Friday, May 4, 2012

The Wide-Awake Princess

The Wide-Awake Princess
E.D. Baker
$7.99, Paperback
Bloomsbury, 2012
January 25th, 2012

Genre: Fantasy, Fairytale Spoof
Age: 8+
Description: Princess Gwen has been cursed to touch a spinning wheel and fall into a 100-year sleep since her birth. Now that her 16th birthday is fast approaching, everyone in her kingdom is nervous. Her younger sister, Annie, was also cursed the day she was born—no magic could ever touch her. So, while all the other royalty around her receives extra social graces and beauty from enchanted fairies with magic at birth, Annie is stuck being the plain girl who actually zaps magic from those around her. When the unthinkable happens and Gwen does fall asleep an unexpected side effect also occurs when everyone else in the castle at the time also falls asleep! It’s up to Annie to set off on a journey to find a prince who, as Gwen’s true love, will awaken her with a kiss.
Opinion: Tween girls and fans of Baker’s Tales of a Frog Princess series will like this title as well (which does have a sequel coming out this summer). The manner in which the spinning wheel enters the kingdom is imaginative and the idea of everyone in the castle also falling under the spell is ingenious. Other fairy tales make small appearances throughout the novel also in new, fun takes which was one of my favorite parts of the book. Making appearances are Hansel and Gretel (with an evil witch suffering from Alzheimer’s so she keeps forgetting why the children are in her house), Rapunzel (who comes off as a female escort as she “entertains” men who come visit her tower, including married ones), and the Princess and the Pea. In her journey, Annie is accompanied by Liam, a guard who has a dark secret which proves to be very useful to helping save Annie’s family. What starts out as a quest for a few good princes ends up getting them all entangled in a major political coup. Fans of fractured fairy tales with love it. 

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