“Some days I look at myself in the mirror and think, ‘That’s me, Prince Sebastian! I wear boy clothes and look like my father.’ Other days it doesn’t feel right at all. Those days I feel like I’m actually… a princess.”
Prince Sebastian is 16-year-old, and his parents are pressurising him to find a wife. They keep suggesting all types of young women, princesses and other royalty from other countries. He knows he needs to be strategic to help the kingdom, but his heart isn’t in it. It’s not that some of these young women aren’t nice or that he doesn’t enjoy their company. It’s just… he has a secret.
While by day, Sebastian fulfills his obligations as a prince, by night, Sebastian likes to dress in beautiful, eye-catching gowns, and take Paris society by storm as Lady Crystallia. His best friend, Frances, happens to be the most talented dressmaker and seamstress, and she creates Lady Crystallia’s gowns, each one more gorgeous than the next.
It’s hard, however, when you’re the only one who knows your friend’s deepest secret. Obviously, you want to protect your friend, but what if it means having to keep your achievements a secret, too? Everyone knows that Frances is Sebastian’s seamstress, but if she started to get acclaimed as the dressmaker for Lady Crystallia, it won’t take long for people—especially the king and queen—to put two and two together and realise who Lady Crystallia really is. And that would be disastrous for Sebastian.
Jen Wang’s The Prince and the Dressmaker is an absolutely wonderful graphic novel with gorgeous illustrations and an amazingly heartfelt story. It was a super-quick read with an amazing tribute to friendship, love, acceptance, and being exactly who you are. As it deals with sacrifices we often make for our friends, and how sometimes we ask our friends for too much in an effort to avoid important decisions, it also shows how Sebastian resolves his conflict over his identity, which makes it the perfect read for the Pride month.
Tasnia is a proud Slytherin who loves binging on poetry and graphic novels in her free time.