Title: Twice Upon A Time: Sleeping Beauty, The One Who Took the Really Long Nap
Author: Wendy Mass
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Length: 172 pages
This is a fairy tale retelling based on Sleeping Beauty. In this story, the main plot of the original fairy tale holds true: Princess Rose is still cursed to fall into a one hundred year sleep when she pricks her finger on a spindle. However, this retelling follows Princess Rose and the Prince as they grow up.
Princess Rose faces the challenge of being perfect in so many ways, thanks to the gifts of the fairies. Additionally, she must live with overly protective parents who hope Rose can avoid the fairy’s curse by hovering over her and not allowing her to participate in any activities where she might hurt herself.
Meanwhile, we get to know the Prince as he grows up one hundred years later. He lives with his own challenge: a mother who has some ogre blood which causes her to feed, sometimes on humans, two times a month. He discovers a castle, eerily similar to his own, deep in the woods covered by briars and is drawn to enter it. Like Princess Rose, the Prince also has very little independence making it difficult to investigate the hidden castle.
This is was a fun book to read. The story was told in first person, alternating chapters between Princess Rose’s and the Prince’s point of views. I really enjoyed how the author developed these two characters so we got to know their personalities much better than in the original fairy tale. I especially enjoyed seeing how Princess Rose’s gifts of beauty, cleverness, grace, and perfection at singing, dancing and music could be its own curse by not allowing her to fail causing her to seek out activities where she might fail. Both main characters were very likable as well as each of their best friends.
This book is classified as Middle Grade and is therefore intended for ages eight to twelve, but I believe anyone interested in fairy tales would love to read this twist. Additionally Wendy Mass has written a few other fairy tale retellings that would likely be of interest to people who enjoy this story.
I am a member of two book clubs, and we read a variety of genres. Plus, as a Young Adult author, I read a lot YA and MG books to improve my writing. And as a mother, I am always on the lookout for books for my children to read.
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