Sunday, May 1, 2016

Review: The Sleeping Beauty

The Sleeping Beauty

by Mercedes Lackey
Book 5 of Five Hundred Kingdoms

~ Goodreads ~

Rating:  4.5 Stars

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....

Yea, I really, really enjoyed this one. This is probably one of the better of the Five Hundred Kingdoms, though I've noticed that we get a lot of hit-or-miss with this particular series. I'm glad I love the world enough to continue following it even with a book here and there that tank pretty badly.

I DO appreciate the humor and found myself laughing out loud on various occasions throughout the book. I also appreciate the fast-paced-ness of the story progression, although there was a point where it felt like the story went from Plot A to Plot B and became a totally different story with the same players. Nonetheless, it wasn't aggravating enough to turn me off. I loved the characters created, though with so many of them running around, I found that it was hard to relate to one or another without feeling detached. If not for their personalities, the story line, and the humor, I'm not sure how well the characters would have stayed with me.

I so, SO, want to just go through and highlight every line in the book that I found hilarious. I know that some people might not find certain things funny, but I get amused really easily by simple things. For instance, the idea of seeing Siegfried running from his Shieldmaiden of Doom (even if the event is only narrated as an occurrence in the past) and mentioning that the Gods were probably just moving the same girl in a ring of fire around the lands... I found that ticklishly giggle-worthy. And the Wise Beast Bird -- Oh, I LOVED her!

There has never been one Godmother in this series so far I didn't like, and so I really, really loved that Godmother Lily had such an explosive personality. She was awesome and funny and resourceful all in one package. And Rosamund was a fairly competent heroine I enjoyed following through the book.

The only qualms that I do have about this book were the romances, which seemed a bit flat. Then again, in the end, they didn't really bother me all too much anyway. Aside from that there were moments of corny dialogue that even I had to wince at, and there was a slight detour in my attention somewhere (even if I don't really remember at what point), and like the rest of the series, we do suffer from some "conveniently placed resolutions" scattered among the story line, though in this case, I didn't mind them as much since they were plot points that showed up in the later stages of the story rather than being used to force the story progression.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book a lot. I'm a sucker for laugh-out-loud, and coupled with great prose, concepts, and decent plot progression and well created characters, I'm sold up and down.

This review was originally posted at Goodreads in May 2013.

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