If you just search for the title on Amazon, you don’t get this book until somewhere after the 10th page of results, and it’s on the 4th page if you search just books. That’s just sad, because it’s really a good book.
Well this one starts off sad, doesn’t it? We start with a young woman, Saville, traveling with her father to a new city away from her mother’s grave. And her father is an ass. He is a tailor who somehow sews things differently? Oh, and Saville’s betrothed left her. Well, maybe that’s for the best. This seems all very harsh. Poor Saville, her life is not going well.
Saville is masquerading as a tailor’s apprentice, but is actually doing all of the work as her father is ill. She is also pretending to be a boy. Being a bold girl, she makes her way to the king and creates first a coat and then other clothes for him.
Then the giants come.
Saville runs out to confront the giants to save a friend and manages to outwit them. But then she has a problem. The king has decreed that the champion is to marry the princess, which Saville very well can’t do. (I mean, she could, but she and the princess are both straight, and two ladies can’t produce an heir.) In the original tale of “The Brave Little Tailor,” the tailor is very cocky, but Saville is clever and acts out of necessity and fear. She is not selfish. Reckless, maybe, but not selfish.
There is much more than I was expecting in this. It is certainly not as light as I thought it was going to be. There is violence and politics and grief. There is racism (specism?) and prejudice. There is real character development, too. There are people making adult decisions that are good for people other than themselves. And there’s a good story. What else can you really ask for, in the end?