer: I received this book from Rich in Variety Book Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review.