ARC REVIEW- The Sleeping Prince by Melinda Salisbury

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

If you've followed my blog for a while, you'll be aware that last year I was fortunate enough to meet the Lovely Melinda herself, and received an ARC of her d├ębut novel, 'The Sin Eater's Daughter',  Needless to say, I loved it, and actually awarded it my first ever five star review in my first written blog post.
A year on, and I've received the sequel in the post. And I'm just as blown away as the first time around.

Title: The Sleeping Prince (The Sin Eater's Daughter #2) 
Author: Melinda Salisbury
Publisher: Scholastic
Status: published and available in paperback.

DISCLAIMER: *Due to this being the second book in the trilogy I would recommend those who haven't read the first book to not continue on with this post as it may contain spoilers for the first book.*


Return 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.


It took me a while to get round to this book, as I wanted to reread the first one to make sure it was fresh in my mind and I wouldn't get confused. Honestly, when I was rereading it, I started to panic. I thought that maybe the story would struggle without the backdrop of deadly court politics and thought that without the scenes between Leif and Twyla there was a danger that it could take away from Mel's flair for developing relationships between characters. But when I got to the end and the explosive ending gripped me just as hard as the first time around, I knew I couldn't put off carrying on. I needed more of Mel's phenomena writing, more time inside of the whimsical yet unbelievably vicious Kingdoms. And I was far from being disappointed.

This was a killer sequel, no sign of 'second book syndrome' in sight. If anything, the different perspective added an awesome opportunity for Mel to explore more of her fantastic world. One of my favourite elements of the book is that it wasn't obvious to begin with who's perspective we were reading from, Mel allowed us to piece it together yourself, which was really fun, as the mystery wouldn't let you leave the book for a second.  

I was amazed by how strong the side characters were. I really love Twylla, and was unsure how I felt about following different people, but in the end it proved a real strength of the book. Mel's ability to build and add depth to both her characters and her world is phenomenal.

Let's talk about the antagonist. There's no doubt about it, The Sleeping Prince is my new favourite villain in YA.  He genuinely made me feel uncomfortable. He was dark, and the development of his back story was amazing. You end up hating him, but understand his motives and then shamefully loving him a little. The manipulation of fairytale characters was so cool. Mel flaunted her ability to not only create her own complicated world, culture and characters, but also created her own fairytales that have evolved from her primary world, creating a multi-layered story that is so satisfying to unravel. 

Fairytales coming to life. 
Corrupt Kingdoms.
Mysterious characters.
And THE most soul-destroying plot twist as an epic finale.

Mel, I applaud you.
5/5 Stars

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