In 2023 we were surprised with a spectacular teaser from Netflix showing an exhausted and bloodied Millie Bobbi Brown who seems to be taking on a monster. The concept of the film is based on the book of the same name Damsel by Evelyn Skye. Before watching the movie, I wanted to read the book, the ultimate opportunity to learn more about the storyline.
Where goes Damsel about?
Elodie never dreamed of a lavish palace or a handsome prince. No, her greatest wish was always that the people of famine-stricken Inophe would survive the winter. When the kingdom of Aurea offers to save Inophe if Elodie marries their crown prince, she accepts without hesitation.
Once she arrives, Elodie is completely taken with the country and its Prince Henry. However, doubt slowly sets in. But once Elodie starts putting the pieces together, it’s already too late. Elodie discovers that the country’s wealth comes at a high price: every year, three princesses must be sacrificed to a bloodthirsty dragon. And Elodie is the next sacrifice…
Can Elodie save herself and all future princesses?
Meet the Damsel: Elodie
The first chapters of the story are devoted to getting to know Elodie, her family, the place she comes from: Inophe and then also her future partner and in-laws. The blurb tells us what awaits her and that takes away some of the tension. And this actually makes the first chapters seem quite long and extensive. You’re eager to find out how Elodie will be sacrificed and how her battle with the dragon will play out.
The writing style in Damsel is very pleasant and smooth. The chapters are not too long and you get to know Elodie’s character well. Mainly because almost the entire story is told from her perspective. What makes it interesting and provides a nice change is that the author occasionally talks from a different perspective, from the past or present. This way you sometimes get a brief insight into the life of someone else, such as another princess from the past, Elodie’s sister, Prince Henry or one of Elodie’s parents.
The characters in Damsel
Because Damsel is told almost entirely from Elodie’s character, you obviously get to know her best. She has walked and trained a lot, which makes her stronger than she seems at first. Because of this, her determination is something that comes through strongly. You get to know her well during the time she spends alone, with a dragon lurking around. Her memories, her thoughts, they make you feel like you sympathize with Elodie.
There is more to argue about about the secondary characters, who also sometimes speak. What are their precise motivations? What is their past like? You won’t get an answer to all questions about them, but as the story progresses it becomes clear why the author added their perspectives.
Some repetition every now and then
Almost the entire book takes place in the caves where Elodie is trapped and hunted by a dragon. Every now and then it feels like some things are a bit repetitive, but fortunately Skye knows how to keep the reader’s attention through exciting moments. Through some changes in perspective, a bit of culture and history is also discussed. The different countries, their customs, why three princesses are sacrificed every year. There are generally few plot twists, except at the end of the story
From book to film
In a month, Damsel will be released as a film on Netflix, starring Millie Bobbi Brown. The trailer shows some images and some crucial moments in the book, making it seem like it’s quite similar. We will soon be able to see if this is correct.
Damsel is a story with an interesting concept. Although the effect occasionally seems a bit repetitive, it ends with an excellent plot twist.
- Great characters
- Good concept
- Occasionally a bit repetitive/sloppy