Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Disney Press
Released: May 3, 2022
Do my eyes deceive me? Is one of my favorite Disney movies of all time getting a novel sequel? And it’s written by an author I adore? My dreams have come true. Bravely is the novel sequel to Brave, written by the one and only Maggie Stiefvater.
Years after the events of Brave, Merida and her family are still going strong. Merida has taken to traveling the world, visiting home with tall tales to delight. Her brothers have grown (but not fully), and her parents are still very much in love.
Despite all of this, not much seems to have changed in DunBroch. Much to the detriment of her home, as this lack of change, is causing stagnation. This stagnation has caught the attention of two gods: one who wants to save DunBroch, and the other who is tasked with its destruction.
“Some storms make a lot of noise but move no rooftops.”
You never quite know how good unplanned sequels are going to be. That applies to both books and movies. It doubly applies to movies that get a sequel in book format. So I went into Bravely with cautious expectations.
Readers, let me tell you this: I need not have worried. Bravely holds tightly to all the elements that made Brave such a delight to watch (over and over again). All our favorite characters are there, and despite their ages, they are mostly unchanged.
Yes, I know – that’s the whole point. Their lack of change is the focus of this plot. Merida has one year to change her entire family, or DunBroch will fall. This isn’t the only deadline she is under, as another threat/obligation simultaneously forces Merida to travel to three neighboring kingdoms.
It’s a lot, but it’s also oddly perfect? We get to know more about Merida as an adult, seeing her struggle to help others change – while figuring out how she must grow in the process. We also get to see more about her parents and her brothers. I had SO many questions about them, so seeing them was a delight.
Ultimately, I enjoyed so many of the plot points that occurred in Bravely. They felt right, like an extension of my loved movie. And isn’t that the goal? In truth, my biggest complaint is that Bravely seemed to end too soon. Another chapter or epilogue would have been very much appreciated! But hey, I’ll take what I can get.