Series: Hagenheim #6
Rating: 3 / 5 stars
Let me start by saying that Tangled is one of my favorite Disney moves of all times. I love, love, LOVE it. That being said, Disney fairy tales are not exactly known for their character development and plot depth. What you probably already know about me is that I am a huge fan of fractured fairy tales and retellings, so The Golden Braid seemed like a perfect book for me to try.
Now don't get me wrong, because it is a good book. It doesn't just focus on Rapunzel being locked in a tower by her evil mother and just happening to be rescued from her tower by a handsome prince who falls madly in love with her at first sight. In fact, Rapunzel and her love interest, Gerek, do not even really get along when they first meet. Rapunzel's mother has spent her whole life telling Rapunzel what putrid devils men are, so Rapunzel is very untrusting of Gerek upon first meeting him. Plus, you know, there's the fact that he is also kind of rude.
Very little of this story, in fact, takes place in a tower high above the ground. I also like the realism that is brought to the tale, en lieu of the magical hair that heals and undoes aging as in Tangled. It makes Rapunzel much more relatable and it feels as if she could have been a real German maiden back in the day.
Unfortunately, though The Golden Braid is good, it isn't great. The plot seems to lag in sections, and it gets quite a bit religiousy a few times. Some of the dialogue is a bit lacking, and Rapunzel is equal parts fierce and completely naive (although I do like the dynamic juxtaposition of her character). It is a book I would definitely recommend reading to people with similar tastes in novels, but I'll probably never glance at it again.