Parents' Guide to


By Mary Eisenhart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Dark, twisty dragon quest tale has sex, gore, brutality.

Damsel Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 14+

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
1 person found this helpful.
age 14+

Valuable Message, Mature Content Adds/ Creates Appreciation of Theme

This book DOES contain mature themes including abuse of a significant other, animal abuse, manipulation, and sex. These mature themes are used to create a beautifully written story of a young woman's choice to give up her literal entire self or to reclaim her own power. Students, especially teen girls who have experienced trauma in the form of a controlling or abusive relationship will be able to appreciate the strength and triumph of the heroine. Beautiful imagery and symbolism adds to the book's educational value. Due to mature and dark nature of content, I would recommend this book for grade nine and above, and would personally place this book on a "top ten books I want my kids to read" list.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2):
Kids say (2):

Elana K. Arnold's twisty, violent take on the maiden-saved-from-a-dragon fairy tale explores its darker, oppressive side from the viewpoint of a memory-impaired young girl playing the starring role. As the Damsel struggles to understand the role that her "rescuer" has all mapped out for her -- and she finds herself increasingly confined -- it becomes clear that she and anyone she comes to love are in constant danger. Dismemberment, sexual assault, crude language, and gore are plentiful, especially in the shocker of an ending.

Book Details

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