Author/artist Jen Wang's newly released graphic novel, The Prince and the Dressmaker, has been on my TBR radar for some time. When I saw it on the New Books Shelf today, I grabbed it up...and read it in one sitting. The book was everything I hoped and more: A unique plot, beautiful illustrations, a cast of likable characters readers can really root for, and, perhaps most important, a Happily Ever After sort of ending (although not really by traditional standards). The Prince and the Dressmaker is a lovely, fairytale-like story about being yourself and finding others who accept you just as you are--quirks and all.
The Prince and the Dressmaker centers on the relationship between Prince Sebastian and his best friend and clothing designer, Frances. This may sound like a setup for a Disney-like romance, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, there really isn't much romance at all. One kiss...but even that's really more of a friend thing.
Prince Sebastian of Brussels in Paris at his parents' demand. It is here the king and queen hope their son finds a suitable bride. After all, Paris is the "city of love". Instead Sebastian finds an outlet for his secret passion: Donning gorgeous gowns and exploring the city's night life as Lady Crystallia. The only one who knows this secret is Frances, the exceptionally talented young lady who designs Crystallia's dresses. The two teens have a fantastic time. At first. Before long, though, Frances' innovative designs catch the eye of the notables of the city's fashion industry. People who could make her career really take off. And thus comes the dilemma. By realizing her dreams, Frances would risk exposing Sebastian's secret. Which wouldn't be such a big deal of he wasn't the Prince and the sole heir to the throne.
What happens next? Sorry...no spoilers. But don't worry. Everything works out in the end (I tell you this because you look worried).
The Prince and the Dressmaker is one the the best things I've read so far this month. It's a sweet, fun story with all the feels and more. I adored everything about this story, from the characters to the plot to the artwork. Everything! This book was a delight, and I would absolutely recommend it!