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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
What does it mean to be a prince? Or a princess, for that matter? Is it a right of how one is born? A right to be arrogant, selfish and self-centered? A hundred years ago, a High Prince, Alexander, thought he was born to rule. He had the arrogance to think he was the chosen one and, as such, he could do no wrong. High Prince Alexander was cursed by the Fae. At the age of twenty-one, he would prick his finger with his own dagger and fall into a deep sleep for all eternity. On a journey to challenge this curse, he learns that he’s not as righteous as he thought he was, and though he manages to have the curse altered to only sleep until a cursebreaker is found, he discovers some unpleasant things about himself. It’s approaching the anniversary of the High Prince’s demise and the cursebreaker has been found: Princess Rosanna. Only, the princess must travel incognito and across treacherous terrain to reach the castle where the High Prince sleeps in order to break the curse. Will she make it in time? And will it be worth the effort? Will her war-torn country be a better place to live after Alexander awakens? And must she love someone she has never met, even if he is a prince, after the curse is broken?
Tricia Mingerink’s fantasy novel, Dagger’s Sleep (Beyond the Tales): A Retelling of Sleeping Beauty, is more than just a fantasy. A well-loved fairytale retold becomes an adventure and a journey of self-discovery as two royal personages must come to terms with who they are and who they really should be. The plot is two-fold: one tracing the events leading up to the High Prince’s deep sleep that lasts a hundred years and the second one following the cursebreaker’s treacherous journey wake the High Prince. Each plot is distinctly identified to avoid confusion and each scenario is well-paced. The characters are well developed and the descriptive narrative is exceptional in setting the scenes. A great story by a significantly powerful writer. This is an author I’ll definitely follow.