The Sleeping Prince
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher, Scholastic!
Ever since her brother Lief disappeared, Errin's life has gone from bad to worse. Not only must she care for her sick mother, she has to scrape together rent money by selling illegal herbal cures. But none of that compares to the threat of the vengeful Sleeping Prince whom the Queen just awoke from his enchanted sleep.
When her village is evacuated as part of the war against the Sleeping Prince, Errin is left desperate and homeless. The only person she can turn to is the mysterious Silas, a young man who buys deadly poisons from Errin, but won't reveal why he needs them. Silas promises to help her, but when he vanishes, Errin must journey across a kingdom on the brink of war to seek another way to save her mother and herself. But what she finds shatters everything she believed about her world, and with the Sleeping Prince drawing nearer, Errin must make a heartbreaking choice that could affect the whole kingdom.
"Ask no questions and you'll be told no lies"
Okaaaayyy epic sequel alert you guys! I actually loved this book more than the first one, it was even better! This book gave me SO MANY FEELS! Like I had to GIF it out on Twitter. The beginning of the book was so badass then it ripped my heart out and I was just like so....that's how it's gonna be is it!? Then I was like terrified to keep reading and this book gave me SO MANY EMOTIONS. There was humour, heartbreak, anger, love and towards the end there was so much tension and suspense and I was sitting up frantically turning pages, and if I had been able to, I would have been gnawing on my nails as well! Then at the end I was like NOOO LIAR but then at the VERY END OH MY GOD THE PURE JOY! Then I was like wait...that's the end....bollocks. Now I have to wait for the next book!
So basically I felt a lot of feels okay. ANYWAY. Now the book is out there in the wild I feel I can say this and those who haven't connected it won't kill me.....Errin is Lief's sister, and she is our main character this book narrating us through what's going on. Her and her mother are dealing with some things, particularly creepy Unwin. *shudder* I loved Errin, I really really did. She's dealing with so much and I admired her for how she kept going and kept trying to protect her mother and didn't give up on her brother. I completely and fully understood her and her motivations, but much like Twylla in the first book, there where moments when I wanted to shake her! It's not a bad thing at all, it actually made Errin more realistic and believable as a character, I just completely loved Silas and at one point in the book I was like NOOO HOW COULD YOU. But then she made it right so I was like "it's all good, it's all good". But yeah. I completely had my suspicions about Silas and was completely wrong! I loved Silas, like I said, he was all mysterious, but he was a friend to Errin and helped her out a lot and was there for her, and I loved watching their relationship develop and I so ship them. Like I really ship them! They where just so cute you guys!
As you learn more about Errin, you learn more about Lief, and I loved Lief in the first book, and I was so disappointed with how things went down with him and I was interested to see what would happen next with him. The entire freaking book I was like "Where's Lief!?" then at the end I was just like...I had to ask, didn't I!? Turns out I really didn't want to know! It was a twist that completely blew me away and I was so heartbroken, but at the same time I'm convinced he has a reason that makes sense to him beyond the one that was implied. Because SERIOUSLY LIEF?!
Like I said Errin is our main character and therefore out narrator, but don't worry we do get to see some of the characters from the first book, not as much as perhaps we'd like but we do see them. I loved how it was done to be honest, I was a bit like "why are we changing characters?" and wasn't sure how I'd feel but I loved it and even though things where different in the beginning I rolled with it because I kinda liked seeing the world of the first book through the eyes of a new character and seeing this completely different side of the world of the book to the first book. Like, it seemed like a brand new story, but it was familiar at the same time, especially when things from the first book popped up or where mentioned. Salisbury has so perfectly merged both books together. When Sin Eater's Daughter ended I had my conclusions about the very end, but that is in THIS book. Like....I don't want to spoil things but when you get to the part you'll see what I mean, it's at this point that both books merge together and go forward. If that makes sense, I just loved it and was surprised by the twist!
So yes, we do see Merek, and Lief and Twylla and Amara and so on, and each one of them threw so many twists at me, I was completely blown away and I'm not gonna lie, I totally cheered whenever we saw or heard about one of them! I loved seeing the characters again and I loved seeing them through Errin's eyes and now I'm curious about the third book (THERE IS A THIRD BOOK RIGHT GUYS!? RIIIIIGHT!?) who will be our narrator? Will it be mixed? I could totally spring for some mixed POV's! I feel like both books are perfectly building up to some big stuff. Sin Eater's Daughter was setting the scene, setting some things up, in this book things start to happen, and then at the end things are about to be set in to motion and I love where this series is going!
The thing I love most about the book, or well, one of the things, is the world of the book. It's atmospheric, vivid and so immersive. As soon as I started reading I was immediately dropped back in to the world of the book and I'd really missed it. It's got so many original and unique quirks to it and you just want to see more of it and learn more about it. The world of the book has such a rich history and mythology to it as well, like the werewolf type creature that I won't say much about! Other than I got some serious Red Riding Hood vibes at one point! And the story of the Sleeping Prince itself. I LOVE learning about it all, and I love how it's all slotted in to the dialogue and narrative and it's just so damn fascinating! I'm kind of hoping the author will publish a book like the one Errin is reading because I would so read that!
I love Salisbury's writing style. She effortlessly switches between past and present, and when I say effortlessly I mean she does it without confusing you and getting things jumbled up, you reach a point in the story where it feels natural to travel back in time a bit and see what happened, and it's always so intriguing! Her writing is compelling and it sucks you in to the world of the book, springing the settings up around you and drawing the characters right in front of you. She throws you plot twists, she rips your heart out a time or two, and then she gives you all these amazing characters and scenes and you forgive her because she's creating such a fantastic story! Not to mention the fact that she effortlessly creates these settings with a few lines, rather than paragraphs of description! You get your imagination going from just a few sentences and it's amazing. I have a very strong aesthetic for this book and it's world. Like if I was technologically blessed I'd do one of those Tumblr aesthetic image sets! She also gives you some humour to balance the bad stuff happening, which pretty much had me cackling out loud..which was awkward when other people were around!
"Tell me, how does your neck support the weight of so much idiocy?"There's so much intrigue in this book, Errin's dreams for one. Even though it became obvious to me who it was she was talking to in the dream I was like...HOW?! WHY?! WHAT IS GOING!? Swiftly followed by "DON'T JUST CASUALLY TELL HIM THAT STUFF ERRIN YOU PLANK!" I let out a Luke Skywalker style no when I realised. I think people in China could hear me and where concerned for me. But yes, intrigue, what happened so this character, what happened with that, what's this and so on. There was so much and some of it you do work out. But then some things you think you work out but you're wrong and sometimes like horrifically wrong and you wish you'd been right because what really happens is so many levels of NOPE!
There is so much more to the plot than the synopsis lets you believe. I was expecting one thing and the plot gave me so many other things and I liked being surprised, never being sure what was going to happen. Like I said, each twist is usually what you least expect and it leaves you feeling all kinds of feels and just completely losing your mind, especially when things ramp up at the end. The pace is so good, I liked how in the beginning you start out with this strong pace, things are happening in her village but nothing to OMG yet. Then slowly as the book continues the pace ramps up. More stuff is happening and then right at the end as the tension and suspense are practically real living things in the room with you, the pace is thundering along with you as you're trying to turn pages as fast as possible. It was brilliant. I felt like I went on such a journey with Errin, like a journey bigger than the page count!
The character are all so complex, I loved them both new and old. I loved getting to know the new ones and seeing how the old ones where getting on. Sometimes I wanted to shake some of the characters, not just Errin! But at the same time you could always understand their emotions and motivations, you just didn't like what they where doing to another character you loved or to themselves. Each of them has so much going on with them, and there's still so much more to be known about them, they where all so believable and so real because of those moments when you wanted to shake them. Because of those layers left uncovered. Like Lief and definitely like Silas, he's still a bit mysterious to me.
I loved the alchemy in this book, it was a different take that I haven't seen before. When it was being explained to Errin and ya know...us, a little Rumplestiltskin popped up on my shoulder and was like "all magic comes with a price dearie!" and so it is with Alchemy. I actually really loved that about the Alchemy, that yeah they could do all this amazing stuff...but there was a consequence to it. It made the whole thing seem more realistic, more like real life than this completely out of the realm of possibility kind of magic type thing. If that makes sense.
So, like I said, as we near the ending things are kicking off all over the place, there's some huge plot twists, like so huge that I kind of sat there...staring at the book like....am I seeing things?! Is this real?! And then right at the end, I can't even with the ending! Like how am I supposed to wait for the next book after this?! HOW!? I loved how things are coming together from both books, I love the direction the story is going, and I'm so anxious to see what happens next and know more about Merek and Lief and Twylla and Errin and Silas and everyone. I'm actually looking forward to seeing more about The Sleeping Prince himself, I mean...I kind of feel for him you know? He's the villain yeah, but I actually felt for him because like....how would you feel if you where in his position? Yes I know he did some things he shouldn't have but he's so fascinatingly twisted. Learning about him and what happened to him made so much in Sin Eater's Daughter make sense, like you sit there connecting all the dots and then you kind of process it and then you're like OOOOHHHHH! OH MY GOD. That's SO NOT GOOD.
Sin Eater's Daughter was brilliant. Sleeping Prince...fantastic. The third book? I have a feeling it's going to blow all of us away and possibly kill us, but we'll see! On that bright note......Sleeping Prince is a bloody good sequel, like I said, it's what a sequel should be, it's as good as, if not better than the previous book! All the elements from the first book that I loved where there, the originality, the dark twists, the fantasy elements, the mystery and intrigue and so on. This book hooked me in, and takes everything from the first book and expands on it. It gives you a new angle on the world of the book, more information, more mythology, more knowledge and more characters that are essential to the plot. You can feel the book building up more and more and at the end...things are just beginning! I was blown away by this sequel, and I cannot wait for the next book because the ending of the book leaves you sad and like OMG but at the same time you're so excited for the next book because you know some big things are going to happen and it's going to be awesome!