"Phaedra is cursed to sleep until true love wakes her. Hermione has a dark secret. When Prince Sheridan discovers the two princesses wandering the woods outside the castle at night, he begins to wonder if there is more to Phaedra's curse than is readily apparent. With the help of a minstrel out to prove a point, they must discover the secret before the princesses are trapped forever in the night."
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Who can resist a fun fairy-tale retelling? Not me!
Midnight Captive offers surprising connections between an intriguing assortment of fairy tales and legends. What do Sleeping Beauty, The Twelve Dancing Princesses, The Pied Piper of Hamelin, Rapunzel, and Cinderella have to do with one another? (It's quite possible there are even more that can be added to this list, as there are nods to all sorts of stories in these pages!) Come discover how elements of these beloved plots are pretzeled together into one enjoyable mystery.
The question of how the prince, the minstrel, and the two princesses will unravel the curses ensnaring them (be it of a magical nature or an emotional one) is what held my attention and forced me to finish the book in one sitting late at night. The characters make for a sweet cast - even if Hermione comes across as a little annoying and the boys as a bit obtuse (especially one of them! Yeesh). ;)
The writing could use a bit of polish to make it really shine, as there are some instances of "telling" and info-dumping that keep the story from flowing as well as it might and the characters from feeling as authentic as they might. But the pace is quick for the most part, and all the little "reveals" are fun to experience along the way.
I really appreciated the unique combination of familiar fairy tales in Midnight Captive, as well as the emphasis on the power of music. A great debut!
*With thanks to Rivershore Books for providing me with a e-copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*
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