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Publisher's Summary

I am not the sort of person about whom stories are told. And so begins Elise Dalriss's story. When she hears her great-granddaughter recount a minstrel's tale about a beautiful princess asleep in a tower, it pushes open a door to the past, a door Elise has long kept locked. For Elise was the companion to the real princess who slumbered - and she is the only one left who knows what actually happened so many years ago. Her story unveils a labyrinth where secrets connect to an inconceivable evil. As only Elise understands all too well, the truth is no fairy tale...
©2014 Elizabeth Blackwell (P)2014 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"Blackwell, previously a reporter and romance writer, makes her historical fiction debut with a gripping tale full of romance, secrets, and promises made and broken. This beautiful, original reinterpretation of a classic story is engrossing and often surprising." ( Library Journal Starred Review)
"Narrator Wanda McCaddon clearly understands the emotional arc of Blackwell's story and gives a moving performance." ( AudioFile)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Jim "The Impatient" on 02-08-15


Did I read a fantasy with black magic or did I listen to a highly entertaining dark tale with characters who knew how to fool people in to thinking they performed magic? I think I know, but I am not 100% sure.

This is done in first person from the point of view of a servant of the queen and princess. Most things can be explained through deduction, but some things might be magic. This reminded me a lot of Robin Hobb's writing. The main characters are well developed. Young Elsie could easily be confused with Fitz in Hobb's Farseer trilogy. Like real life not everything turns out the way you want it to. The characters are complicated, not cookie cutter cut outs. I loved every minute of it and can't wait for Blackwell to come out with something else at Audible.

This is less fairly tale and more story. Sleeping beauty plays a minor part. It also is a story about a strong woman who like some women of today, had to decide between her love life and her career. If you like books with a strong female lead, this is the book for you. Change a few things and this could easily be a story about a woman of today.

Narrator is exceptional and made the experience that much more.

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15 of 16 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Jenny on 06-19-14

A Great Fairytale Revamp! Very Very Dark

I don't want to spoil anything, but I will say this: surprisingly depressing.

The best parts of this story are the characters. Every character is motivated by complex and completely relatable experiences. No decision ever seemed innately flawed, it's really easy to understand, but the series of choices leads to some dark situations.

I will warn you, this book is not for the faint of heart. It is not light hearted at all. But if you can get through it, it is very very good. It left me with all sorts of feelings for days

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9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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