The Sleeping Beauty by Mercedes Lackey (Kindle edition, too) is hitting bookstores this week and next--Publisher Luna doesn't appear to have enforced a hard release date for it. This is the latest entry in one of two fairy tale related series by Lackey, The Five Hundred Kingdoms. (Doesn't that leave a lot of possibilities for an endless series?!) This series is published by Luna, a fantasy romance imprint of Harlequin.
I usually prefer her other fairy tale related series, The Elemental Masters, since I am more of a sucker for elemental magic plot devices, but there hasn't been a new book in that series in a few years now from the very prolific Lackey.
But back to this book with a product description from the publisher:
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….
Here's a rather positive review--for a Lackey novel--from Publishers Weekly:
Welcome to Eltaria, the land where fairy tales come true. A magical force known as the Tradition focuses on the beautiful Princess Rosamund shortly after her mother's death. After fleeing the Royal Huntsman, Rosamund meets the seven dwarfs, drinks a potion, and falls asleep. When Viking hero Siegfried finds her, he tries to kiss her awake--but Lily, Rosamund's fairy godmother, has other ideas and manipulates events to satisfy the Tradition while giving Rosamund a chance at a loving prince and happy ending. Lackey's fifth fairy tale retelling (after 2008's The Snow Queen) also includes passing nods to "Hansel and Gretel," "The Frog Prince," and "Puss-in-Boots," along with cameo appearances by Brunnhilde and Wotan. Despite plenty of twists and laughs, the plot is surprisingly forgettable, and most of the fun comes from finding all the fairy tale in-jokes peppering the pages.And in case you are curious about Lackey's other fairy tale related novels, I have a list on SurLaLune at Mercedes Lackey, but here are images and links for the previous Five Hundred Kingdoms titles: