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Waking Beauty

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  102 ratings  ·  35 reviews
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 compl ...more
Paperback, 480 pages
Published April 21st 2015 by Enclave Publishing
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Sarah Morin Thanks for the question and considering my book! Yes, it is hard to tell from an online description if a book is right for you.

Definitely no sleaze. Y…more
Thanks for the question and considering my book! Yes, it is hard to tell from an online description if a book is right for you.

Definitely no sleaze. You are safe there. I classify Waking Beauty more as Christian fantasy than Christian romance, though there is definitely a romantic element. It is so clean, however, I don’t have trouble recommending the book to certain 12yos with prodigious vocabularies. However, the book is really meant for both teens and adults. Like Narnia, it helps to be older to catch all the Christian symbolism.

Now as for cheese, it depends on what you mean. If you mean “the same plot I‘ve seen over and over again and thus I roll my eyes until I get too dizzy to read the page,” Waking Beauty is not cheesy. It is a version of Sleeping Beauty you have never seen, although you will recognize iconic moments.

But if by cheese you mean, “the style of humor used in The Princess Bride,” I have to confess, that may be me. I love poking fun of classic fairy tales and character types, even as I openly enjoy them. Yes, I am a little hoaky because that is the style of humor I enjoy. Waking Beauty is not a broad farce, however. There is a deep dramatic and philosophic element: what I like to call “angst.” I am a strong believer in using contrast of tone (dark and light) to bring out the best in each. I also try to keep from “sermonizing” by injecting levity and twists. Ideally, non-Christian readers will be able to enjoy the story without feeling conked over the head.

It may help to get a taste of my style by reading the first chapter free on

Use the “Look Inside” feature.

The deeper elements are not in play so early in the book—I am getting them set up—but you might be able to tell if it is too cheesy for your taste.

I hope you decide to give Waking Beauty a chance! Best.(less)

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Now that was a huge book! Waking Beauty by Sarah E. Morin is a fairy tale retelling, of the epic sort. It was unique and humorous, while spinning an intense, thought-provoking tale that pierces straight to your heart. While the writing was not, personally, my favorite style, I did love the fairy tale-ish-ness of this thick novel; the fantasy world was great, and more than one scene brought me to tears. The Christian allegory woven into Waking Beauty was profound indeed. Because of the more narra ...more
Sara Ella
Jun 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2015
Just wow! What a way to sweep this fairy tale lover off her feet. Sarah E. Morin’s Waking Beauty is the perfect blend of satire and charm, of traditional classic and re-imagined tale. I absolutely loved this author’s take on a story I’ve heard a million times plus one. I’m always impressed when an author can take something old and make it new again.

I’ll admit I was a tad bit intimidated by the size of Waking Beauty. It’s definitely an epic novel–all 480 pages of it. But if that minute detail is
Grace Mullins
Feb 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
So this book had been on my TBR list since before I saw its cover. And what a lovely cover, and so nice to see when I finally got it in the mail and saw it in person. But that was last summer, and it's just been sitting on my shelf, in as sad a state as a sleeping princess waiting in her tower to be woken by love's kiss... Anyways, I've now read it and can say that it is an awesome "Sleeping Beauty" retelling! Allow me to share the first line from it:

"His princess was dusty."

I seriously loved t
R. G. Nairam
When I finished this book, I sat up, hugged it, and got a little teary-eyed.

This rarely happens.

The only books I've ever really sobbed over were Narnia and Lord of the Rings, and I can't remember the last time I felt even a tad overthrown emotionally by a book. Books I love often sink deep into my heart without giving me outward reactions, and I'm okay with that.

But to almost want to cry--

I'm still not entirely sure what it was about this book that got to me. I loved Arpien, I was fascinated by
I fell in love with Waking Beauty by ​Sarah E. Morin immediately. From the first page it was clear I was in for a treat.

That opening line sets the tone for the book – often humorous, always adventurous, and sometimes profound in its simple truths. Arpien is such a sincere, earnest prince – the hero anyone would root for – heroic because he acts, even while he feels inadequate in doing so. Brierly is the princess you can’t help but sympathize with – abundantly fairy-gifted but wounded from a cent
Lauricia Matuska
Excellent retelling of Sleeping Beauty, so I won't rehash the plot. However, this version examines it from a unique angle, asking:

What happens if, every time Beauty thought she woke up, she found out she was truly still asleep? Once Prince Charming rescued her, how could he convince her she was truly awake?

I don't read many fairy tale retellings, but I absolutely loved this one. It is a cleverly thought out variation on the original, with slightly allegoric overtones. The author cleverly challen
Mar 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
This debut novel takes a unique angle at the Sleepy Beauty fairy tale. Sarah Morin's novel Waking Beauty begins with the kiss that breaks the 100 year rest.

There is a lot to enjoy about this novel. There was humor sprinkled throughout beginning with the first page and the prince dusting off sleeping beauty's face before giving her a kiss. The story line was incredibly creative and had a strong Christian message.

The main downside was the length of the novel and the areas that were covered in too
Apr 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was so beautiful!!!
It was a little long and kind of dragged at times, but I liked it too much overall to really complain! ;-)
It was humorous, clean, interesting, and it had a really great allegorical thread.
Plus, just look at the cover!
Lucy Buller
Apr 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. Could have been shorter.
J.M. Hackman
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Although I thought it had a slow start, after a few chapters, I was hooked. I loved the characters --Prince Arpien was my favorite. By the end, I was praying for an HEA for these two, although it seemed unlikely. Waking Beauty is a great read, especially for those who love fairy tale retellings.
Katie Clark
Apr 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Wow! Sarah E. Morin's Waking Beauty was fantastic! The voice was masterful, and I laughed and cried throughout. If you like fantasy, or fairy tales, or allegories, or humor, or love stories...well, you get the point...this is a story for you! My only hangups were two things: first, it started a bit slow for me; however, it was well worth pushing through! Second, it took me a bit longer still to even like Brierly. I understood her dilemma, but at times early on I just couldn't connect with her. A ...more
Laurie Lucking
Jan 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
The concept behind this book was fantastic, and Morin makes stunning use of the English language. Brierly and Arpien were memorable characters, and I really enjoyed seeing their growth both individually and as a couple. This book did take me a while to finish, though, as the plot got a little too convoluted for me at times with so many countries' governments at odds and so many characters to keep track of. But by the end I was drawn back in and couldn't wait to see how everything would be resolv ...more
Kate Finney
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful story. If you like fantasy or fairy tales, you will love this book. The story is not just about sleeping beauty; it is about the dreamer in all of us. The author brings you into the tale and makes you want to know her characters like friends. As they grow and develop, you feel like you are on a journey with them. And the ending is a most happy one. It is marketed to teens and young adults, but the layers of meaning in the story speak to those of us who are all grown up, too. I r ...more
Cheryl Cutlip
Apr 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like nothing I have ever read before

Fantastic, witty writing that had me chuckling through the whole book. What a clever use of words. That was the most fun I had reading. It is a different take on the old fairy tale Sleeping Beauty. But don't be fooled, this fast-paced adventure is certainly not for the faint of heart.
Linda Yezak
What an incredible allegory of the Christian life and God's guidance! A superficial read is enchanting enough, but this novel has an amazing depth and complexity that will delight even the most discriminating reader. This one is my favorite read of 2016. ...more
Leia Rose
An enthralling story that was easy to sink into and lose yourself in. What if Sleeping Beauty had unending dreams/nightmares for the 100 years she was asleep? Dreams so realistic in the sense that she could see/feel/smell the things that were happening. Would she really believe she was awake when she finally woke up?

Arpien is surprised when the princess he's dreamed of is not what he expected when he reaches her and wakes her up. She seems to have no emotions and cares not a whit for her life o
Jill Williamson
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This book was delightful. I was instantly surprised by the fun method of stoytelling. It's a Sleeping Beauty retelling. Prince Arpien is a rescuing prince. And he shows up to rescue Princess Brierly. The problem is, the princess has been asleep for 100 years, and she simply will not believe she's awake. She is convinced Arpien is only another figment of her sleep-induced dreaming self. He tries desperately hard to convince her, but that's just not something he can do. I loved these characters so ...more
Matthew Sampson
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Waking Beauty was thoroughly enjoyable. The seamless interdependence between fairy tales and the story of Christianity reminds me strongly of Anne Elisabeth Stengl's Goldstone Wood series (which remain some of my favourite stories), though this book certainly has its own individuality. I deeply appreciate the way the author tied together the various symbols in the original fairy tale and gave them consistent meaning. The climax was excellent. Few books have excellent climaxes. I did guess a fair ...more
Bruce D
Dec 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book at the request of my 22 year old daughter. After reading it i will be passing on the request to my 5 other daughters (at an appropriate age). I found this to be a clever "christianizing" of an time-honored tale. I most enjoyed Ms. Morin's commentary on the relationship between reality and the "dream-world" (or perhaps C.s. Lewis' "shadowlands"). I struggled at times with the adolescent level of language but i understand the target audience. Overall i commend the author for a tru ...more
Not a bad book, but it was really difficult to get into it at first. Briarly is a difficult character for me. She's too aloof for my liking in the beginning, but she got better the more I read on. I like the Arepin, I was as frustrated as he was at times, and the Thorn King the best. Over all it got better with time and I'm glad I went past my three to five chapter rule, usually I don't. ...more
Chele Dove
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book...I am not a person who tends to read the same book twice. That is limited to the Bible and about 10 other books. I remember them so well, it is usually boring to reread. But this book I have read twice, and each time it gets better. The parts that seemed slow the first time are treasure troves the second. I love it! Honestly, I hope I get to read it a third time very soon.
Apr 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Oooh I loved it! It is a pretty thick book, but I think that just makes it better! The depth of them and the spin on a classic fairy tale makes this book a definite win!
Jun 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, 2015, 2015-5-stars
Blown Away! That's how I felt about this book when I finally finished the last page. I've never read a book like this before and dreaded to see the story come to an end. This first time author knocked it out of the park and I can't wait to read many, many more books from her. I not only had tears from laughter, but also tears of pain and gratitude from the spiritual love story portrayed. My vocabulary (unlike Prince Arpien's) is much too limited to truly relay how much I relished this book. ...more
Oct 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What's not to love about this story. Brierly and Arpien make a fantastic if not unique heroine and hero. Brierly's journey of truly awakening was an interesting take on Sleeping Beauty and had fantastic spiritual parallels. Arpien is a great hero. A third son who's known for his clumsiness made for a refreshing hero. He wasn't all swagger and bravery. He brought determination with an endearing touch of insecurity. The supporting characters were interesting and the spiritual elements both engagin ...more
Aug 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: good-books
Waking Beauty was an astoundingly well written and beautiful piece. I would easily rank it among some of the best books I’ve ever read. It was complicated and thoughtful, and beautifully written. I enjoyed the cleverness of each character as well as the uniqueness of the world and its objects and magic.

I knew instantly it would be a great read when the first chapter starts out with the rescuing prince having to brush off all the dust that had accumulated after a 100 year slumber from sleeping be
Sep 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An Unpredictable Twist on a Familiar Tale

Arpien! I loved his character. Instead of a noble and brave prince, we have an unlikely hero in the form of a bumbling third son. Arpien reads like a real person rather than a Disney prince, although he'd make a fun one. I could see Brierly as a great substitute for the traditional Aurora. Nissa adds to the story. I really enjoyed her character.

Cryndien and Voracity are strong villains, the treacherous and power-hungry older brother under the power of an
Tricia Mingerink
This book was not what I expected. At all. When it arrived, I opened the box to find a tome rather than a slim novel as I'd been expecting (if I'd checked the page count before hand, I would've realized it is 480 pages long).

This is an epic, not a quick, easy-read fairy tale.

The beginning was a little slow for me. The writing style reminded me a lot of Lewis Carroll (think Alice in Wonderland or the poem The Jabberwocky). There are a lot of made-up words and things that the reader has to figur
Jessica Dowell
Jul 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is the story of what happens AFTER Sleeping Beauty wakes up. The only problem is, she's been dreaming for a hundred years and doesn't believe she is actually awake. Prince Arpien has his work cut out for him trying to convince her that she is in the waking world. Throw in tension between their two kingdoms, a dangerous fairy, hilarious dialogue, and you have an epic fantasy that will leave you with a major book hangover when you're done.

I read the five chapter preview on Amazon and knew I h
Kori Hartman
Jan 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved, loved, loved this book. I heard about it on the Very Serious Writing Show podcast (thanks Daniel!) and happened to be in a fairytale mood so I made a deal with my mom and she bought it for me. She probably ended up regretting that a tiny bit because I had a hard time focusing on anything else when I got near the end of the book--it was just so good.

The beginning was a little slow, but it was funny enough that I kept reading. I'm glad I did. It was really just a wonderful book. The chara
May 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Starts out almost farcical, with odd characters in strange situations, based on the Sleeping Beauty fairytale. Adeptly developed into an allegory of the Christian struggle with faith in a non-believing world. Along the lines of Narnia in some more grown-up ways. Nissa is my favorite character, although every character involves some aspect of the Christian walk. I will definitely be reading this one again!
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Sarah E. Morin has three great passions in life: God, books, and working with young people. She has written articles and poetry for local publications and international periodicals in the museum field. Her dramatic works range from a musical about Susan B. Anthony to fairy tale poetry. She enjoys performing her work, especially pieces that allow her to dress up in her queen costume.

Sarah E. serves

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“His princess was dusty.” 5 likes
“Did you want to save me now or does later fit better into your schedule?” 4 likes
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