Author: Rhiannon Thomas.
Published: February 24th 2015 by HarperTeen
Sort: A sneaky #1 of yet-to-announced-series.
Source: Edelweiss & Publisher.
One hundred years after falling asleep, Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince and a broken kingdom that has been dreaming of her return. All the books say that she should be living happily ever after. But as Aurora understands all too well, the truth is nothing like the fairy tale. Her family is long dead. Her "true love" is a kind stranger. And her whole life has been planned out by political foes while she slept. As Aurora struggles to make sense of her new world, she begins to fear that the curse has left its mark on her, a fiery and dangerous thing that might be as wicked as the witch who once ensnared her. With her wedding day drawing near, Aurora must make the ultimate decision on how to save her kingdom: marry the prince or run.
When Aurora awakes she is immediately thrown into a new life she’s not ready for. While she is trying to deal with the fact that the world lived on, Aurora is used as pawn in a political plan. I could feel her confusion and unsettling feeling, which shows that Rhiannon has a great writing-style. I flew through the pages, but I never found myself completely hooked to the story. The plot was a bit slow every now and then and I missed something, but I can't point out what.
I like that this book was character-driven, because Aurora was a good character to be around. With the blink of an eye Aurora’s whole life is turned upside down and her reactions felt very real to me. I loved how she tried to fight against her marriage with a complete stranger. Just because he woke her up and is supposed to be her ‘true love’ because a story says so, doesn’t mean Aurora feels the same way. It was a great change in storyline and better than the sappy love-at-first-kiss like the original tale. Aurora stands up for herself and tries to get a grip on her life, but it’s hard to change decisions made outside your power.
The other characters are less fleshed out. I disliked her ‘true love’ without a real reason. He is not a bad guy, but he has no spine and he knows he is being used by his parents, but he let it happen. I don’t care for those type of characters, but at the same time it was a nice contrast with Aurora. It’s good that the damsel-in-distress part was changed by making the prince weak.
The background story of Sleeping beauty was nicely done. It’s great how Rhiannon combined original aspects with her own twists. Let me just say that the Witch is going to play a big role in Aurora’s life. I also liked how we get the information about what happened while Aurora was asleep. There were no information dumps and we still get the whole picture.
The thing that annoyed me was the ending. I was expecting a stand-alone, but the ending is so unresolved and now it's clear this is the first book in a series. I would like to read more about Aurora – it’s just disappointing that I wasn’t aware of that fact. It made the ending feel abrupt and it came out of nowhere. Nevertheless, I look forward to it.