Title: The Sleeping Prince
Author: Melinda Salisbury
Series: The Sin-Eater’s Daughter, #2
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: February 4th 2016
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.
– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com
This review may contain spoilers for previous book(s) in the series.
My Thoughts On…
The Sleeping Prince picks up right from where The Sin-Eater’s Daughter left off, although it continues the story from another’s perspective. Errin lives in Almwyk, a place on the border between Lormere and Trellegan where you only go if you nowhere else, so she has heard all about the horror the Sleeping Prince has been wrecking on Lormere since he awoke. Every day he seems to be moving closer to Trellegan and all attempts to negotiate with him have failed
When Trellegan’s soldiers claim Almwyk as their barracks every citizen needs to move somewhere else, but Errin is unable to. With her mother ill there is nowhere they can go that will be safe. Until Silas offers his assistance. For months Errin has been making potions and poisons for Silas, using her skills as an apothecary. She’s never seen his face but when he hands her a potion to help her mother it works where nothing else before has.
However soon Errin’s secrets are discovered, her mother is taken from her and Silas flees Almwyk without her. All Errin has is the warning someone meant for Silas’s ears only to give her a clue where he has gone. With no other option and nowhere else to turn for help in freeing her mother Errin starts making her way to Scarron to find the mysterious “her” and bring her to safety, somewhere far away from The Sleeping Prince.
There is war coming, and the roads are not safe for anyone. With refugees from Lormere overrunning the towns and the golems the Sleeping Prince commands creeping ever closer it’s a dangerous journey for Errin. The plot of The Sleeping Prince really kicked into high gear after the slow start to The Sin-Eater’s Daughter. Now that the Sleeping Prince has woken he is leaving a trail of death and destruction in his wake, and you can feel the fear and tension through the pages. The last few chapters were addictive. I didn’t want this book to end but at the same time I couldn’t put it down.
Errin has lost a lot. After her father died her remaining family were forced to move and when Lief went to travel to Lormere it left Errin alone with their mother. She tries to make the best of a bad situation but there are times when she simply can’t handle it anymore. She wants to give in when her mother spits poisonous words at her through a locked door, or when the belief that her brother is still alive falters. Errin is strong and determined; she is willing to do anything for her family, even push away the only friends she has left.
Silas is an enigma. Errin never sees past the cloak he wears that covers everything but his mouth. He pays her for potions and poisons but never reveals what they are for, and he seems to be hiding from everyone in Almwyk. However Silas is loyal to Errin, he sees her as his friend and when she is in trouble and he can do something to help he offers it without asking for anything in return.
Both Errin and Silas start out as friends, but both are keeping secrets from one another and both end up shutting down emotionally when it seems like the other is getting too close. In spite of everything Silas has done for her Errin she believes the worst when confronted with some of his secrets, but knowing he’s kept so much of his life from her and with her loyalty to her family first she finds it hard to fully trust him.
Family is a really important part of this story, and her family is really important to Errin. Her and Lief were always taught to put family first and that’s what Errin does in this book. She goes as far as she can to protect her mother from the people who would take her away if they discovered what she’s become. She believes against all odds that Lief is still alive, even when no one else seems to, and although times are dark she never considers abandoning her family for the easy path.
In The Sin-Eater’s Daughter the myths and legends seemed to take over most of the world-building. In The Sleeping Prince however most of the “myths” have come true and instead we learn a little more about the real history of the Sleeping Prince, which has become so twisted it became nothing more than a 500 year old fairytale for most people. We got to see a lot of Trellegan itself as Errin races to Scarron and it was really interesting seeing how the approaching war has affected all the different villages. Fear is a very real part of people’s way of lives now, and although most people were far removed from the fighting the threat of war still hung over their heads. However the further Errin travelled into Trellegan and away from its borders with Lormere the less the war seems to have touched the lives of the people.
I thought this book was even better than The Sin-Eater’s Daughter, although the same level of character development wasn’t in this one the plot has me hooked from the very beginning. It’s a lot more fast paced and the last few chapters have left me desperate beyond belief for the last book in the series. Luckily I don’t have too long to wait for its release.
What did you think of The Sleeping Prince? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.