Federico Rossi Edrig

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The Scarecrow Princess

The Scarecrow Princess

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Erschienen am 24.10.2017

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Rezension zu "The Scarecrow Princess" von Federico Rossi Edrig

Recommendable
misspidervor einem Jahr

The Scarecrow Princess is a fantastic (in terms of fantasy) story about a teenage girl named Morrigan, finding her place in a new town where she accidentally stumbles into the age-old reoccurring war between the thievish King of Crows and the Scarecrow Prince. While at the beginning the roles are clearly distributed with the King the bad guy and the Prince the good one to defend the town's people, at the end both figures take a large step towards the gray zone.

Several coincidences lead to the girl, Morrigan Moore, getting the Scarecrow Prince's mantle - or, maybe, be chosen by it as its new bearer. Discovering the power she has with this mantle, she is set on defeating the King of Crows, who steals his way through town and even kidnapped her mother and brother. But the power she gains comes with a price - a high price Morrigan must decide whether she is willing to pay. At the end, Morrigan must not only fight the King of Crows, but also the ghost of the Scarecrow Prince.

Some reviewers criticized that several scenes of the story did not match with Morrigan only being fourteen, like wanting to drink alcohol at a party or "doing what your body asks of you". While honestly I quickly forgot the mention of Morrigan's age at the beginning of the book, I was surprised to confirm that she indeed is only fourteen. The whole book through I estimated her to be about sixteen, so I didn't have any problem with above mentioned scenes. On the other hand, you can't deny the fact that fourteen today certainly is an age where teenagers start dipping their feet into the adult world - like it or not. However, I doubt that any teenager who reads this graphic novel will go raiding their parents stash of alcohol right after.

Another scene the reviewer deemed inappropriate was when Morrigan shreds the mantle in fight, leaving her as well as the King of Crows naked. Here, I have to strongly disagree. IMHO, on one hand, the situation lacked any sexual tension, on the other, the illustrations were in no way indecent or exploitative, and the scene did match with the plot. After relying on the powers of the mantle too much, being almost consumed by it, Morrigan shreds the choking fabric from her body, freeing and revealing her pure self underneath. This was a very important step towards adulthood for Morrigan - discovering who she really is and that she can achieve something on her own. It's like finding her own place, no longer being defined by her family or just reacting to outer influences, but acting out of herself, by her own will.

As for the King of Crows, he is the villain from start to end, but then he never denies it and actually confirms that this is his nature. You might argue that his figure represents evil, or maybe temptation. In the end he is not truly defeated, but at least slightly impressed with Morrigan's own strength, which leads to a kind of fragile truce.

Writing this review was kind of a double-edged sword, but I stick with my thoughts as perceived right after reading the book and before being reminded that Morrigan is fourteen, not sixteen as I would have assumed, but then again, I do not see it as that big an issue as other readers.

A short word on the illustrations: I loved the overwhelming quality of the pictures, which perfectly match the overwhelming times Morrigan has to face in this story - both because of the fantastic war she gets involved in, but also - again - because of her age on the brink of reaching adulthood.

Note 1: I remember a time when there was no such thing as 'teen' fiction. There were children 's books and then there was fiction, period. Maybe we should have more trust in today's teenagers than assume they will be damaged by reading this book.

Note 2: I never proof-read my reviews, so maybe later I'm going to regret some of the things I wrote 'in the heat of the moment' - I might have leaned a bit on the rambling side with this one...but I just couldn't help myself. Sue me!

Note 3: I enjoyed this story, and despite every doubt whether or not it is appropriate, I do recommend it. Just find out for yourself.

(Thanks to Netgalley, the author, and the publisher for a copy of the book, all opinions are my own)

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