Review: The Sleeping Prince by Melinda Salisbury

the sleeping prince.jpgReturn to the darkly beautiful world of The Sin Eater’s Daughter with a sequel that will leave you awed, terrified . . . and desperate for more.

Ever since her brother Lief disappeared, Errin’s life has gone from bad to worse. Not only must she care for her sick mother, she has to scrape together rent money by selling illegal herbal cures. But none of that compares to the threat of the vengeful Sleeping Prince whom the Queen just awoke from his enchanted sleep.

When her village is evacuated as part of the war against the Sleeping Prince, Errin is left desperate and homeless. The only person she can turn to is the mysterious Silas, a young man who buys deadly poisons from Errin, but won’t reveal why he needs them. Silas promises to help her, but when he vanishes, Errin must journey across a kingdom on the brink of war to seek another way to save her mother and herself. But what she finds shatters everything she believed about her world, and with the Sleeping Prince drawing nearer, Errin must make a heartbreaking choice that could affect the whole kingdom.

I absolutely adored The Sin Eater’s Daughter – Twylla’s world completely captured my imagination, and it was a struggle to put it down – so obviously one of the first things I had to do once I’d finished reading it (and finished gushing about it to anyone who would listen) was start reading the sequel. It was left on a bit of a cliffhanger, which normally I find a little annoying as I prefer it when a book has an ending where everything has been sorted out, but I didn’t mind with The Sin Eater’s Daughter because I had the sequel ready to read as soon as I was finished!

The Sleeping Prince focuses on a different character to The Sin Eater’s Daughter; this time, the protagonist is a girl named Errin. I was a little confused at first, but it quickly becomes clear that she is Lief’s sister. While initially I was sad that I wouldn’t get to see more of Twylla (especially after the tense ending to the last book), she did come in later, and Errin was definitely the right character for the second book in the series to be told by. She came from the neighbouring kingdom, so you got to see more of the enchanting world that Melinda Salisbury has created. Also, as many things had become her responsibility – such as her mother – she was driven to escape and create a new life for what was left of her family elsewhere, and it was this drive that helped to push the story onwards.

Along with Errin, there were also other characters, all of whom I thought were well-written and well-developed. Silas was one of the main characters – mysterious, ethereal, and completely off limits. He was intriguing, and it felt like every time one of my questions about him was answered, several more were created. Another character who stood out to me was Aurek, or the Sleeping Prince, who you only meet towards the end, but still impacted the entire story. I was struck in particular by how monstrous he was, in ways you only discover at the end of the book.

I loved how Melinda Salisbury combined many different things in The Sleeping Prince which gave the story layers and twists and depth. There was the underlying fairy tale which triggered the events of the book, which was developed in more detail beyond what was covered in The Sin Eater’s Daughter, and I thought it was a wonderfully creative story. There was the minor romance between Errin and Silas, as well as the involvement of Twylla and Lief. There were the problems Errin faced, being a young girl with no one to turn to, reliant on herself to survive. It was a marvellous mixture of themes and ideas which worked perfectly, and I loved it.

While I found The Sin Eater’s Daughter harder to put down, as I was hooked on Twylla and Lief’s romance and the drama surrounding that, I thought that The Sleeping Prince had a more developed plot, so I adored both for different reasons. I hope that there is going to be another book in the series, because it ended on a cliffhanger, and if so I absolutely cannot wait to read it and see how Melinda Salisbury continues and further develops the story. I would definitely recommend this series (in fact, I already have!).

The Sleeping Prince was published on the 4th of February 2016 by Scholastic Press. You can find out more on Goodreads, or purchase a copy on Amazon.

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