Jenniffer Wardell writes a quirky, funny and realistic version of the classic Sleeping Beauty fairy tale in "Dreamless," which is scheduled to be released March 29.
Princess Elena has known since birth that her days are numbered. She's the victim of a curse from her Aunt Adriane, an evil sorceress. Aunt Adriane and Elena's mother, Illiana, were partners in the sorceress business until Illiana fell in love with the king she was supposed to help curse. The sisters had a messy fallout, and Adriane decided to curse him. It didn't go as planned, and the curse hit Elena instead.
When she reaches her 18th birthday, Elena will sleep for a hundred years. The princess decides to not get too close to anyone because of this. She becomes known as an "ice queen" who only shows emotion when angry.
Then along comes Cameron, the son of Elena's usual bodyguard, Commander Alan Merrick. When Cameron's father is hurt during an incident, he asks his son to come to watch over Elena. She starts having blackouts, a sign that the curse is starting, even though she still has months before it should begin.
Cameron breaks through Elena's "ice" to the nice, warm and funny young lady underneath. He makes her start to hope there can be a future for her and for them.
This is a world where magic mirrors are used as cellphones, wraiths are full of sarcasm and people use magic as a part of everyday life.
There is humor and romance, but the story does have its serious moments: the betrayal of a sister, the effects of depression and the fear of the unknown. Wardell does an excellent job of making a fairy tale seem plausible and realistic.
The book contains some mild violence and romance that doesn't go beyond kissing. There is no objectionable language. The story emphasizes lots of family values, such as honesty, duty and togetherness.