BEAUTY SLEEP by Cameron Dokey


Age Range: 12 & up
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In this variation on the Sleeping Beauty story, the characters prove sympathetic and the setting romantic, but the lack of tension makes for a slow read. As in the well-known tale, Aurore’s christening results in a curse that she will die at 17, mitigated by another gift that says she will instead sleep for one hundred years. The plodding first half concerns how Aurore breaks away from her mother’s protectiveness and ventures out into the kingdom. Although her father had named his nephew Oswald as his heir before Aurore was born, the king changes his mind once he sees his daughter’s love for her people. Hints abound that Oswald might seek revenge but, in fact, he and 16-year-old Aurore fall for each other. Before the romance can develop, she must leave the castle, lest the curse on her harm the kingdom. The pace picks up a bit as she enters a magical, forbidden forest and meets Ironheart, a young prince on a quest—to kiss a princess who has been sleeping for a hundred years. More hints suggest Aurore and Ironheart will fall in love, but a plot twist supplies a different ending. Told in a first-person voice, the narrative struggles between a chatty, modern tone far too full of parenthetical phrases, and a stronger, more traditional voice that emerges in the second half. Readers will find more satisfaction in Gail Carson Levine’s light-hearted Princess Tales series or the more complex fairy tale retellings by Donna Napoli. (Fiction 12+)

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-7434-2221-X
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2002


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