Helen Lowe reimagines the Sleeping Beauty story from the point of view of the prince who is destined to wake the enchanted princess in this lush, romantic fantasy-adventure.
Prince Sigismund has grown up hearing fantastical stories about enchantments and faie spells, basilisks and dragons, knights-errant and heroic quests. He'd love for them to be true—he's been sheltered in a country castle for most of his life and longs for adventure—but they are just stories. Or are they?
From the day that a mysterious lady in a fine carriage speaks to him through the castle gates, Sigismund's world starts to shift. He begins to dream of a girl wrapped, trapped, in thorns. He dreams of a palace, utterly still, waiting. He dreams of a man in red armor, riding a red horse—and then suddenly that man arrives at the castle!
Sigismund is about to learn that sometimes dreams are true, that the world is both more magical and more dangerous than he imagined, and that the heroic quest he imagined for himself as a boy . . . begins now.
My Review: Prince Sigismund has grown up sheltered and protected while his father's kingdom is at war. He has fallen in love with all the stories of enchanted creatures and heroes rescuing princesses. Then one day it all becomes real. A not-so-chance encounter with a sorceress sets events in motion that will change his life forever.
Hearing the tale of Sleeping Beauty from the prince's point of view was fantastic. He wasn't a hero, but had to learn how to be one. With several teachers to help him along the way, he must face powers that he could never imagine, even after reading all the old tales. He finds himself drawn to the enchanted forest, a place that is forbidden to all. When he discovers that his dreams of a princess trapped in the forest are all real, he knows what his destiny is.
Sigismund is not perfect, and this is one of the many things that makes the story so good. He is trustworthy to a fault and has to learn that not everyone is what they seem to be. Caught up in events that seem to be spinning out of control, and taken away to fantastic realms that are not his, he learns the lessons and skills that it will take to save the princess.
The resolution had everything you ask for in a fairy tale, along with a few extra surprises thrown in to keep things a little interesting.
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