Saturday, August 9, 2014

While Beauty Slept

ISBN: 9780399166235
Pages: 421
Source: Library 

The truth is no fairy tale.
I am not the sort of person about whom stories are told. Those of humble birth suffer their heartbreaks and celebrate their triumphs unnoticed by the bards, leaving no trace in the fables of their time....
And so begins Elise Dalriss's story.
When she hears her great-granddaughter recount a tale about a beautiful princess awakened by a handsome prince, it pushes open a door to the past, a door Elise has long kept locked. For Elise was the companion to the real princess who slumbered– and she is the only one left who knows the truth of what happened so many years ago.
As the memories start to unfold, Elise is plunged back into the magnificent world behind the opulent palace walls. Fleeing a hardscrabble existence and personal tragedy, she builds a new life for herself as a servant to the royal family and quickly rises within the castle hierarchy. As Elise proves herself a loyal confidante, she is drawn into the lives of an extraordinary cast of women: a beautiful queen who wakes each morning with tears on her pillow, an elderly spinster who in heartache shuts herself away, a princess who yearns to be free, and the ambitious and frightening sister who cannot accept the fact that she will never rule. Elise has guarded their secrets—and her own—for a lifetime. While Beauty Slept is her story.
In this rich and compelling novel of love and terror, friendship and fate, we are introduced to a heroine of a legend—who reveals what it really takes to reach happily ever after.

I have two favorite versions of Sleeping Beauty: the movie Maleficent and this book. I love how this story is told from a different perspective: a servant's. Elise is telling this story to her great-granddaughter, so it starts off when she's young. So this story isn't just the princess was born, the witch cursed her, the princess turned sixteen and pricked her hand on a spinning wheel, the whole castle falls asleep for a hundred years, a prince comes and saves the day. You get to see Elise progress from being a farmer's daughter to being the queen's maid to being a lady. Also, Elise talks about her life at the castle, not just what happened to the princess. Her life is pretty exciting.
I admire Elise so much. She has had a hard life, yet she never complains about it or cries about it. She's so strong; she doesn't fall apart when everything in her life is going wrong. She always knew what she wanted, what she needed, and how to distinguish between them. She never really let her personal life get in the way of her duties at the castle.
I don't want to talk about any other characters in the book in case I completely lose it and spoil the whole book.
The romance in this book is so cute; I am still fangirling over them (AHHH). The characters aren't always what they seem to be. Some are presented in a certain way so that you hate them or like them, then later on in the book, your opinion completely changes. This book also made me cry, more than once (I'm going to start crying again if I keep thinking about it).
This ending of this book is just perfect. It is totally unexpected until the very last moment when you suddenly realize what the author is doing.
The only thing I didn't like about this book was the constant foreshadowing. At first I liked it, it made me really excited for the next part and kept me hooked. But after a while, it just got tiring and kind of spoiled the surprise.
Overall, I was completely hooked and I couldn't put the book down. 
4.5 out of 5 stars
Thank you so much for reading. I'll see you soon.

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