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Waking Beauty

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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?

480 pages, Paperback

First published April 21, 2015

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About the author

Sarah E. Morin

6 books70 followers
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 as Youth Experience Manager (kid wrangler) at an interactive history park. Her 100 youth volunteers are her best consultants in the fields of humor, teenage angst, and spinning wheels (which, they assure her, are not hazardous to anyone but Sleeping Beauty).

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 36 reviews
Profile Image for Shantelle.
Author 2 books352 followers
October 4, 2016
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 narrative way the story went about, it got a little long at times for me; but Sarah E. Morin wove so many amazing thoughts and lessons in here ... challenges and encouragement. And some sweetness. ^_^ When I finished reading, I wanted to hug the book (and characters).

Oh, and Arpien was fabulous. All his labeled bows were quite entertaining. And his heart is truly loyal and heroic.

There were a couple, fairly brief, moments that it got violent/gruesome. That would be my one caution. Otherwise, Waking Beauty is great fairy tale with some powerful Truth woven in the core of it.
Profile Image for Sara Ella.
Author 6 books948 followers
July 17, 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 what’s keeping you from picking this one up, I say “Fear not!” For once you pick up Waking Beauty it will be near impossible to put down.

I truly enjoyed the characters in Waking Beauty. Sarah E. Morin has a way of making classical language and speech not boring. I was cracking up at Arpien’s dilemma that his princess refuses to wake, and I was equally amused by Brierly’s insistence that her prince isn’t real. But my favorite character by far is Nissa. She has this way about her–this honesty. Everyone needs a Nissa in their life.

Aside from the rich storytelling, unique world building, and captivating descriptions, the ending is what most stole my breath and brought tears to my eyes. It was so clever, and the message left me thinking long after I put this book down. I won’t say more and spoil it for you. Just know Waking Beauty is a tome you won’t regret adding to your at-home library. Oh, and the cover is gorgeous–the perfect representation of the beauty that is this book.

Disclosure: I received Waking Beauty for review from the author. I was not asked to write a positive review. All views and opinions are solely and completely my own. I received no compensation other than a copy of Waking Beauty, which is mine to keep or gift as I so choose.
Profile Image for Grace Mullins.
Author 1 book79 followers
February 20, 2016
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 that line from the moment I read it, and it was just the first to amuse me. This book looks like a daunting read- it's big, probably the largest retelling of this story I've ever read- but all 400+ pages were well-worth the story inside. It's a funny tale in places, yes, so it gets big points from me for that. But it also has a good allegorical parts as well. This was such a beautiful part of the story, and one I think others who like this in their books will also appreciate.
I also really liked (most of) the characters, and was pleased that not only does this book have the point of views of the prince and sleeping beauty, but a new character who gives this story an edge of uniqueness. To be honest, she's probably my favorite of the three, probably because she's the most relate-able due to her familiarity with being practically invisible to others, and, of course, her love of fairy tales. Brierly (Sleeping Beauty), and Arpien (the prince) were also good, fairly well-developed characters. I liked how this story delved into the "other" gifts from the fairies that were bestowed on Brierly other than just her beauty. They made her quite the interesting princess. And Arpien... Such a charming prince, and one whose past makes feel sorry for. Neither of them were perfect, but overall they were pretty cool characters to spend time with, and whose interactions with each other were sometimes quite delightful. This helped make them a memorable couple that are superior to the original Disney film.
And I know I've mentioned this book is funny, but I'm going to praise the amusing-ness of this tale a bit more. While this tale is by far not exactly what I would call a comedy, it had just the right amount of humor to make it not too droll, and absolutely lovable.
As for any problems with the book, I think the one major issue I had was how Brierly was so insistent that she was not awake. I just did not understand her. Of course, I don't think some of the other characters did either... This wasn't a huge problem for me, though, so I'm not going to go on and on about it.
In the end, I have decided to give "Waking Beauty" a rating of five, because when I was done and it was put all together, I found it a pretty great read. What makes me sad is that I don't seem to seem to see many others going for this book, and I wish they- and you- would try it because it really is a wonderful fairy tale retelling. "Sleeping Beauty" has never really been one of my favorite fairy tales, but this story gave it a whole new outlook for me and made me like the story even more. So go and get yourself a copy of this book and read it now. Right now. Now...

You may want to know- There is kissing and violence.
Profile Image for R. G. Nairam.
696 reviews38 followers
December 20, 2015
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 a Sleeping Beauty who couldn't and wouldn't wake up, I enjoyed the serious but often also tongue-in-cheek voice, I was comforted by the acceptance of faith even with doubts, I appreciated the demonstrations of real, solid, strong, and uncomfortable love, I empathized with Brierly's fear and guilt, and I felt hugged by the appearance of the Real Story into this fantasy world. But does that explain tears at midnight?

The story sagged a bit in the middle, I wondered if Arpien was a tad too nice to be real, and maybe things ended a bit happier than they "ought to".

But I think, besides being a fairytale, it's a book about hope.

The greatest hope there is.

And I'm okay with that.


"She was struck again by the unlikely vibrancy of the color brown."
Profile Image for SparksofEmber.
202 reviews19 followers
November 1, 2017
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 century of dreaming failed rescues. Nissa – the endearing distant cousin of Brierly’s, with a good head on her shoulders and a love of books and the old tales – whom you look forward to finding her strength.

I love the world-building, the character development, the different cultures in each kingdom, and the overall whimsicalness of the writing. Metallic trees, electric tree eels, giant mantises, creepy magic boars, goateed Strandish, dramaticly verbose Conquisani. Invisibilifiers, ill-intention-ometers, tornado seeds and swords with minds of their own. How, anytime Aprien isn’t sure what to do, he turns to memorized protocols…

“He whipped off his cap in the Half Bow of the Potential Wooer Upon First Stage Introductions and began again.”

“Arpien cleared his throat, removed his cap, and pressed his palms together in the Fifth Stance of Bereavement for Distant Relatives and Especially Good Cooks.”

“Arpien didn’t like tears. On the few occasions he’d tried to ease a maiden’s tears, she inexplicably started producing more. How to fix this? He assumed the Sixth Stance of Deep Mourning and flourished the Bow of Esteemed Members of Foreign Nation States. “My condolences on the loss of your-”
“Pickle?” She offered him one from the clay crock.”

It’s a long book but one of those where you don’t notice other than being glad the story isn’t over because you never want it to end. I did think there was a slight lag at the beginning of the middle but it lasted all of a single chapter. The action and narrative are nicely balanced. Oh, and you know how dream sequences in books rarely work well? Well, in a unique story like this where dreams and waking overlap and dreams have just as real an effect as real-life, those scenes work. The depth and themes unfold slowly while not getting preachy, though I can see any reader who’s got a complex about such thing getting annoyed.

I may have gotten a little carried away with the quotes…

A small word of caution:
90% of the book is PG but there are hints and bits of darker material that might be a bit much for younger readers. Things that happen, in the dream world especially, can be violent. Brierly may not have died when she pricked her finger on that spindle but she was imprisoned for a century of torture, both physical and psychological, instead. It’s not a YA/MG book, though many of that age may be fine reading it. But protective/selective parents may want to read it first just in case.
Profile Image for Lauricia Matuska.
Author 4 books102 followers
October 14, 2016
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 challenges the assumptions we naturally make when we think of the story, and does so with developed wit and poignancy.

For the first time in a while I dove into the story world fully and sighed with regret when I emerged.

Profile Image for Staci.
1,622 reviews501 followers
March 13, 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 much detail. This was a 468 page novel that could have been narrowed down to around 300 pages and been a more enjoyable read.

Overall, it was a meaningful and humor tinted read.
Profile Image for Gracie.
125 reviews31 followers
April 24, 2017
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!
Author 10 books62 followers
July 12, 2017
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.
Profile Image for Katie Clark.
Author 20 books119 followers
May 3, 2015
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. As the story progressed, though, that changed. And the story ends brilliantly. I loved it!
Profile Image for Laurie Lucking.
Author 7 books50 followers
March 7, 2017
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 resolved. Fans of allegory and fairy tale retellings will love Waking Beauty!
Profile Image for Kate Finney.
5 reviews19 followers
October 26, 2017
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 recommend it!
Profile Image for Cheryl Cutlip.
1 review1 follower
April 30, 2015
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.
Profile Image for Linda Yezak.
Author 17 books96 followers
December 27, 2016
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.
Profile Image for Xena Elektra.
321 reviews
February 27, 2020
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 or his. She really doesn't care about anything. It hits him at some point that Brierly doesn't think she's awake. She thinks this is one more dream and since she doesn't have control of the dream at all(she's learned to lucid dream over the years) she assumes this is one that the evil fairy controls and not only is nothing real, but eventually it'll all end and probably poorly.

There's some real danger and frustration for Arpien as Brierly trots along thinking, "I can just imagine up whatever we need" at first as she tries to gain control like a dream. Then there's the same struggles as even after Brierly accepts she can't control what's happening she just doesn't care about figments of her imagination.

I think it took a little TOO long for Brierly to accept the realness of what was happening. At the same time I do see how it took that long. One dream remembered at night can feel like it went all night long but who knows, maybe it only took up 10 mins of actual time. What the heck would 100 years of nonstop dreaming 24/7 mean in sheer content of dreams? I can't even imagine. Not to mention that whenever she falls asleep in the real world she dreams just like she used to which could tell her the real world is a dream too since she could still be dream hopping.

So while I wanted her to realize the truth sooner, I don't find it unrealistic that it took her most of the book to put it all together. I also think once she accepted the truth that she'd have to accept that her family, friends, and everyone she's ever known is dead and that the people in her dream ARE real and therefore can be killed or hurt and they won't just come back in the next dream.

The book was longer than I think it needed to be. By the end I was ready for things to wrap up and a bit burnt out over the story. I'm sure stuff could've been cut but it wasn't necessarily events but rather just what was happening didn't need so many pages to describe them.

Overall a brilliant story with strong characters, great dialogue, and rich descriptions. A new twist on SB that I've never seen and a fun read.
Profile Image for Jill Williamson.
Author 49 books1,414 followers
October 5, 2018
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 much! I loved to writing. It was laugh-out-loud funny at times, and then I'd find myself tearing up, it was so deep. If you love fairytale retellings, add this one to your list. Just don't wait as long to read it as I did!
Profile Image for Matthew Sampson.
125 reviews1 follower
May 19, 2019
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 few plot points, and Waking Beauty is perhaps a little too comfortable in its length and weight—I think I could have read the same story in fewer words—but this fairy tale is well worth the read.
11 reviews
December 10, 2019
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 truly fresh and insightful fictional challenge for her readers to evaluate their world in a quest to find that which is really real.
Profile Image for Lauren .
2,071 reviews
August 4, 2017
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.
1 review
September 19, 2019
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.
5 reviews
April 9, 2020
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!
Profile Image for Angela Smith.
75 reviews1 follower
June 22, 2021
I didn't want to put it down. I haven't read a book that had me so emotionally invested in decades.
212 reviews
July 8, 2020
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.
Profile Image for Gretchen.
Author 9 books24 followers
October 4, 2016
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 engaging and thought-provoking.
20 reviews
July 5, 2017
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 beauty’s lips, before he kissed her. Not only was the book funny, it was clever and beautiful. There were twists and turns that took me by surprise. It wasn’t simply a rewriting of Sleeping Beauty, it was an in depth reimagining that took the reader for a ride. The descriptions and world building were well down. Each character was developed greatly over the course of the story. For each person, I had an initial image of them in my mind, but the author had such a great understanding of human nature, and grew each character so that at the end, they were unrecognizable from the initial image I had of them. Even the villains of the story grew and changed, their motives and ideas further developed beyond wanting simple destruction or power. I loved seeing the hero and heroine grow and not only learn about each other, but themselves. It was fun too discovering each of Briar’s fairy gifts throughout the story. She had quite an array of talents.

The story line was fun and interesting, although admittedly it was a little slow. Not that the book wasn’t engaging or action filled, but there were times when to the plot was still moving along, but just slowly. It made it a longer read, one that I couldn’t simply breeze through like I normally do.
What took me by surprise most in the story was the symbolism throughout the book. It was so subtly done, that I didn’t realize there was deeper meaning until nearly the end of the book. It was like I opened up a gift from the author at the end I didn’t realize was coming. Some books I’ve read are heavy handed, but this book allowed its message to get across gently; it was like a breath of fresh air.
The romance was sweet and fun. The characters weren’t automatically falling for each other, they had to grow and learn how to love the other. Thank the Lord for no Love Triangle! Out of the many plot devices author’s use, that is one of my least favorite, and probably my pet peeve of writing. No, the two characters had and figured out their own issues without the introduction of a third romantic character. I think this was great in the fact it left room for other character development of leads who weren’t the romantic duo.

The adventure wasn’t bogged down by the romance either, it wasn’t driven entirely by the character’s love for each other. The characters visited exciting places and fought all manner of enemies from bandits to giant praying mantises who ate people to mermaids.

In the end the book was sweet, thoughtful, exciting, and funny. I would recommend it to both adults and young adults.
Profile Image for Gretchen.
Author 9 books24 followers
September 15, 2016
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 evil force with Bo, the sycophantic middle brother.

The Briar King is an enigmatic character. I like the way his role unfolds as well as the Prince of Here and There. The spiritual elements of the story were well done. Those knowing this is a Christian book will understand the themes and symbolism, and yet they're integrated as a contained belief system, so they're organic to the story.

The book is well-paced although at times it seemed a bit long, especially with some of the politics in the middle. I'd give it 4.5 stars (4 on Goodreads, 5 on Amazon).
Profile Image for Tricia Mingerink.
Author 10 books324 followers
July 31, 2015
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 figure out as they go along as well as a number of long strings of titles such as Peerless Prince, etc. It's a style that evokes an older, whimsical style of writing. It is fun writing, but a little difficult to get into until you get used to it.

Besides the writing, the story also unfolded slowly. Each piece of the puzzle was revealed after the characters do a lot of character-stuff and character reflection. Overall, I'd rate this as a very, very character-driven novel rather than plot-driven. As a plot-driven reader, I felt like it could've been trimmed a little bit, especially in the beginning when (to me) it felt like the characters weren't accomplishing anything for several chapters.

But once I reached the end? It was worth it. Totally. Once the action started happening, it drew all the pieces together. The three different POV characters all had their own role to play in the ending, and it had a few twists that I wasn't expected (and a few I was).

While I liked all three characters, Nessa was my favorite. Probably because she is the most straightforward of the three POV characters. While the POV switched between Arpien, Brierly, and Nessa, I was never confused by whose head I was in. They all have very distinct voices.

My favorite part of the book was the theme of dreams vs. reality. While Brierly is the one that refuses to believe she is actually awake and not still stuck in dreams, she isn't the only one who is stuck in delusions. In a way, all the characters have their own delusions, their own Dreams, that they need to wake from in order to find Reality. It made me think about what I might be deceiving myself with and what thorns I might be clinging to because I believe I'm strong enough to handle them on my own.
Profile Image for Jessica Dowell.
81 reviews5 followers
February 15, 2016
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 had to have this book because it was funny, original, and very different from other books I had read. Even so, I was not prepared for the roller coaster of a ride that ensued after I purchased this book. The story navigates the stormy waters of hilariously funny, deeply spiritual, and just plain weird, all while holding its readers captive and holding on for dear life. There is not much down time with this book. Though it starts off a tad bit slow, do not be deceived. Every time I thought I had figured out where the story was going, the author would completely throw me off guard.

The character development in this book is phenomenal! Brierly is totally convinced for the majority of the book that everyone and everything she sees are only figments of a dream. Arpien, though fully awake, continues to run into obstacles caused by his own delusions. I loved the fact that they were both very flawed and that the development of their individual characters took time. It made the ending all that more worth it.

I haven't even talked about the supporting characters, all of which were amazingly well-crafted. There was not a flat character in the bunch, no matter how minor their role. Nissa, though a supporting character, really deserves her own book someday. She provides a valuable outsider's perspective on Brierly's and Arpien's characters and their relationship.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves reimagined fairy tales, hilarious dialogue, quirky characters, and epic fantasy. You will not be disappointed!

Profile Image for Kori Hartman.
79 reviews17 followers
February 13, 2016
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 characters were easy to relate to and were very well written. I really, really liked Arpien. He was so sweet and so patient--but not unrealistically so, since he had his occasional outbursts. He was my favorite character. Brierly exhausted me. It was a good kind of exhaustion though--the kind of mental exhaustion that comes from thinking long and hard about serious/important questions. She struggled with a lot of things that I have a hard time with myself. And Nessa was a dear. As much as I related to Brierly, I felt closer to Nessa because she had that warm sort of personality that makes people all cozy inside--and Miss Morin did such a good job of portraying her that I really felt as if she WAS my friend in real life.

I can't wait until Miss Morin is done with the Princess and the Pea story she's working on. I'm sure it will be just as good as this one.
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