Friday, May 6, 2016

Book Review: Waking Beauty

What a treasure! Waking Beauty is a fun twist on the classic fairytale, Sleeping Beauty. It's considerably longer than the classic, too, but what's a hundred or so extra pages among fantasy lovers?

The story opens with Prince Arpien wanting both a kingdom and a bride--not just any bride, of course, but the one who has been asleep under a witch's curse for a hundred years. One hundred years! Her castle is filthy, the pantry has rats, and she herself is covered in dust and a gown that's suffering from its antiquity. She's still beautiful, of course, but how is he going to kiss her under all that caked-up grime?

For her part, Brierly has been asleep for a hundred years, which means she's had 876,000 hours of dreams. She's seen it all. Nothing scares her anymore, nothing excites her. If things aren't going as she wishes, she simply alters her reality in her mind. After all--nothing's real, including Arpien, whom she calls Herren, since Herren (Arpien's great-grandfather) was the last guy who tried to wake her.

It's a hard task for Prince Arpien to understand how Brierly can be so flippant over things that prevent them from their way--overgrown briars, brigands, super-sized bugs, all intent on killing them or at the very least, injuring them. And it's hard for Brierly to understand why this new dream doesn't alter at her command. She's fond of her "figment," as she calls Arpien, but he couldn't possibly be real.

Sarah Morin is a top-notch story-crafter. Waking Beauty is vivid, clever, and imaginative, and guaranteed to bring hours of fun in a world the Brothers Grimm--or Disney, for that matter--never envisioned.

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