August 18, 2009


By Helen Lowe
Rating: 4 1/4 stars

In this retelling of Sleeping Beauty, we skip over the princess doomed to fall asleep and instead spend our time with the prince fated to awaken her, Sigismund. Sheltered in a remote country castle, Sigismund longs for adventure. Then one day a beautiful, magical lady appears at the gates and Sigismund begins to dream of a castle covered in thorns and a girl trapped in endless sleep. Then his father sends Balisan, a warrior to help train Sigismund, not only in weapons but to control his mind and to anchor himself to the earth. For Balisan explains to Sigismund about the castle trapped in a spell for nearly 100 years and how the chosen prince is due to free it. As Sigismund learns more about his destiny and about the dark magics the fairies have used, he must become ever more careful. For the Margravine who cast the evil spell hopes to turn the chosen prince to her ways, and looks for every chink in his armor. Can Sigismund, with the help of Balisan and the mysterious girl Rue (who seems to appear when most needed) break the spell and the Margravine's power? Readers may think they know this story, but they will be consistently surprised at the depth the author gives it. Well written and very enjoyable, readers will definitely come under the spell of this book. For another version of Sleeping Beauty told from the view of the princess, try Robin McKinley's Spindle's End.

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