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.
Review by Daniela
Absolutely mesmerizing and enchanting, this graphic novel is not only a call for acceptance, but it is also an encouragement to be yourself and go after your dreams.
As the title says, we follow Prince Sebastian, who becomes the magnificent Lady Crystallia by night, and his dressmaker Frances, who is strong, aspirational, and dreams of seeing her dressed all over chic Paris and maybe the world. By day, the Sebastian must hide his secret from his parents as they search a bride for him, and this means Frances must also be kept a secret in case the public connect Crystallia with Sebastian.
The pair become closer and best friends as the story goes on, and dress after marvelous dress, their secret cooperation tips closer to being exposed. For Frances, exposure would bring her more opportunity to become a successful and renowned dressmaker, but for Sebastian, it could mean disownment and perhaps far worse. With the fast-paced storytelling and the beautiful drawings, Jen Wang has crafted a masterpiece that gives you a glimpse into a better world where we accept our sons and daughters as who they wish to be. It’s a book I want to read over and over again.
The novel made me cry, laugh, smile, and everything in between. It’s definitely one of my favorites of all time, and I wish for everyone to read it.
What are your thoughts on the book?