Saturday, November 15, 2008

Beauty Sleep (Once Upon a Time Series)

by Cameron Dokey

Summary: "LITTLE PRINCESS, LOVELY AS THE DAWN, WELL-NAMED AURORE..." With these seemingly innocent words, the fate of a newborn princess is sealed. For years the king and queen despaired of ever having a child. When Aurore arrives, though the entire kingdom celebrates, not all are overjoyed. They use her christening as an occasion for revenge, and her young life is overshadowed by a curse of death almost as soon as it has begun. Those who can, intervene, but evil has a way of holding fast. A sleep of a hundred years following the pricking of a finger is the best that can be done.
And so Aurore grows up. Forbidden princesslike tasks of embroidery and sewing, she explores the great outdoors, reveling in the flora and fauna that surround her castle home. Then one day she meets a handsome stranger in an enchanted wood and begins an adventure the likes of which she never dreamed of.
This is the story of the Sleeping Beauty, here quite awake and given new voice. Taunted by fate, Aurore soon learns that although she cannot sidestep her own destiny, love itself is actually the most powerful magic of all.

My review: As with the last book of hers that I reviewed (The Story Teller's Daughter), Dokey begins with her preamble, or as she calls it "a fancy way of saying Introduction." Her preamble is a gateway to the story...a sort of preparation, if you will, that allows you to shake off your current setting and step over the threshold of Once Upon a Time. I both love and hate it for the anticipation that it builds. Before reading this book, I pretty much considered myself an expert on all things Sleeping Beauty...having watched it a kabillion times with my five-year old. "Beauty Sleep" turned the traditional story all on its head while still maintaining its basic integrity. Aurore is a loveable, curious tomboy being held within the confines of her father's castle in an effort to protect herself from harm--and from a curse given to her by an ordinary, if all to often over looked, young woman. Through the intervention of her cousin Oswald, she is able to venture further out of doors and into the kingdom she has come to love. As her sixteenth year comes to its close, the land is beset by a number of catastrophe's and soon all the signs point to Aurore as the cause. The young princess sets off on her own to find a way to save those she loves from further heartache and along her way she encounters a strange young man, magical moving cabins, stubborn trees, apple fields that last forever and a number of other obstacles. Through it all, Aurore comes to understand where her heart truly lies. "Beauty Sleep" is the exact opposite of what we have come to expect from the typical damsel-in-distress fairytale. Above all, I was enchanted with the heroine that Cameron Dokey created. Aurore is full of fire, determination, sarcasm and wit. She doesn't simper, wave, or swoon as we are so often taught to expect from your everyday Princess, but stands tall in the face of opposition. It is for that reason I think I find this story most appealing. I loved "Beauty Sleep" from Preamble to Epilogue and recommend it highly for an afternoon of light, whimsical reading.

My rating: 4 stars. (I'm calling my mom). Rated G

If I could sum this book up in one phrase it would be: A fabulous, magical read for girls young and old....or anyone who loves an old classic seen in a new light.

2 comments:

Heather said...

I just finished this book and loved it. I enjoyed that the theme was "follow you heart". What a great message for young and old alike.

CurtisandMindy said...

I'm so glad!

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