Waking Beauty by Sarah E. Morin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is the story of what happens AFTER Sleeping Beauty wakes up. The only problem is, she's been dreaming for a hundred years and doesn't believe she is actually awake. Prince Arpien has his work cut out for him trying to convince her that she is in the waking world. Throw in tension between their two kingdoms, a dangerous fairy, hilarious dialogue, and you have an epic fantasy that will leave you with a major book hangover when you're done.
I read the five chapter preview on Amazon and knew I had to have this book because it was funny, original, and very different from other books I had read. Even so, I was not prepared for the roller coaster of a ride that ensued after I purchased this book. The story navigates the stormy waters of hilariously funny, deeply spiritual, and just plain weird, all while holding its readers captive and holding on for dear life. There is not much down time with this book. Though it starts off a tad bit slow, do not be deceived. Every time I thought I had figured out where the story was going, the author would completely throw me off guard.
The character development in this book is phenomenal! Brierly is totally convinced for the majority of the book that everyone and everything she sees are only figments of a dream. Arpien, though fully awake, continues to run into obstacles caused by his own delusions. I loved the fact that they were both very flawed and that the development of their individual characters took time. It made the ending all that more worth it.
I haven't even talked about the supporting characters, all of which were amazingly well-crafted. There was not a flat character in the bunch, no matter how minor their role. Nissa, though a supporting character, really deserves her own book someday. She provides a valuable outsider's perspective on Brierly's and Arpien's characters and their relationship.
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves reimagined fairy tales, hilarious dialogue, quirky characters, and epic fantasy. You will not be disappointed!
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