Monday, April 25, 2011

The Wide-Awake Princess by E. D. Baker

The Wide-Awake Princess is just so fun. I don't even know another word for it. Well, "good" is another word that describes it pretty well, but it doesn't really tell you anything.

Princess Gwendolyn is, as we all know, cursed to prick her finger and die on her sixteenth birthday. And of course, the curse is modified, so the story goes. But when her parents have a second child, their attempt to prevent any more curses has an unexpected result: Annie's fairy gift is that NO magic can touch her, good or bad.

So when the castle population does succumb to the curse, Annie is left, wide-awake, with the threat of 100 years of sleep not sounding too good, if she wants to spend any more time with her family. Instead of waiting around for a prince to show up and kiss her sister, Annie sets out on a quest through the neighboring kingdoms, with the help of a guard who was running errands when the fateful finger-pricking occurred.

I loved the magical-gifts-run-amok in Ms. Baker's world: all the nobility in the land was so fairy-blessed they couldn't do a thing without their magic. Annie's view of the world without magic was startling and funny, as she saw things that others had hidden by means of magic. The collection and variety of princes she collected was entertaining, as well.

This was a quick and, dare I say it again, fun read, aimed at middle-grade readers, but with enough references and humor to be amusing to fairy tale lovers of any age. I will definitely be checking out Ms. Baker's other books.

Check out E. D. Baker's site and other works here.

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