Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Wide-Awake Princess

The Wide-Awake Princess
by E.D. Baker

In this new stand-alone fairy tale, Princess Annie is the younger sister to Gwen, the princess destined to be Sleeping Beauty. When Gwennie pricks her finger and the whole castle falls asleep, only Annie is awake, and only Annie—blessed (or cursed?) with being impervious to magic—can venture out beyond the rose-covered hedge for help. She must find Gwen's true love to kiss her awake.

But who is her true love? The irritating Digby? The happy-go-lucky Prince Andreas, who is holding a contest to find his bride? The conniving Clarence, whose sinister motives couldn't possibly spell true love? Joined by one of her father's guards, Liam, who happened to be out of the castle when the sleeping spell struck, Annie travels through a fairy tale land populated with characters both familiar and new as she tries to fix her sister and her family . . . and perhaps even find a true love of her own. (description taken from

This book made me smile from start to finish! I loved it. It had just the right balance of fairy tale charm and modern day girl bravery to satisfy every part of my reader's demands! I love a good fairy tale retelling, but sometimes, now that I'm older, I find myself questioning things...practical things...and I have to push them aside to finish the story in a happy place. Not so with The Wide-Awake Princess!!

Annie, the main character, is the younger sister of Gwendolyn (who we would all know more commonly here as Sleeping Beauty). When her sister is put to sleep, along with the rest of the castle, for one hundred years, Annie is the one that asks, "What if we get attacked while everyone is sleeping?!"

In order to save her sister, and her kingdom, Annie goes on a quest to find her sister's true love...and the evil Fairy that originally cursed try to speed the process up and revive the kingdom. Along the way, she gains a protector and friend, Liam, who just may be more intriguing than Annie originally thought. *wink, wink* They run into lots of other great characters, like Tomas and his little sister (very Hansel and Gretel-esque), a Prince enchanted to be a bear, a Princess who is engaged to an Ogre (very Beauty and the Beast) and Annie even gets stuck in Rapunzel's tower...where she learns more about that girl's habits than she ever wanted to know!

Along the way, Annie who has no magics of her own, demonstrates that she has plenty of other skills to assist her on her quest. She can ride bareback, she is intelligent, she learns new skills very quickly, she is brave, she has no compunction about eating whenever there is food available...all in all, she is one awesome and un-simpering Princess!

Though I'm pretty sure this is a stand-alone book, I loved Annie so much, I'd be really happy to see another book detailing her further adventures! A great tween or teen read for those that love fairy tales.


  1. So... do you think the cover fits the age level of the audience? I've thought this book looks young...?
    My favorite fairytale retelling of all time is Zel by Donna Jo Napoli, a retelling of Rapunzel.

  2. It does skew a little young, though I personally like it and feel it could fit the lighthearted tone of the book. I did see an alternate cover (you can check it out at that could also work, but I personally like the drawn one...I think most fairy tale lovers will overlook the cover once they read the description.
    *I haven't read Zel, yet. Gonna have to add that to the TBR list!