Princess Ugg #5
With the first collection just out, this issue moves the story of our princesses-in-training forward by introducing the potent force of sex.
The group sneaks out to a tavern to socialize with soldiers, where Ulga’s more brazen talents of holding her alcohol and arm-wrestling are popular with the men. Although Ulga’s skills at diplomacy and fitting in are improving, she doesn’t have the forced restraint of the other girls, so she usually takes things too far. That’s what makes her such a dynamic character, her authentic, larger-than-life self.
It’s a pleasure to see her change and grow, even if I wish that some of the directions she’s forced to learn weren’t quite so twisty. And it’s sadly realistic for those who dislike her to refuse to acknowledge her concessions and alterations, continuing to force her into the stereotype they originally tagged her with.
The schemes and machinations of Ulga’s nemesis, raised in that world of deception, still remain beyond her. Author Ted Naifeh is setting up a premise I’m curious to see how it plays out. I’m also concerned about Ulga’s family and tribe, facing a threat that will be more deadly without her. While each issue is a satisfying chapter, it’s these larger themes that make the series rewarding. (The publisher provided a digital review copy.)