Tuesday, May 25, 2010

New Book: The Wide-Awake Princess by E. D. Baker

The Wide-Awake Princess

The Wide-Awake Princess by E. D. Baker was released earlier this month, which has actually been a relatively full month for fairy tale related releases. 

Book description from the publisher:

In this new stand-alone fairy tale, Princess Annie is the younger sister to Gwen, the princess destined to be Sleeping Beauty. When Gwennie pricks her finger and the whole castle falls asleep, only Annie is awake, and only Annie—blessed (or cursed?) with being impervious to magic—can venture out beyond the rose-covered hedge for help. She must find Gwen's true love to kiss her awake.

But who is her true love? The irritating Digby? The happy-go-lucky Prince Andreas, who is holding a contest to find his bride? The conniving Clarence, whose sinister motives couldn't possibly spell true love? Joined by one of her father's guards, Liam, who happened to be out of the castle when the sleeping spell struck, Annie travels through a fairy tale land populated with characters both familiar and new as she tries to fix her sister and her family . . . and perhaps even find a true love of her own.

E. D. Baker is the author of The Tales of the Frog Princess series, including The Frog Princess, which was in part the inspiration for the December 2009 Disney movie "The Princess and the Frog." Baker is also the author of Wings: A Fairy Tale. She lives with her family and many pets in Maryland.
I found one review from Kirkus Reviews:

A clever twist on a selection of fairy tales from "Sleeping Beauty" to "Rapunzel" shines a realistic light on these classics, questioning whether magic is always a good thing. Princess Annabelle's older sister, Gwendolyn, is given the magical gift of beauty while Annie has been made impervious to magic of all kinds, a gift that proves to be quite valuable in the end, though Annie can't help but feel like the plain little sister next to Gwennie's overwhelming beauty. When the classic "sleeping beauty" curse is cast on Gwennie, Annie, along with Liam, a footman and friend, sets out on a journey into the forest to find the prince that will save the day. Not only does the spirited Annie save her family, she winds up discovering herself along the way. Baker's characters are intriguing, easy to relate to and entirely three-dimensional. While the plot may seem hectic at times, in the end readers will find that each character and plot twist has a purpose. The author ably joins the practitioners of the contemporary fairy tale, suggesting that those fairy tales and their happily-ever-afters are not always better than reality.
You can read the prologue to the book on Baker's website, too.

I like the slightly different twist on Sleeping Beauty described here.  This one is a young adult book, too, so it should be safe for most readers.

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed it. It has some references to other fairy tales--like Hansel and Gretel, and Diamonds and Toads--which make the story that much more fun.