Princess of Tyrone by Katie Hamstead
Finally, finally, finalllllllllllllllly. I have found the elusive Sleeping Beauty retelling that is good – more than good: great. I read quite a few Sleeping Beauty retellings last year, and all of them failed me. Every single one. I DNF’d two, and the third? It was majorly problematic. My heart was hurting for one of my favorite Princesses. But now, we can thank Princess of Tyrone for saving the day.
Once upon a time…
Apolline is happy hunting magical creatures on her pirate infested outer-perimeter planet. She is a fantastic shot, and doesn’t flinch at the blood and guts of her kills. Never once did she consider she could be the missing Princess of Tyrone.
All her life, she has heard the story of the Princess, cursed to sleep for eternity, unless her betrothed, the Prince of Oran, gave her true love’s kiss. Although Apolline knows she is betrothed, she thinks her fairy guardians arranged it out of ignorance of human ways. The thought she could be a princess is inconceivable.
Then Allard appears. Handsome, charming—but he’s not hers to have. He’s betrothed, too. Her guardians warn her against her new found friendship, but she and Allard meet in secret anyway. Despite her rough exterior, he sees beyond her gun-slinging bravado, and their love blossoms.
But the deadline for the sleeping curse is approaching. If Apolline falls in love with the wrong person, she could end up sleeping forever.
A quirky, adventurous retelling of Sleeping Beauty, with a less than princess-ly princess!
I hold the Sleeping Beauty story near and dear to my heart. Well, the Sleeping Beauty story that Disney told. Some of the other ones can get a little, um, dark and gross and just plain weird. I’m looking at you, Anne Rice. *officially traumatized forever* Anyway, while I thought this might finally be a good Sleeping Beauty retelling, I did not realize that this would be the Sleeping Beauty retelling that I would have to hold all other SB retellings to.
Let’s get into the nitty gritty, though. I absolutely loved the world that Hamstead created. It was this weird combination of scifi future planets and the old school usual fairytale setting of the small town in the woods with the quaint little cottages. It was an odd contrast, but I loved it. I thought the setting was so beautiful and it was perfect. I can’t wait to continue her other Myths of Mish books, because the setting is just so ridiculously cool.
I also loved Apolline. She was a feisty, strong heroine. She was smart, and I liked how she approached things. Yes, she might have had her whiny teen moments – but they were called for. I would have been kicking and upset too. I definitely enjoyed her, and I think she was perfect for fitting the role of Aurora…although I was a bit glad she was around for more than just 18 minutes of the book unlike Aurora.
I also loved how well and amazing Hamstead incorporated the Sleeping Beauty story in. I liked the beginning part well enough, but about the last 30 – 40% of the book had me in heaven. It was soooo good. Hamstead took the story in the original and her own directions and I thought my phone might have been permanently damaged from how fast I was whipping through her pages. I couldn’t stop reading it, and it honestly felt like I was watching the movie I loved so much in my childhood – or, cough, yesterday, cough, cough. I was so impressed with this ending and if I could give more than five crowns, I definitely would.
I also enjoyed her elements of the original story. Her fairies were fantastic, and I loved the magic mirror edition. She created such an unique mythology, and I was dazzled by the little quirks she added in.
The only issue I had with the story was a little bit with Allard. I wasn’t completely sold on him at the beginning. He seemed a bit too pushy for me, and I kind of didn’t like him. I definitely did grow to like him in the end, but the beginning definitely didn’t sell me as much as I wanted it to.
Overall, I knew I would probably enjoy this book, but I had no clue I would enjoy it this much. It was the Sleeping Beauty retelling I had always wanted but never found. This book was fantastic and although I may have had a little bit of a rough part in the beginning, it more than made up for it. This was a fantastic read, and I can’t wait for book 2! An Aurora rating (!!), and five crowns for this dazzling scifi Princess book! I might be needing to be picking up an actual copy soon!
Check it out:
What do you think? Have you read any good Sleeping Beauty retellings? Do you get super excited when you finally find that elusive book? Can we have a few minutes to fangirl over that beautiful cover??