The Sleeping Prince by Melinda Salisbury
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
When I picked this book up I thought it was a continuation of the first book, The Sin Eater’s Daughter, but it turns out that this is a story that could stand on it’s own. I confess I didn’t remember the first book that well, so I was a bit confused and kept waiting for the first book’s storyline to intersect with this one, which it does eventually at the very end of the book. In some ways this book is better than the first, it is faster paced and has better character development. As I couldn’t even remember the characters from the first book that well, it took awhile for me to remember that Lief was one of the romantic interests of Twylla, the sin eater’s daughter, and what had really happened to him. I liked the characters in this book better than the first. Errin is great, she really steps up and faces all of her challenges with heart and grace and determination. I also adore Silas, he is very mysterious and challenging but in the end shows how much he really cares for Errin. Their relationship is outstanding as well, they don’t fully trust each other or understand each other, and spend most of the book dancing around each other and their relationship.
What I really like about this series is the world that Melinda has created. It is a great mix of fantasy and folklore with a darkness that makes you shiver. The Sleeping Prince doesn’t show up until the end, but his presence is felt through out the book. When he does finally show up, I was amazed at how truly evil and devious he had been in the story.
As I stated before, it isn’t until the last 50 pages or so that the first books characters and this ones get together, and when they do all hell breaks loose. I am looking forward to reading the last book, The Scarecrow Queen, sometime in the spring ( I can’t find a release date for the US, UK is in March so hopefully around then.) Especially now that all of the characters are together in one place. I plan to reread the first one before then, so that story is fresher in my mind.