Sometimes you just need a little froth. E. D. Baker's latest fractured fairy tale, The Wide-Awake Princess, is light and creamy enough to satisfy the most exacting fairy tale chef.
Most people don't know that Sleeping Beauty (aka Gwendoline) has a younger sister named Annie. Terrified that a similar curse would fall on Annie, her parents begged a powerful fairy to help. Be careful what you wish for...the fairy willingly helped, but her gift was to make Annie immune to all magic.
Not just evil curses, but also good fairy gifts, like beauty, grace, and a good complexion. Not only is she immune, she cancels out magic. Terrified of losing their own fairy gifts, her family won't go near her. She leads a lonely, but fairly satisfying life until Gwendolyn's curse falls upon the household and Annie decides she isn't waiting around for a prince to show up!
Accompanied by a footman who isn't what he seems, Annie sets out to find the perfect prince for Gwen. Or the next best thing. Then again, maybe Gwen would prefer to sleep for a hundred years....
Readers who enjoyed the definitely required new classics Kate Coombs' Runaway Princess and Runaway Dragon and Jessica Day George's Dragon series will enjoy this fluffy princess comedy.
Oh, re. the covers - the first is the one appearing on the ARC, this second one I think is the final cover. They're both pretty similar in tone and I was disappointed that the sisters didn't look more different. But they're ok.
Verdict: This episodic fantasy is a perfect read for those who like a pinch of romance, a generous measure of magic, and a thick topping of humor.
ISBN: 978-1599904870; Published May 2010 by Bloomsbury; ARC provided by publisher at ALA; Purchased for the library