After I finished reading, As Old as Time, I wasn’t really looking forward to this one. I sucked it up and kept an open mind. I struggled with the first chapters. I fell asleep 3 times in the beginning. Funny how this story is about Sleeping Beauty and I was literally falling asleep. I don’t think it helps the fact that out of all the Disney Princesses, Aurora is my least favorite. But I pulled through and just kept reading hoping my interest would be captured and yes it was. I wasn’t disappointed by this book.
The book begins with Aurora or Briar Rose, living in the castle for 16 years and Maleficent is her aunt and queen of the kingdom. Maleficent advices her subjects and Rose never to venture out the castle and forest because there’s nothing out there besides death. Maleficent creates a barrier of thorns around the castle to keep anyone from coming in or out. Rose starts questioning her life and decides to escape the castle. Turns out, it’s all a dream. In real life, Rose did touch the spindle of the spinning wheel and fell asleep. Prince Philip did slay Maleficent the dragon. He kisses Aurora but in doing so, he falls asleep and goes inside Aurora’s dream. Everyone in the castle is also asleep and inside her dream. Maleficent had a final trick under her sleeve when she cast the curse on Rose 16 years ago. Turns out, the moment that Philip killed dragon Maleficent, she went inside Rose’s dream and once Rose’s 16 birthday passes, she’ll be able to take over Rose’s body and live again. But until that happens, she kills people around the castle and takes their life force to stay alive. Unfortunately those that she kill in the dream also die in real life. She even kills Rose’s parents. Brutal.
Rose begins her journey on trying to wake up and along the way, she slowly recovers her actual memories; of the time she lived in the forest with the 3 fairies up until her 16th birthday to find out she’s a Princess betrothed to a Prince. Prince Philip finds Rose in the dream and together they venture out while they get to know each other better. As they go deeper into the forest and into Rose’s hidden memories, Rose develops magic powers and is able to summon things just by thinking it. In the end, Rose kills Maleficent and everyone wakes up in the castle. Rose becomes queen of the kingdom and in time, Philip and her get married and live happily ever after.
I love that Rose has character development. From the moment she leaves the castle up until she slays Maleficent, she’s learning life lessons. She’s not just a helpless princess anymore. Philip is very supportive of Rose and pushes her to keep going. Any doubt Rose has, Philip is there as the voice of reason. They begin to understand each other and their inner struggles. When the curse is broken, Philip is there to support Rose’s rule as queen of the kingdom despite the hesitation of having a female ruler. But Rose can hold her own on defending her claim.
I very much liked this version of Sleeping Beauty. I think from now on, I’ll keep this version in my head instead of the movie. This one just makes sense to me. Rose falls asleep as a princess and awakes up as an intelligent, brave, and compassionate young lady. It’s a story about inner growth and I like that.