The Sleeping Prince

Melinda Salisbury
Sleeping PrinceReturn to the darkly beautiful world of The Sin Eater’s Daughter with a sequel that will leave you awed, terrified . . . and desperate for more.
Ever since her brother Lief disappeared, Errin’s life has gone from bad to worse. Not only must she care for her sick mother, she has to scrape together rent money by selling illegal herbal cures. But none of that compares to the threat of the vengeful Sleeping Prince whom the Queen just awoke from his enchanted sleep.
When her village is evacuated as part of the war against the Sleeping Prince, Errin is left desperate and homeless. The only person she can turn to is the mysterious Silas, a young man who buys deadly poisons from Errin, but won’t reveal why he needs them. Silas promises to help her, but when he vanishes, Errin must journey across a kingdom on the brink of war to seek another way to save her mother and herself. But what she finds shatters everything she believed about her world, and with the Sleeping Prince drawing nearer, Errin must make a heartbreaking choice that could affect the whole kingdom.

Having read The Sin Eater’s Daughter I was quite eager to get my hands on Melinda Sailsbury’s sequel. What I did not expect was for it to match if not almost rival its predecessor. A rare occurrence in the world of sequels, where although good, a sequel does not usually quite compare to the initiating chapter of the story.

The world I’d previously encountered was already perilously fragile and hanging on by a diplomatic thread, surrounded by mystery and alive with the promise of rebellion and so much more. I didn’t think much else could be added to make it more enticing but naturally I was wrong.

Errin’s tale added alchemy, magic, and more impossible love. The stuff of fairy tales, if you will. But not the nice ones. The dark ones. Where the prince does not bring salvation but damnation, where courage springs from the most unlikely of sources, love grows even though it is forbidden, sacred vows are broken and we are once again reminded that history is written by the victorious and therefore not always a true recollection of that which has actually happened.

I devoured this book in less than 24hrs and am now wishing I hadn’t. Needless to say it all ended far too soon and am now left wanting more dark magic, more alchemy, and well just generally more!

Melinda’s narrative technique made me feel as though I’d been plunged into a world falling apart in every aspect, where kindness has long been forgotten and considered weakness but magic still happens and the power of plants and alchemists has not completely vanished. Although for all intents and purposes this YA has everything a fairytale requires, each member and each scene is overcast by shadows, darkness and the threat of impossible obstacles. And I loved it!

The unfurling darkness that surrounded the ever so feeble light at the end of the tunnel tantalised me all the way through this story, and now that I’ve finished it remains there taunting me to find out what happens next, and whether despite its distance will the light come back to this world and good overcome evil.

Each character had light and dark in him/her, and the returning characters were further enriched and had new depths added to them. Everything felt like a new story even though technically I was coming back to somewhere I had kind of already partially visited. The seamlessness with which one character’s tale finished, whilst a new one started, whilst equally carrying through an overall story, pulling on several threads and important chess pieces was wonderfully done, and I take my hat off to the author for it.

Melinda has undoubtedly done a fantastic job at creating something new whilst continuing this saga. I’m only sorry that I’ve turned the last of its dark pages. But the chance of a “happy ending” remains, and although I’m fairly certain it won’t be pink and fluffy I remain hopeful that a perhaps darkened pink but not quite shadowed final page awaits us all in the next book. And I cannot wait for it to come!

Reviewed by Pruedence

Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: February 2016
Format: Paperback
Pages: 336
Genre: Fantasy
Age: YA
Reviewer: Pruedence
Source: Provided by publisher
Challenge: British book

The Sleeping Prince and it’s predecessor, The Sin Eaters Daughter, are available to buy now. Click here for a short cut to Amazon. Alternatively , learn more about The Sin Eaters Daughter series and its author by visiting Goodreads here

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