The Courageous Princess: The Dragon Queen

illus. by Rod Espinosa. 192p. (Courageous Princess: Bk. 3). Dark Horse. 2015. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781616557249.
Gr 4–6—Mabelrose, the Courageous Princess, discovers who was behind all her adventures in this third and final installment. The Dragon Queen, who works the most powerful magic in the land and happens to be Mablerose's Aunt Ursula, once battled the Terrible Eight and received their powers as a reward. As it turns out, she was behind Mabelrose's kidnapping and has plans to take over all the lands. Ursula also banished Mabelrose's father and her friends, who were trying to rescue her, to the Lands of No Return. Oddly, Ursula does not want to hurt Mabelrose; instead she wants them to join and rule together! As Mabelrose explores the cloud castle in which she's trapped, she starts to understand her aunt's background and discovers that there may be a way to save all that she loves. This adventurous tale of a kindhearted and courageous girl will speak to readers. Espinosa's artwork leaps from the pages with action and vivid colors, with clean and easy-to-follow panels. Animal and human characters are distinctive and diverse.
VERDICT Though this series is best enjoyed when read in order, this third volume could be picked up by any graphic novel fan. A strong addition.

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