Saturday, May 2, 2015

Sarah E. Morin: Waking Beauty

By Kelly Bridgewater

From Amazon
Back Cover Copy:

What if the Sleeping Beauty Refused to Wake Up?

The rescue wasn't going at all how he planned. Prince Arpien intends to gain a throne and the sleeping beauty's heart with a single kiss that wakes her from the evil fairy's curse. But kissing the princess is only the beginning of a series of unforeseen obstacles: man-eating bugs, deadly spindles, talking lapdogs, and fiery pickles. The sleeping beauty is the biggest complication of all.

Princess Brierly is beautiful and Fairy-Gifted, but also...daft. After one hundred years of sleep imprisonment, Brierly refuses to believe this rescue is anything more than a tantalizing but doomed dream.

Arpien is drawn to the vibrancy beneath Brierly's indifferent exterior. Can they reclaim her kingdom? Do they dare trust in the Prince of the old tales to help them battle the evil fairy who cursed Brierly? What is the price of waking beauty?

My Thoughts:

During the Zone breakfast at the 2014 ACFW Conference in St. Louis, I sat down with the Indiana Chapter of ACFW’s president, Rick Barry. A beautiful woman with blonde hair named Sarah E. Morin sat down next to me. We started talking about what we wrote. She was a finalist for the Genesis award this year. I learned about Waking Beauty, and Morin intrigued me. When I found out the book was being published, I contacted Morin and asked if I could review it for her. Waking Beauty does everything a young adult fairy tale book should do.

Fairytales have been rapidly popular lately with shows like Once Upon a Time; movies like Frozen; and books like Melanie Dickerson. I believe fairy tales capture our imagination because readers think they understand the popular stories, and we want to see what others can dream up. One of my favorite things about Morin’s book, Waking Beauty, besides the beautiful cover, is the visual story world that Morin paints for me. As Prince Arpien rescues Princess Brierly, I pictured the cobwebs, dusty indentions on the pillow, and her pink rose gown. It was visually stunning.

The writing is accurate and grammatically sound. In honor of the writing of 1812, Morin follows the same type of pattern with her prose and dialogue. There is more prose than dialogue, which sometimes make the story hard to plow through. Today, books are more dialogue than prose. Not that I mind it because I was still swept up in the action, but be warned. With this in mind, the story starts off with the exciting kiss and then it kind of slows down in the middle before picking up to a happy ending.

Prince Arpien is a tall, broad-shouldered, narrow waisted man with kind eyes who is passionate, sensitive, clever, heroic, and romantic. He is the type of Prince Charming that I believe every girl would like to come rescue them. He is easy on the eyes and shows chivalry. While Princess Brierly first comes off as an air-head because she has been asleep for the past hundred years, she eventually transforms into a heroine who wants to save her people from the evil fairy, Voracity.

The conflict stems from a series of external events that prevent Brierly and Arpien from progressing on their journey to happiness. The most pressing external conflict is Arpein trying to convince Brierly that she has woken up and lives in reality. On the other hand, Arpien is trying to keep the kingdom from falling into the wrong hands. While the Disney version has Sleeping Beauty and Prince Philip fall in love the moment he wakes her, Arpien has to woo Brierly back to reality and to his noble intentions.

Waking Beauty had no questionable content just like most fairy tales don’t. Morin really use the Thorn King as a spiritual allegory, but it is not preachy at all. I truly enjoyed the ending where the spiritual elements came to reality. Waking Beauty is a unique and unpredictable twist on a fairy tale that most people are familiar with, allowing me to rethink what I know. Anyone who is a fan of Once Upon a Time or Melanie Dickerson’s novels would enjoy this book. I spent many hours lost in the land of Boxleyn, wandering along reality and dream world with Brierly and truly enjoyed it.

I received a complimentary copy of Waking Beauty from Sarah E. Morin and the opinions stated are all my own. 

My Rating:  3.5 out of 5 stars

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