Book Review by Debbie Winkler
Target Age Group: young adult
My Rating:4.5/5 stars, A Charming Retelling of the Classic Fairy Tale Sleeping Beauty
For years the king and queen had despaired of ever having a child so when Aurore arrived, the whole kingdom rejoiced. Well, almost everyone. There was one forgotten, embittered woman who resided at court who seized the opportunity to curse the sleeping baby and then disappeared. Aurore grew up with the curse overshadowing all of her days. Her parents were determined to protect her and so limited her activities to those that did not involve any sharp, pointed objects. Forbidden princesslike tasks of embroidery and sewing, her parents tried to interest Aurore in painting and weaving, both of which Aurore hated. But she hated her cousin, Oswald, nicknamed Charming, because he wasn’t, even more. Until Oswald persuaded her parents to let her roam outside, then she loved him. Aurore was content to live her life the way that she grew up, carefully avoiding anything that would trigger the curse, but the backlash of magic that her avoidance cost her kingdom was too high. Aurore knew that her only chance was to run away to La Foret, the forbidden forest and hopefully take the magic with her. Unbeknownst to Aurore, however, was the fact that time moves quite differently in the forest. So when she meets a handsome stranger, nicknamed Ironheart, who has come to the forest to rescue a fair princess, she knows that he cannot be talking about her, can he?
This was an absolutely charming retelling of Sleeping Beauty that should delight young adult readers and adults everywhere. Aurore was a great character – headstrong, but she loved her parents so much and tried so hard to be what they wanted. I loved the description of her art and her lumpy rugs! The author has so many little touches that she adds throughout the story to make the characters come alive and to breathe new life into this fairy tale classic. The ending is a big surprise and there are a lot of plot twists along the way, but, although difficult to accept at first, I find that I really enjoyed the author’s creativity and unique adaptation of this fairy tale. I look forward to reading more by her!
This book contains evil witches, creative curses, and a headstrong princess. It is clean and appropriate for readers ages 10 and up.