by Melinda Salisbury
Release: 4th February 2016
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Source: Copy received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
"Return to the darkly beautiful world of The Sin Eater's Daughter with a sequel that will leave you awed, terrified . . . and desperate for more.
Ever since her brother Lief disappeared, Errin's life has gone from bad to worse. Not only must she care for her sick mother, she has to scrape together rent money by selling illegal herbal cures. But none of that compares to the threat of the vengeful Sleeping Prince whom the Queen just awoke from his enchanted sleep.
When her village is evacuated as part of the war against the Sleeping Prince, Errin is left desperate and homeless. The only person she can turn to is the mysterious Silas, a young man who buys deadly poisons from Errin, but won't reveal why he needs them. Silas promises to help her, but when he vanishes, Errin must journey across a kingdom on the brink of war to seek another way to save her mother and herself. But what she finds shatters everything she believed about her world, and with the Sleeping Prince drawing nearer, Errin must make a heartbreaking choice that could affect the whole kingdom."
The Sleeping Prince is a companion novel to The Sin Eater’s Daughter offering a different vantage point to the world that Melinda Salisbury has created. In this book we follow Errin – a clever, resourceful, Tregellan girl. Although new to us, Errin isn’t an entirely new character, she’s sister to Lief who we met in The Sin Eater’s Daughter.
As a Tregellan, Errin has lived a life of logic and science as an apprentice apothecary in her village. But the legends that she thought were fairy stories are starting to come true.
After a trip into the woods Errin’s mother becomes sickly with blood red eyes and a vicious temper. Errin is convinced that her mother has turned into a beast from one of her books.
When the sleeping prince awakens and begins a war with his army of golems, Errin leaves behind everything she thought she knew as she gets sucked into a new world of myth and legend and becomes a vital piece in a war fought with poison, potions and blood.
All too often I give up on reading a series, not because I’m not enjoying it, but because I forget what’s happened in previous books so I was thrilled to find that The Sleeping Prince follows a new set of characters and a new storyline. At first The Sleeping Prince and The Sin Eater’s Daughter feel quite separate, but the stories begin to connect later on as you see how Errin fits into the bigger picture.
I loved that this book delved deeper into the religions and myths that make up this world that I was so curious about when reading the first book. I also found the alchemy aspect fascinating. All of the potions, poisons and cures are so interesting to read about and bring an element of science to a fantastical world.
Melinda Salisbury has really showcased her skills as a writer with The Sleeping Prince. Her writing has gone from strength to strength and was absolutely stunning to read. The plot was expertly crafted with clever twists and heart-stopping surprises that I didn’t see coming.
The Sleeping Prince is part fairytale, part fantasy and isn’t quite like anything I’ve read before. Be warned that the ending is a cruel one: Mel is an awful tease and leaves you desperate for the third instalment.
If you love rich worlds, dark fairytales and magical alchemy don’t miss out on the imagination of Melinda Salisbury.
The Sleeping Prince is out today and is available to buy here.