Author: Demelza Carlton
Genre: Fantasy, Fairy Retelling
A sleeping beauty. A kingdom frozen in time. Only one can save them all.
Once upon a time…
Lord Siward intended to go hunting, but when he stumbles upon a ruined castle and accidentally wakes the mysterious maiden sleeping inside, he knows his holiday is over.
With the kingdom in trouble, Siward should be protecting the realm, but every time Rosamond looks at him, he gets lost in the girl’s green eyes. Who is the mysterious beauty, and why does he feel she holds the key to the kingdom’s deliverance?
MY TAKE ON AWAKEN
I am a little biased when it comes to fairytale retellings. If anyone would have asked me to choose between books, I would have most likely preferred fairytale retelling, until I read this book…
Princess Rosamond is gifted with healing and plant magic. She and her two companions are plagued by a disease while returning to their kingdom, from the coronation of King Erik and Queen Margareta. Rosamond heals others but succumbs to the disease. Lord Siward finds her after she regains consciousness. Whilst she was asleep, the time moved on and so did her kingdom. Will Rosamond succeed in adapting herself to the time gap and regain her true place? The story is about the life of sleeping beauty after she awakens.
Rosamond was a character with qualities befitting a princess. She knew when to be polite, firm, bold or outrightly rude. She also knew how to rein in her emotions and maintain her composure. She readily helps those who are in need with her magic. I felt her personality was in sync with her magic. When her magic was in a budding stage she was meek and obedient, but as it grew powerful she became bold and demanding.
Lord Siward didn’t impress me much. He was a normal guy who is kind and good hearted.
Monika was a suspicious character from the beginning of the story but I couldn’t fathom any reasons behind her actions.
The story line with interesting first half. Small pieces of humor kept the interest intact.
The gist says – A kingdom frozen in time. But in the book, the kingdom was never frozen in time… It was only the princess who was frozen in time. Wrong synopsis.
There were certain loopholes in the story which didn’t allow me to enjoy the story as I wanted to. These loopholes or mistakes (whatever you want to call them) were so evident that I was wondering how they escaped from the author’s eye –
*There were slight references where Queen Margareta was referred as evil or the plague was done by her, but this issue wasn’t closed till the end. It just remained as a hypothesis throughout.
*Addition to this, Monika’s behavior (as I have mentioned above) was difficult to comprehend. Her inability to recognize the princess afterward, whom she was always so close to and who hasn’t changed at all, was beyond my understanding.
*Many scenes related to the mistaken identity of Lord Siward by Rosamond are so silly that they ruined the essence of the book.
“Do you come here often?” he asked her. She stared at him as if he had made a joke. “No, this was my first visit.” “Do you live nearby?” he persisted. If she did, he could ride by her parents’ cottage to ask for her hand today. It would ease his conscience immeasurably. “Of course not. I lived with my parents in the castle.”
If she mistakes him to be a known person, why will he ask such foolish questions to a princess? Shouldn’t she get immediately suspicious about it and clarify?
Of course! In his eagerness, how could he have forgotten? “I will speak to him. I will ask for your hand and all will be well.” No father in the kingdom would refuse him, Siward knew. “What is his name? I shall summon him, and we shall have his answer before nightfall.” This did not please Rosamond, who shook her head violently. “You cannot summon him. Not my father. I must speak to him, and only then can you ask him for anything.”
This whole dialogue exchange is illogical. If Siward is a known person to Rosamond, will he not know about her father? When he is speaking of summoning her father, why is Rosamond not stating the complete reason? She shook her head violently and just said that you can’t call him… how absurd can the whole conversation be?
The ending phase of the story was rushed. It looked as if every character is rushing to finish his or her part. In a spur of a moment, antagonists take over. They almost succeed but fail at the last moment and are found dead the next day. Nobody knows how they ended up dead.
Everything falls into place within a couple of pages and story ends up with many questions unanswered-
– How did Fodor’s sister ended up with the royalty?
– What happened to the other characters who sided with the main antagonists? Were they punished or just forgiven.
The story could have really been interesting if there were more twists and turns. Not only this, various scenes could have been detailed. For eg: -The scenes of antagonists plotting against the royals could have been described in detail adding to the suspense factor of the book. The author could have been more creative with Rosamond’s magic with plants and how they bid to her commands and wishes, by creating few action scenes.
The book is one- time read, only if you want to pass your time.