Title: The Sleeping Prince
Author: Melinda Salisbury
Published: February 4th 2016
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Length: 336 pages
Source: Paperback from the publisher
Book Blurb (via Goodreads):
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.
You can find my review of the first book in this series, The Sin Eater’s Daughter, here.
After finishing the first book in this series last year, I felt like I needed the second book right then and there. I was super excited to get my hands on this sequel and finally see the next step in this story. I think this book could possibly have been my most anticipated book of this year.
Following on from Twylla’s story in the first book, we come back into the Sin Eater‘s world with Lief’s sister, Errin. Left to care for her sick mother alone in a town that is full to the brim with shady people, Errin must keep her mother’s secret while trying to make do until her brother returns. When she meets the mysterious Silas, she feels she finally has an ally – but there’s more to him than meets the eye and the more she finds out about him, the more unsure she is of his intentions. With the war against the Sleeping Prince falling closer and closer to her doorstep, Errin must make the decision to leave everything behind and seek out someone to help find her brother and save her mother.
Salisbury has a way of drawing you into the world and connecting with characters. Even though this book focuses on a different main character, I actually found that I enjoyed Errin’s perspective a lot more than I had Twylla’s. Where Twylla seemingly had the perfect life – you know, apart from the whole murder-people-with-my-hands thing – Errin is struggling just to survive. Errin seems to be a much stronger character: practicing apothecary skills making illegal poisons, trying to rescue her mother from a terrible curse that could kill them all, being strong enough to ward off unwanted advances from the sleazy guy that runs the town… the list goes on.
Silas intrigued me, the mysterious man who just happens to show up a little while before the town is evacuated and can help Errin to escape. I didn’t even mind that Errin had a thing for him – it wasn’t really as prevalent as the love triangle was in the first book and it felt less like insta-love too.
The prologue was an excellent opening to the story. It’s one of those prologues that lulls you into a false sense of security – so enraptured with the story that you don’t realise what’s about to happen until it’s too late. I almost threw the book away at this point because I hadn’t wanted to read more… but then I needed to read more so I obviously didn’t do that.
The story itself was a good read, fast-paced with lots of twists and revelations that kept me reading and excited. There’s never a moment where I seriously consider setting the book aside to do other things – which was the same with the first book. This series is a must-read for me and I have a feeling it will be the same with the conclusion of the trilogy too.
Once again, the conclusion was a cliffhanger that made my mind explode. I hate cliffhangers for the very fact that you have to wait ages to read the next book and it’s agony having to wait so long to find out what happens next. I hate them, but Salisbury does them so well! I wasn’t expecting how the book turned out. I had guessed a few things along the way but honestly, I never have been able to figure out everything about these books, and that’s part of the reason why I love them so much.
Another excellent read from Salisbury and I’m very much looking forward to the next instalment to find out not only what happens, but whose side we’ll be following!
About the Author
Melinda Salisbury lives by the sea, somewhere in the south of England. As a child she genuinely thought Roald Dahl’s Matilda was her biography, in part helped by her grandfather often mistakenly calling her Matilda, and the local library having a pretty cavalier attitude to the books she borrowed. Sadly she never manifested telekinetic powers. She likes to travel, and have adventures. She also likes medieval castles, non-medieval aquariums, Richard III, and all things Scandinavian The Sin Eater’s Daughter is her first novel. She can be found on Twitter at @AHintofMystery, though be warned, she tweets often.