Once Upon a Dream

Once Upon a Dream: A Twisted Tale: A Twisted Tale (Twisted Tale, A) - Liz Braswell

I started this book late one night looking for something to read while I dozed off and thinking a lovely fairy tale retelling would be fun.


I finished this book later that same night sitting bolt upright in bed at a completely ridiculous hour.


I really do not regret this.


Your enjoyment of this book is probably dependent on how fond you are of the Disney telling of Sleeping Beauty. If you hate it, this might not be as much fun for you. If you absolutely adore it and think it is perfect, it might not be as much fun for you. I managed to play Goldilocks for this one and found that I loved the movie just enough to be very pleased with a bit of a twist on it and for the expansion of the characters seen in this.


In terms of characters, I really did like the way they were handled.


The film is pre-Disney Renaissance. Aurora is a pretty passive character. She is kind, yes, and fond of animals, and very pretty, and you certainly don't want her murdered or stuck sleeping for a century or anything, so you will root for her, but she is not exactly known for her chutzpah. She is a pretty classic damsel-in-distress. Maleficent is straight evil. Phillip arrives to save the day (and does a bit of dancing first). The characters don't really have a whole lot of depth.


This Aurora is significantly less passive.


Because of the placement of this story, it fits quite well to develop a bit more of a personality. It's nice to see her be occasionally stupid and childish and to see her get beyond that. Watching the film as a child, the characters seem so grown up. It's hard to remember that Aurora is only sixteen years old. And was raised in the woods with a bunch of kind, but maybe-not-this-side-of-human-normal fairies. It's honestly pretty impressive that she is not more messed up than she is, given that, and  little bit of childishness, especially in a horrible and confusing situation, seems rather more natural than not.


Maleficent probably got the more interesting character expansion, however. It was not nearly as in-depth as what we see from Aurora, because she is not the main character, but there are some interesting aspects of her personality brought up and they are not all evil. She makes a few good points about right and wrong, actually, and she does not always fall on the side of it one would expect.


The story itself was interesting and had a few poignant moments. The love story aspect (because let's be honest, this was still based on a Disney movie) was not my favorite portion, but worked well enough. Phillip was kind of adorable, but perhaps not always terribly bright. The added characters gave some extra color to the world and the fairies managed to be a touch disturbing without taking away the charm they had in the film version.


All in all I quite enjoyed this and will be picking up the rest in the series.


This book was provided to me for free via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.