Damsel by Elana K. Arnold


The rite has existed for as long as anyone can remember: when the prince-who-will-be-king comes of age, he must venture out into the gray lands, slay a fierce dragon, and rescue a damsel to be his bride. This is the way things have always been.When Ama wakes in the arms of Prince Emory, however, she knows none of this. She has no memory of what came before she was captured by the dragon, or what horrors she has faced in its lair. She knows only t...

Details Damsel

Release DateOct 2nd, 2018
PublisherBalzer + Bray
GenreFantasy, Young Adult

Reviews Damsel

  • Emily May
    Secrets, like memories, do not disappear just because they are buried by snow or time or distance. What an ugly, awful little book. I thought it was pretty awesome, too, but then I’m a fan of Arnold’s dark twisted feminist stories that most other people seem to hate.It looks like Arnold is continuing her trend of writing horrible, depressing books that leave me in a constant state of anxiety while reading. What Girls Are Made Of ripped my hea...
  • Melanie
    ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. “For Emory to take his father’s place as king, he must do as his father had done, and his father before him. He must conquer a dragon and rescue a damsel, and take that maiden as his bride.” I get what this book was trying to do, I really do, and I appreciate it, but I just don’t personally think it was well done. This is a play on the “damsel in the tower, ...
  • Tatiana
    4.5 starsOh boy, this novel is going to get so many 1-star reviews. This is what happens when a book like this is marketed as YA. Are there going to be any teens that would read and like it? I doubt it. This is a novel created for lovers of literary fantasy and ugly ancient fairy tales. It is written in a simple language, it doesn't have a lot of characters or drama. It's quiet and dreamlike. It might get a Printz nod (I hope) from librarians (th...
  • destiny ♎ [howling libraries]
    When I first heard about this, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I saw it hailed as a dark fairytale retelling, but I’ve been promised that many times by other stories that delivered on the “retelling” while leaving aside any hints of the “dark” aspect. Damsel, on the other hand, is exactly what it promises—an incredibly dark fantasy story that pulls no punches. “That is the way of being a woman, to carve away at herself, to fit he...
  • Sabrina The Trash Queen
    That end was just what I need it.Die fucker, bye you pissed of shit, you will not be missed.This is the sort of book that is going to get a lot of 1 stars rating our none at all.Is hard to give a rating for this one, being that involves so many triggers.But overall, a very interesting story. The writing is solid. Very short. “One should not make a pet out of a wild beast” TW: violence of all types; animal harm and self harm.——————...
  • Jeff Zentner
    Elana Arnold is a master of writing the struggles of young women and the violence they endure. DAMSEL is a story that feels both modern and ancient, a harrowing and compelling gothic fairytale of a young woman passing through fire to reclaim herself. It reads like a pre-Grimm-Brothers fairytale, before they were sanitized bedtime stories, when they went to the darkest reaches of the human heart to bear witness of who we really are. You will not b...
  • Amy
    ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.Okay, this is going to be one of those books with very polarizing reviews. You’re either going to love it, hate it, or be in the middle (like me) where you like the writing and message, but you’re also shaking your head going, WTF?Firstly, here are the trigger warnings: Sexual assault/rape, mental and physical abuse, harm to animals, suicide and self harm (it’s dis...
  • Jackie
    This book is fucking terrible. “Damsel” tells the story of a prince off to slay a dragon and rescue a girl who he will take home to be his queen. When she awakes she has no memory of her rescue, her family or her very name and is left at the mercy of the prince who takes her back to his kingdom and mother, but things are not as they seem and she soon finds herself struggling to come to terms with her present while hunting for the answers in h...
  • Ellie (faerieontheshelf)
    ↠ 3.5 starsI received a copy in exchange for a honest review. This is going to be such a divisive book; looking down the ratings my friends have given it on Goodreads, there is such a variation between 4 stars and 2 stars. It is a dark, provocative and slightly terrible novel, but it doesn’t promise to be anything different. It is a book about the treatment of women in a world dominated by men, and it is depressing.Before I go on, I want to s...
  • Billie
    This is not the Prince-rescues-Princess-from-Dragon book you expect, but it may very well be the book that you—or someone you know—needs.Embrace your Sorrow.Free your Fury.Be the Dragon.
  • Kate (Reading Through Infinity)
    2.5 starsTWs for sexual abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence, animal mutilationI have so many thoughts about this book and not all of them good. There's a lot of sexism written into the story, and the women are treated as vessels for childbirth and objects of men. While, it's easy to see that the author purposefully included this as a social commentary on our real world, it was painfully uncomfortable to read at times, and some scenes felt un...
  • hannah ✧/ᐠ-ꞈ-ᐟ\ (on hiatus)
    Tentative rating: 3.5 stars This is how he likes me best... when I am in need of rescue. So the author wrote this in the cover reveal for Damsel, and I think it sums up the book quite nicely: Damsel is about waking up female in a man’s world. It’s about power, and abuses of power by powerful men. It’s about secrets. It's about pride, and anger, and action. I put my anger into this book, and I surprised myself with what my anger and I crea...
  • Kate
    ARC provided by Edelweiss.I don't remember the last time I was so indecisive about rating a story. My initial reaction was quite a negative one and some of those initial reservations are still here with me at the end of the book. On the other hand, when I look at the bigger point I think the author was trying to make - I have to admit it's quite brilliant. So now onto the details - The prince is set to slay the dragon and save the damsel. Prince ...
  • Erin Arkin
    Review to come
  • Vicky Who Reads
    5 starsTW: rape, self-harm, abuse, animal abuse, graphic violence, bestialityThis is not a book for everyone, but it was the book for me.I can feel all the people cringing away from this book, and know that you don't have to read it, and no one will fault you for not reading it. I can feel all the DNFs coming this way, as it's a very graphic book marketed towards the YA audience, and DNFing is a completely valid thing to do.As you can see by the ...
  • Madison
    A deeply dark and twisted fairytale reimagining, Damsel takes all the usual fairytale gender roles and dials them up to eleven, creating a shockingly reflective story about the worst of gender roles and subjugation. From the cover and synopsis of Damsel I expected a sweet and adventurous novel about a girl who didn’t fit the damsel mould, who was brave and fought and showed the world how awesome strong girls can be. I expected a celebration of ...
  • Krizelle (cakefacereader)
    This is gonna be one of those books you either really love or really hate. Also idk who’s idea it was to label this book as YA but I really don’t think it is. I think it has a great message but also it was a bit bland throughout. Not happy by some of the more horrifying parts of the book but I also think that this is the more likely tale in the “damsel in distress” trope. I can see why some people really love or did not enjoy this book. I...
  • Lauren ✨ (YABookers)
    Disclaimer: I received a free copy via Edelweiss for review purposes.trigger warnings: sexual abuse, rape, physical, verbal, and emotional abuse, animal abuse, gaslighting, self-harm, suicideI've been having conflicting thoughts about Damsel from the moment I started it, and it's a difficult book to both read and rate. DAMSEL follows Ama who is 'rescued' from a dragon by Prince Emory as a rite of passage. Ama remembers nothing from her time befor...
  • Amanda Ellis
    Please please please please please do not read this book without reviewing the triggers first.RapeSexual assaultMolestation Mental abuseMisogynyAnimal abuse/cruelty/deathBeastialitySexismPhysical abuse/violence Self harmSuicideI’m sure I’m missing some but there are a few for you.Good discussions on how rape has a lot to do with “power” and control over someone else and how you can reclaim your power. But I don’t think this is a good no...
  • Iryna Khymych
    I received this book via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you publisher! 4 out of 5 starsI will begin by saying this – this NOT a young adult book. This is an adult novel, written in a fairytale which deals with the treatment and perception of women in fairy tales. This book is true to the original fairy tale trope where women are raped, abused and demeaned while men are glorified for their behavior. If you are looking for a Di...
  • Keertana
    I hate labeling novels, so I don't want to say that this book isn't for YA readers, but I do have to be honest: I do not recommend this novel for any readers who struggle to read graphic scenes depicting rape, sexual assault, abuse, animal cruelty, suicide, and self-harm. That being said, I found Damsel to be immensely thought-provoking and a perfect example of why I love the fantasy genre. Arnold puts us in a fantasy realm--one where a prince mu...
  • Amber (The Book Bratz)
    The full review + more can be found at The Book Bratz ***Trigger Warnings: Rape, Self harm & Abuse******This review will also contain spoilers and I will talk about the Trigger Warnings***Hi. Hello. I really liked Damsel and I am the black sheep on this, but please just hear me out: I know there is so much talk on Damsel and it's content. I will admit that I was a little standoffish considering the themes I heard that this book contained. But I w...