Magic doesn’t always improve things!
Fiction – Juvenile/YA – Medieval Fantasy
10 - 14 5 – 8
Wide-Awake Princess #1
When a curse is set in motion Annie, the younger sister of Sleeping Beauty, is the only one immune to the enchanted sleep placed on the castle. Annie, with a little help from her friends, has to find her sister’s one true love to save the kingdom.
I found this story idea so fascinating and to me my delight I found its execution nicely handled. The interweaving of fairy tales was well planned and the comfortable writing style a great asset to keeping it somewhat romantic, but not offputtingly so. Ms. Baker sets the stage perfectly for the body of the story with a great prologue, and allows this fun story to mature at a comfortable rate. I appreciated some Annie’s insights on how much magic messes up things and that it isn’t a crutch for her.
Ms. Baker does a great job both in world creation and character construction. Annie is a delightfully real girl, with no artifice added either through the use of magic like others of her noble class in the book or by the author trying to create a character full of perfection. The different places and kingdoms have enough of their own culture to contrast with what Annie is used to create the feeling that we are all experience new things together. My only real complaint is that the nobility titles were not used correctly, which is rather minor and probably would only bother me, but unlikely to cause the intended audience any problems.