Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Sleeping Beauty and the Beast by Melissa Lemon

I've read both of Melissa Lemon's previous adaptations of other fairytales and I really enjoyed them (Cinder and Ella & Snow Whyte. Which is the reason I looked forward to reading her newest one Sleeping Beauty and the Beast.

Melissa Lemon has great ability to take a common fairytale and weave it into a new story, one that will delight readers who enjoy originals and remakes.

Taking Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast and combining them at first I wondered how she would do it, but as soon as I started I decided I loved how she was doing it.

Magnolia is a witch in a country that has outlawed them.  If any witch is found she is put to the death and any children they have born are taken from them.  The minute Magnolia is found she wraps her beautiful daughter Ovinia up and takes off on the run. Even though she has already foreseen the future, a future she knows she cannot change no matter what she does.  Seeing the future is one of her greatest gifts or curses in this case.
Caught and robbed of her child, she knows her daughter is going to be taken into a life that no child should bare, a life that will rob her child of everything she deserves one that will turn her into a beast.

Magnolia knows, there is nothing she can do about it, it has been foreseen.  So she instead decides to curse those who created the laws of the land.  Those who created the rules of the kingdoms that brought witch hunts to her, and stole her child and took her into a future unimaginable.

Eglantine has lay still for longer than she can remember.  Alive, but in a sleep she is unable to awake from.  She can hear everything going on around her, smell and feel the touch of those who visit her. But not matter how hard she tries the curse keeps her from being able to wake up and speak to the others around her.  Instead she lives in a dreamlike state, one where she has to create her own adventures.  In her dreams she can see people, run though fields say and do what she wants.  It feels like reality, but no one can see her or hear her so she isn't sure if they are real or not.
That is until one day when she happens upon a prince, Prince Henry of Fallund and he can hear her.

Prince Duncan has wanted to escape the palace for as long as he can remember.  Born a minute after his brother, he is nothing but glad that becoming the King will not fall to him.  Duncan enjoys dressing up as a peasant and visiting the villages.  One day, he happens upon a group of men who are beating and fighting a beastly looking woman.  Beastly because her hair is a knotted matted mess, and she is bruised, bleeding and filthy from the men trying to control her.  He orders them to stop, only to find out they are trying to secure her to prison to await her trial for murder.
Duncan knows he should let it go, but he can't help but be drawn to this wild woman, a woman who not only looks wild, but appears to have the mind and nature of a rabid animal.  But yet he feels there is more to her.
With the help of an old woman, Duncan begins to spend more and more time with the one they call the beast, determined to find a way to connect with her, find out why he is drawn to her and discover the truth behind her before she is scheduled for death.

Prince Henry although he's taken a bit too long to claim the throne that is his birthright, he's always considered himself of sound mind.  That is until he begins seeing the sleeping princess of Cray, and the ability to converse with her, when no one else can see or hear.
Enchanted by her, he soon discovers he doesn't care what others think, she is even if only he can see her, quite possibly the woman he has always hoped to meet.

Sleeping Beauty and the Beast takes the reader on two fairy tales and two love stories.  With characters you quickly grow to love.  If you enjoy stories that leave you with that feel good, want to hug a book as you finish feeling.  Then this is one you will want to pick up.  This book is adult fiction, but is very clean and appropriate for any audience.  If you enjoy a great fairytale this is one I loved and highly recommend!



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