The concept of this book really intrigued me. I admit, I’d never given much thought to what would happen after Sleeping Beauty woke up until I found out about this book. To her, it was like she was thrust a hundred years in the future to find out everyone she knew was dead, she has a stranger for a fiance, and she’s pretty much a celebrity.
I liked Aurora and I found myself empathizing with her. She wasn’t the strongest person, she was actually really meek and obedient even when she did speak her mind. She did manage to find small acts of rebelling against the queen and I liked the times we got to see her have a backbone. I loved that she felt for her kingdom, and that she still thought of it as her kingdom even though it was so changed. She was very kindhearted.
There were a lot of interesting characters in the book. I particularly ended up liking Rodric, the prince who woke up Aurora, and his little sister Isabelle. I loved the bond they shared. Isabelle was just adorable and Rodric was thoughtful and kind. I ended up feeling for Rodric as well as Aurora. He had a lot of pressure on him for being the prince who broke the spell. There were two other boys vying for Aurora’s attentions, Tristan and Finnegan. Of the two, I preferred the flirty Finnegan who could bring out a fire in Aurora to the charming Tristan who offered her an escape from castle life.
The author did a really good job in keeping everyone’s motives a bit of a mystery. Everyone had something to gain from earning Aurora’s favor or her obedience so when they were kind to her, was it sincere or was it an act? The writing was beautiful, it was really well-suited for a fairy tale.
The pacing, at first, was a little slow. At times it felt like it was going over the same thing, the same realization, so it felt like nothing was happening. Then so much started happening near the end, it was a little too fast. But it was exciting. The set-up was interesting, full of political manipulation, kingdoms at war, tensions between the royals and the civilians, magic outlawed. It showed just how cruel and desperate people can be to get a throne and keep it.
The book definitely can give a reader some things to think about while re-watching the Disney version.