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Sleeping Beauty's Daughters

Sleeping Beauty's Daughters

4.8 6
by Diane Zahler

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The classic fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty is transformed into a dazzling new story of two sisters fighting a powerful curse by Diane Zahler, the acclaimed author of The Thirteenth Princess. Briskly paced and full of lush descriptions, readers who enjoy the work of Shannon Hale and Gail Carson Levine will be swept away by this spellbinding novel.



The classic fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty is transformed into a dazzling new story of two sisters fighting a powerful curse by Diane Zahler, the acclaimed author of The Thirteenth Princess. Briskly paced and full of lush descriptions, readers who enjoy the work of Shannon Hale and Gail Carson Levine will be swept away by this spellbinding novel.

The daughters of Sleeping Beauty, Princesses Aurora and Luna, have grown up in a cliff-top palace by the sea, where they are carefully protected by their parents. No one visits, the girls cannot stray beyond the castle walls, and all sharp objects are forbidden here.

But accidents will happen—particularly when an old curse still has power. Soon, in spite of all precautions, Aurora is struggling not to slip into an enchanted sleep.

Frantic, the princesses accept the help of a young fisherman named Symon and embark on a daring ocean voyage to find their aunt—a fairy who may be able to break the spell. From fearsome beasts to raging storms, many dangers befall them, yet they must not give up . . . for if Aurora sleeps, she will not wake for one hundred years.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Elisabeth Greenberg
Princess Aurora lived under a curse without knowing it until too late, thanks to her little sister’s wildness and her parents’ overprotectiveness. Just like Sleeping Beauty (a.k.a. her mother), Aurora can hardly stay awake. Luna, her enterprising young sister, convinces Aurora that the only way to defeat the curse is to go in search of the good fairy godmother, Emmeline. Off they go, with Luna pinching Aurora’s arm and Aurora drinking energizing herbal tea at every droopy an eyelid. Unfortunately, the wicked fairy godmother known as Manon not only engineered the entry of the sharp instrument into the castle for the curse, but also has her evil eye on Aurora. Facing dangers from uncanny storm winds to mythical beasts and quicksand, the intrepid sisters finally dodge through a whirlpool before being brought by their uncle Leander and their staunch sailor boy companion to Emmeline’s fantastic island. In a face-off with Manon, Luna has one final brilliant idea for Emmeline, and Aurora is delivered. The wicked Manon, furious at being tricked and abandoned by her obsession, Uncle Leander, self-combusts! Aurora and Luna turn the concept of “princess” on its head by discovering their own courage and brilliance and compassion in this story. Rich with humor and detail, this book should be sought out by librarians and grandparents for middle school readers who loved fairytales and are in search of books with strong characters. Reviewer: Elisabeth Greenberg AGERANGE: Ages 10 to 14.
School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—This intricately plotted, appealing continuation of the classic tale combines magic, realism, and some modern attitudes. Queen Rosamond and her husband have lived with the terror of a curse put upon her as an infant and on her future firstborn child. The original curse foretold the queen's death at the age of 16, but Emmeline, her father's godmother, lessened it. Instead, Rosamond slept for a century after pricking her finger. The same curse is now on Princess Aurora, so her parents have sheltered their daughters from the outside world. Twelve-year-old Aurora is obedient and proper, whereas her younger sister, Luna, is far more curious and independent. The girls have no knowledge of the curse until Luna cuts her finger on a piece of glass. When the queen sees this she faints, and it is then that the girls must be told the truth. Though all sharp objects have been removed from the palace, a quill pen finds its way there in the bag of the girls' new tutor, and Aurora pricks her finger. Almost immediately sleepiness overwhelms her, and Luna devotes herself to keeping Aurora awake. Now they must survive horrendous obstacles as they search for Emmeline in the hope that she can undo or alter the curse. The girls are aided on their harrowing adventures by Symon, a young courageous fisherman, and eventually by their uncle, who has become a lutin, another creature with magical powers. Zahler's fans and those who enjoyed Gail Carson Levine's Ella Enchanted (HarperCollins, 1997) or Robin McKinley's Beauty (HarperCollins, 1978) will love this story.—Renee Steinberg, formerly at Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
Two sisters quest to break a spell, even as one of them succumbs to the same curse that kept their mother asleep for 100 years. Demure Princess Aurora and reckless Princess Luna are shocked to discover that their fragile mother is the Sleeping Beauty of fairy-tale fame. They are even more surprised to learn the reason for their sheltered upbringing is that 11-year-old Aurora has also been sentenced to sleep 100 years by the same vengeful fairy who cursed their mother. The girls hope they'll have time to undo the spell, but Aurora pricks her finger and is soon fighting the pull of enchanted slumber. Thus the sisters embark on a choppily paced sea journey to find the long-lost fairy godmother they hope can lift the curse. Along the way, they make new friends, encounter a disembodied spirit, man-eating beasts and a sea monster, among other dangers. Aurora narrates the story--even through her inevitable sleep--and though the conclusion seems sudden and a bit too easy, Aurora's and Luna's growth is satisfying and real. The problems--including awkward references to stories from our world--distract, but fantasy readers should be willing to overlook the flaws for the satisfaction of reading a story about girls with agency who, though aided by others, find the solutions to their own problems. A refreshing fairy tale that breaks the passive-heroine mold. (Fantasy. 9-13)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
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File size:
986 KB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Diane Zahler is the author of The Thirteenth Princess, A True Princess, and Princess of the Wild Swans. Her books have been praised for their "delicious descriptions" (Kirkus Reviews) and their "gratifying depth" (Publishers Weekly). Diane lives with her husband in New York's Harlem Valley, in an old farmhouse held together by magic spells and duct tape.

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Sleeping Beauty's Daughters 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Have not read for years.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was awesomr and i reccomend it to everyone who likes adventure
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You have to read this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love diane zahler books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love love LOVE this book! I suggest this book to anyone who likes action with a twist of danger and wimsical magic. It sounds really cheesy and kiddish but it actually had action and danger and even dragons! Trust me when I say you will love this book no matter how old you are! Happy reading!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago