Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Sleeping Beauty - Mercedes Lackey

The Sleeping Beauty
Mercedes Lackey
Luna Books
Copyright: July 2010

The product description:
Heavy is the head—and the eyelids—of the princess who wears the crown…
In Rosamund's realm, happiness hinges on a few simple beliefs:
For every princess there's a prince.
The king has ultimate power.
Stepmothers should never be trusted.
And bad things come to those who break with Tradition….
But when Rosa is pursued by a murderous huntsman and then captured by dwarves, her beliefs go up in smoke. Determined to escape and save her kingdom from imminent invasion, she agrees to become the guinea pig in one of her stepmother's risky incantations—thus falling into a deep, deep sleep.
When awakened by a touchy-feely stranger, Rosa must choose between Tradition and her future…between a host of eligible princes and a handsome, fair-haired outsider. And learn the difference between being a princess and ruling as a queen.
The moral of the story? Sometimes a princess has to create her own happy endings…. 
The latest book in the series of the Five Hundred Kingdoms, The Sleeping Beauty was an absolutely fun read. I love Mercedes Lackey's methods of playing with the various fairytale tropes and traditions to make The Tradition.

This time of course, the theme is the story of Sleeping Beauty. But, that's not the only story referenced in this book. There's also the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

If you liked the other volumes of the Five Hundred Kingdoms, I'm sure you'll love this one. I have to admit that the characters had me laughing out loud many a time last night while I was reading. Rosamunda and the two princes especially. She's no passive princess, waiting for a rescue, she's doing her best to make the situation into what she wants it to be, while working within the limits the Tradition requires.

The biggest downside to this book as compared with some of the other books is the lack of any of the characters from the previous books - who, of course have all had their happy endings. Still, it's nice to see the occasional cameo from the earlier books. On the other hand, that means that you really don't have to have read any of the earlier books to read this one. For the most part, that's true of the whole series. Each one stands alone quite well in explaining the rules of the world and The Tradition.

As with all of Mercedes Lackey's books this is a good one.

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