The Sleeping Beauty (Five Hundred Kingdoms Book 5) by Mercedes Lackey

November 3, 2014 All Reviews, Fantasy, Romance 0 ★★★★★

The Sleeping Beauty (Five Hundred Kingdoms Book 5) by Mercedes LackeyThe Sleeping Beauty by Mercedes Lackey
Series: Five Hundred Kingdoms #5
Published by Carina Press on July 1st, 2010
Number of Pages: 412
Genres: Fairy Tale, Fantasy, Humor, Romance
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Purchase: At Amazon
five-stars

Heavy is the head -- and the eyelids -- of the princess who wears the crown...

In Rosamund's realm, happiness hinges on a few simple beliefs. For every princess there's a prince. The King has ultimate power. Stepmothers should never be trusted. And bad things come to those who break with Tradition...

But when Rosa is pursued by a murderous huntsman and then captured by dwarves, her beliefs go up in smoke. Determined to escape and save her kingdom from imminent invasion, she agrees to become the subject of one of her stepmother's risky incantations -- thus falling into a deep, deep sleep.

When awakened by a touchy-feely stranger, Rosa must choose between Tradition and her future...between a host of eligible princes and a handsome, fair-haired outsider. And learn the difference between being a princess and ruling as a Queen.

 

I love this series. You don’t usually have to read them in a particular order as each one is based on it’s own set of characters. Though reading the first book would be useful to set the stage for how it all works, and how Godmother Elena came to be.

The basic premise of this series, is that all the fairytales we know, such as Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, etc. are Paths of the Tradition. The Tradition is magic itself, and if your life happens to be similar at all to a Traditional Path, the Tradition will do everything in it’s considerable power to make you conform to that path. You may get the fairytale ending and love forever more, or you may get the darker ending and death and doom. For each Kingdom (or set of Kingdoms), there is a Godmother. Some are actual Faerie Godmothers, and some are girls who for whatever reason, didn’t get their Traditional Path completed. Maybe their prince wasn’t born yet, maybe he was killed, or old enough to be her great-grandfather.

These Godmothers must study all the Traditional Paths, and guide their Kingdoms along the best ones. While attempting to keep the Tradition from the darker ones, and keep Evil Sorcerers and Sorceresses out of their Kingdoms.

Like most of the girls in these books, Rosa is not your typical fainting princess who expects the men in her life to save her. She learns all she can, so she can do her own rescuing. Her mother was a simple shepherdess, her father the Prince of his Kingdom (and later of course, the King.) Besides the usual Princess accomplishments, she learned to hunt, how to cook very basic food, plain-sew and mend garments, basics of cleaning, how to start a fire, some edible plants. In short, she could do most of what her shepherdess mother had known, as well as what most Princesses were expected to know.

But most of all, she had been taught about The Tradition. And how to attempt to get it to move along paths that were good for her Kingdom. Unfortunately, the Path the Tradition had chosen for her, seemed to have become snarled with 2 other paths. And it would take all her wits to help Godmother Lily get herself and her Kingdom to the end alive and whole.

I really liked Rosa, she was smart and strong. A really good role-model for girls. My favorite of the Godmothers is Godmother Elena, but Godmother Lily had some fun moments in this book. The two main male characters in the book were well-written. While I liked Prince Leopold better, I was hoping Prince Siegfried would win Rosa’s hand. (And you’ll have to read to find out who actually married her and saved the Kingdom.)

five-stars

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