Rummanah Aasi
 Pan's life used to be very small. Work in her dad's body shop, sneak out with her friend Tara to go dancing, and watch the skies for freighter ships. It didn't even matter that Tara was a princess... until one day it very much did matter, and Pan had to say goodbye forever. Years later, when a charismatic pair of off-world gladiators show up on her doorstep, she finds that life may not be as small as she thought. On the run and off the galactic grid, Pan discovers the astonishing secrets of her neo-medieval world... and the intoxicating possibility of burning it all down.

Review: The night Pan helps Princess Tara escape a forced marriage by escaping the planet, she loses the one friend she ever had and gains notoriety. Five years later, she is helping her mechanic father in the shop and groaning as the men watch tournaments on TV. In this space opera the joust features cosmoknights, knights in high-tech space suits, in a battle and the winner marries the hosting planet's princess.  The night after one particularly gruesome battle, a lesbian couple arrives at Pan’s doorstep, asking for her doctor mother’s help. Pan figures out that the wounded woman is a cosmoknight, accompanied by her wife, but what really shocks her is their secret subversion of the patriarchy: When they win, they whisk the princess away to freedom. In hopes of reuniting with Princess Tara and join the fight against patriarchy, Pan stows away on their spaceship to join them. At first they are angry, but Pan proves she is useful at the next joust. 
  This webcomic turned graphic novel is a delightful smash up of Jeremy Whitley's Princeless graphic novel series and the beloved yet short-lived television show Firefly. It is unapologetically feminist and has LGBTQ+ and non-white diverse characters. The jewel-toned, full-color illustrations are bright and bring the story to life. Different palettes mark flashbacks, fights, and the present day, which can be a bit confusing and a minor flaw. Pan’s journey of self discovery and the mission to dismantle the patriarchy has never been this fun. The book does end on a cliffhanger and readers will be eager to find out more. A fun, inclusive ride.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is some language in the book. Recommended for Grades 8 and up.

If you like this book try: Princeless series by Jeremy Whitley, Deep and Dark Blue by Nikki Smith
1 Response
  1. Middle grade and YA books and graphic novels are so inclusive now, it's just wonderful!

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