Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Jenni James Faerie Tale Collection Tour ~ "Sleeping Beauty" (review + giveaway)

Sleeping Beauty by Jenni James
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received to Review
Genre: Faerie Tale Re-telling

Book Description:  The sleeping girl has no idea she is asleep. 

After Aleyna witnessed the cruel deaths of her family, she was put to sleep by Ezralon the unicorn. He has been keeping her safe, hidden in the forest, until her true prince could come and rescue her. 

While Aleyna is protected in the forest, her spirit walks the halls of her ruined, deserted castle in a dream-like existence, believing everything is still perfect. However, she is halted in this state—almost as if time were frozen—until the prince awakens her. 

Prince Darién of Lybrooke Court loves a challenge as much as the next man, but believes it will be a fool’s errand to rescue a ghost who is already dead! He’s convinced no one could have survived sleeping thirty years, so what is the point of rescuing a girl who is quite content to haunt on her own?

Of course, if Darién wasn’t so afraid of ghouls, this whole thing could be much easier to fathom... 

My thoughts: I enjoy fairy-tale re-tellings.  This book is obviously based on the Sleeping Beauty story.  It shares with the original a slumbering Princess (or in this case a Queen), a valiant handsome Prince, and an evil sorceress, and the spell broken by loves kiss.  That is where I found the similarities to end.

This story has a unicorn who saves the Queen from the control of the sorceress.  This book has ghosts who take care of the Queen while her mind is free from the troubles and pain of her Kingdom being brought to ruin by violence.  The Prince comes to the rescue, not because he wanted to, but because he is dared by his friends to visit the haunted castle.

The book is well written and has a great pace.  I found myself enjoying the unique spin on my favorite fairy-tale.  This collection has been on my list of books that I wanted to read, and I am happy with my first venture into Jenni James' rendition of the classics.

Books in this series:

More to come:

13. Return to Netherland
14.Captain Hook
15. Princess Red
16. Princess with the Golden Touch
17. Princess and the Pea
18. Rose Red
19. Thumbelina
20. The Ugly Princess 
21. Diamonds and Toads

22. The Ice Queen 
23. The Forgotten Princess 
24. King Thrushbeard 
25. The Swan Princess 
26. The Goose Girl 
27. The Light Princesses 
28. Princess Nightingale 
29. The Princess Who Never Laughed 
30. The Disenchanted Queen

Jenni James is the busy mother of ten kids (7 hers, 3 her hubby's) and has over twenty-five published book babies. She's an award-winning, best-selling author, who works full-time from home and dreams about magical things and then writes about what she dreams.

Some of her works include The Jane Austen Diaries (Pride & Popularity, Emmalee, Persuaded...), The Jenni James Faerie Tale Collection (Cinderella, Snow White, Rumplestiltskin, Beauty and the Beast...), the Andy & Annie series for children, Revitalizing Jane: Drowning, My Paranormal Life, Not Cinderella's Type, and the Austen in Love Series.

When she isn't writing up a storm, she is chasing her kids around their new cottage and farm in the tops of the southwestern mountains, entertaining friends at home, or kissing her amazingly hunky hubby. Her life is full of laughter, crazy, and sunshine.


QUEEN ALEYNA’S EYES FLUTTERED open and she smiled at the sunlight which streamed through her bedroom curtains. Another beautifully perfect day. She stretched and wiggled her toes under the navy-blue crushed velvet duvet and slipped out of the golden sheets to pad across the floor to her window.
The world beneath her castle tower was bathed in a sea of greens and yellows and glorious multicolored blossoming bushes and trees. Her village was nestled among rolling hills and streams and winding cobblestone paths that jutted out all around the lower portion of the mountain, where her castle was happily situated, and spread to the valley below. Many homesteads and farms and fields of bounteous crops covered the great landscape as far as the eye could see.
Indeed, Aleyna’s kingdom was one of the most sought-after and desired realms in all the world. She could not believe her good fortune in having such a prosperous and superior land. Her subjects were also known to be quite magnificent in their own way as well, and to reward them for their kindness and diligence, she guaranteed they were treated above those under the care of the other monarchies and rulers around.
Her people were given several holidays each year, and multiple gifts of food, household supplies, adornments, and even many frivolous items would find their way into their homes from their dear queen. How she loved them. How she loved her land, her people, her life.
It was undeniably faultless.
An enchanted kingdom to be loved by all.
Aleyna sighed in contentment as she rested her head against the smoothly plastered stone wall and looked out the windowpane. The birds chattered and chirped and flew in delightful winging dances in the sky as they popped in and out of wispy clouds. Here was joy. Here was life at its best, and she could never imagine desiring anything more.
And yet, if one could step back and see the tragedy behind her contentment, one would know that all she witnessed below her, all she imagined above, all her hopes and dreams were were just that—dreams.
An illusion.
Queen Aleyna’s life was so desperately heartrending, so tragically sorrowful, that one needed to enchant the beautiful queen and all those surrounding her, all her dear subjects, into a state of never-ending bliss.
She had to sleep through this horror to allow her to heal from the pain, to be kept from all those memories that would threaten to own her—she had to be kept in such a state until one who was worthy could come along and teach her, hold her, comfort her, release the spell surrounding her contentment, and more importantly, kiss her awake to the true being that was hers.
Until one such worthy man came into her life and bravely fought those demons who sought to destroy her, Queen Aleyna’s existence was perpetually on hold.
And she was forever trapped within a state of no progression, wrapped in a bubble of peace, almost like a ghost, and eternally asleep to the harsh realities awaiting her. Ignorant to all but what she knew and could remember, she would be forever known as the Sleeping Queen…


PRINCE DARIÉN LAUGHED AS he dodged another wayward thrust of the king’s sword. At this rate, he and Michael, the king of Alemade, would be at it all night. He hooted as his friend lunged forward again, and as Darién quickly sidestepped the attack, he could not help but taunt, “Is this the greatest you’ve got within you? How can you hope to defend yourself, let alone a whole kingdom?”
The king grunted and swung his sword, missing the prince by a good six inches. “Perhaps if you held still long enough, I could show you how good my maneuvers are!”
Darién chuckled and took a step back, his foot slipping slightly on the wet grass of the castle lawn, before deftly lifting his sword and blocking two more wild attempts from Michael. “Admit defeat, old man, and I may let you live to see another day.” It was the same thing he said to the king each week as they practiced, and true to form, his friend was quick to respond in kind.
If you were not such a coward and could fight like a real man, I would blacken your lights instantly.”
Ah, yes, but we are not using fisticuffs, now are we? In fact, we are—”
And another thing! I am not an old man.” The king huffed as he haphazardly sliced his blade through the air. “I—” he stepped forward, “—am only—” steel smacked against steel, “—five years older than you.” Michael wiped his brow. “And the last time I checked, you were twenty-four years old.”
Yes, but twenty-four is still much younger than you!” Darién took two steps forward, arching his blade in the air and popping Michael’s sword right out of his hand. It flew gracefully, allowing the handle to be caught up by the prince, signifying the game was at an end.
Michael was drenched in sweat, while Darién looked as though he had merely taken a leisurely stroll upon the grounds. “One of these days, I am going to learn your secret,” said the king after he wiped his mouth on his shirtsleeve.
My secret?” Darién walked over to the bush where they had hung their royal coats twenty minutes earlier. “And what secret is this?” He raised a brow as he handed Michael’s bright green coat back to him.
The king shook the garment and waved off the servant who had run up to help, slipping his arms into the sleeves. “Your ability to look so dashed cool and unaffected—so debonair—whilst in the midst of dueling, no less.”
Darién winked as he put on his coat of navy with silver trimmings. “I must practice these things in the looking glass at home for such an occasion as this. Who is to know whether a stunning female will come by and catch us looking a spectacle.” When the king grunted, he continued, “You have Cassandra, and she is by far everything on this good earth that is praiseworthy indeed. With such a woman at your side and as your queen, you do not have to practice like I do.”
Michael raised his eyes heavenward as he straightened the coat over his tan-colored breeches. “If I believed half the nonsense you sputtered out, I’d be a very foolish man,” he said before walking to the bush, collecting his sword, and sliding it within its sheath.
Darién laughed as he buttoned his coat. “You’d be a very foolish old man.”
I’d watch your crowing if I were you.” The king smirked and turned around. “Remember, boy, I know what truly does put you out of countenance—what you are most afraid of in all the world. So do not keep spouting your old jokes, for I guarantee I can make you squirm and sweat just like the rest of us.”
The prince snorted and walked over to his sword. He tilted his head to the side and grinned as he slid the blade in its scabbard. “There is nothing I’m afraid of on this globe. Nothing at all—so whatever you have against me, remember it is merely a child’s imaginings.”
Oh-ho! First I am too old, and now I am a child who imagines?”
That is not what I meant, and you know it.” Darién’s gaze settled on his friend. They were almost brothers—had been raised like brothers—and there was no one he trusted more. The redheaded king was handsome, extremely so, and had a beautiful blonde queen at his side to prove it. They’d begun to have a score of adorable little redheads and blondes of their own, and with the birth of the last one—a little girl all fiery curls and giggles—Darién founding himself longing to settle down as well. If only he could find a woman half as agreeable as Cassandra.
But this sort of thinking would get him nowhere. He cleared his throat and explained, “Whatever you believe me to fear is most likely something you conjured up back when we were boys. So if in reality, I am afraid of it—which I highly doubt—then it was something that I’ve long past put behind me.”
The king smiled and patted him on the back. “I’m not discussing spiders or girls here. I’m talking about something much more terrifying. In fact, I know you would change color at this moment if I were to speak of it, so lifeless and cold would you become.”
Darién pulled away, laughing, and began to head back toward the castle. “There is nothing you could say that would frighten me. Nothing.” He glanced back and waited for his friend to catch up to him. “Though, I am very curious what you believe you have got against me. Indeed, this may be the most intriguing thing I’ve come upon all morning.”
Should I tell you, then?” asked the king as he stepped in stride with the prince.
Oh, most definitely. You look too sure of yourself; I must take that smirk off your face. So out with it, man—do your best! I dare you to find something that would startle me.”
Michael’s grin grew. Truly, Darién was too easy to bait sometimes. He may be the better swordsman, but his own pride got in the way of rational thinking. Hesitating only a moment or two, he went ahead and satisfied his young friend. It was time the man realized he was not invincible. “Ghosts, Darién. You have and will always be decidedly against the visitations of anything of the spiritual, ghouly, phantom, or specter realm—the realm of the dead.”
The king watched Darién’s face pale as his feet stalled. “No matter how old you or I become, that night of our first haunting will forever ring through my memories. And you, boy, would be a fool to deny such aversions.” His voice grew low and sinister just to guarantee the prince squirmed. “To deny it only warrants their return even more…”

April 18--Beauty & the Beast--Singing Librarian Books
 April 19--Sleeping Beauty--Bookworm Lisa
 April 20--Rumplestiltskin--26 Countless Possibilities
 April 21--Cinderella--Reading Is My SuperPower
 April 22--Hansel & Gretel--Katie's Clean Book Collection 
 April 23--Jack & the Beanstalk--Wishful Endings
 April 25--Snow White--Katie's Clean Book Collection 
 April 26--The Frog Prince--Smiling Book Reviews
 April 27--The Twelve Dancing Princesses--Mel's Shelves
 April 28--Rapunzel--Reading Is My SuperPower
 April 29--The Little Mermaid--Wishful Endings
 April 30--Peter Pan--Singing Librarian Books

a Rafflecopter giveaway

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for commenting. Each and every one is read and appreciated.
Have a wonderful day.