Book review | The Prince and The Dressmaker by Jen Wang
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.
19th century Paris. The young Prince Sebastian's parents are looking for a bride for him. But Prince Sebastian has a secret, a secret that only his trusted bodyguard and his new dressmaker knows. Frances the dressmaker, makes bold and beautiful dresses for Sebastian, and he wears them at night and turns into the stunning and fashionable Lady Crystallia.
While Frances is on her way to fulfill her wish to become a world-renowned dressmaker and Sebastian lives his secret life, they form an secure alliance and friendship. Frances doesn't judge Sebastian, and as they help each other out, their bond becomes stronger, and the secret becomes more dangerous.
This graphic novel is so heartwarming and fulfilling. When Sebastian says he's happy being a Prince but sometimes he feels being a boy is not enough— it truly is unravelling how the artist portrays Sebastian as a genderqueer. This book not only discusses gender identity, but also tells you to follow your dreams and believe in yourself.
What makes the book special and what especially 'almost' brought tears in my eyes is how supportive the people around Sebastian were. It's unlikely that 19th century Paris was so progressive, but this book gives you hope. The art is beautiful! The colours add a whole different feeling while reading it and the I swear I really loved the all the dress designs made by Frances! It was truly a magical book.