This sequel to A Wicked Thing (2015) continues the “Sleeping Beauty” theme but expands it by making the beauty a powerful witch with a connection to dragons.
Waking up from her 100-year sleep, Aurora flees the kingdom, as evil King John has put a reward on her head. When she inadvertently burns down a village during her escape, she discovers her fire magic. She arrives in the rival kingdom of Vanhelm and meets Prince Finnegan, who wants to use her magic to defeat the dragons that ravage his kingdom. Having learned to control her magic, she and Finnegan trek out to the region where the dragons fly, and during the trip she realizes she truly does have some kind of connection to the dangerous beasts. A fateful encounter with Celestine, the witch that put her to sleep in the first place, sends her back to her kingdom for a final confrontation with King John. Thomas keeps the focus on Aurora’s emotions and her efforts to learn not only what she should do, but on what she really wants. The inevitable romance with Finnegan never threatens to overtake the main narrative. A nicely suspenseful confrontation resolves the book, which, although a sequel, contains enough back story to orient readers unfamiliar with the first.
Undemanding medieval-style fantasy entertainment. (Fantasy. 12-18)