Title: The Sleeping Prince (The Sin Eater’s Daughter, #2)
Author: Melinda Salisbury
Publisher: Scholastic Press, 2016
Genre: YA Fantasy
Here’s the book cover in all its glory:
But enough of my #coverlove. I’m obviously obsessed. And don’t want to part with my library copy. And would literally have this hanging as a poster in my house. But enough about that…
So, if you haven’t read The Sin Eater’s Daughter, surprisingly, you will still be okay reading this review! Because though it behooves you to read the first book in the series, this book does not pick up with the same character the first book left off. Twylla was our protagonist in The Sin Eater’s Daughter. In The Sleeping Prince, we have Errin.
Errin has been paying the rent with the sale of potions, some harmless, some deadly. Though she is not a licensed apothecary, she studied under a well-renowned apothecary back in her hometown of Tremayne. However, once her father died, Errin had to pack up with her mother and her brother Lief and move to Almwyk. Almwyk is a place people go to disappear.
Lief left to help the family but hasn’t come back…and Errin and her mother are all alone. Actually, Errin is practically alone…her mother had been in a haze after Errin’s father’s death (I really wish she would just spell her name Erin bc my spellcheck is going nuts with the double Rs), and after wandering in the woods, she has returned with the Scarlet Valruv, a disease which turns her mother into a beast every full moon.
Now that The Sleeping Prince has awakened, and the country is sealing off the border, Errin and her mother need to move; there’s only one problem: people have been quarantined and burned alive in their homes when thought to be infected with her mother’s illness. And the licentious landlord offers for Errin to stay…for a price. But Errin has no intention of following through…if she can dope up her mother enough, they both can flee, but only after the full moon has passed.
But Errin is out of time.
So she turns to the one man that can help, the mysterious Silas Colby, her sole customer and man whose face she has never seen. But one day, while gathering herbs in the forest, Errin returns to her cottage to find Silas in her home…and with the door unlocked to her mother’s bedroom. Silas knows she’s ill…and he’s been hiding some secrets of his own. When Silas promises to take Errin and her mother with him to safety, she expects the secretive man to follow though.
But when Silas disappears before they are to leave, Errin must take matters into her own hands. And she’s going to track Silas down because she knows he is the key to saving her mother, and that’s all that matters.
Is It Classroom-Appropriate?
Oh my goodness, yes! This story has it all…and it can be read as a standalone! It’s not complete of course: there’s still a The Scarecrow Queen which I am eagerly awaiting, but it’s a book similar to The Sin Eater’s Daughter where the story continues in the same world, and the characters are connected, but the stories don’t depend on each other. They can be read alone and continued later. I would love to use this with the amazing writing, the fantasy elements, and the twists around every turn (and I mean every turn).
Scholastic has a list of themes for the classroom and I think I could find all sorts of benefits to using it. It’s like a fairy tale but richer and it deals with sacrifice, poverty, and strength. I could see it making a good anchor text for a unit. I know I want a classroom set!
Lexile.com marks it at HL800L, making this more for the high school reading level (or advanced junior high reader). It’s recommended for 14-17, but I could see 13 and up being an appropriate age range. There’s no swearing or sex, and the battles aren’t bloody or macabre. It’s rated with the HL (high-low) designation, which usually means though a younger reader can understand, it’s best for an older audience…but I’m not seeing why it’s designated this way unless it has to do with the intricate plot. I find no problem letting someone even my niece’s age (12) read this. It’s amazing.
I give this ★★★★★! (Btw, I’m thinking of coming up with a meme for my ratings since most people don’t see my star rating explanation at the bottom of the page, so that’s coming…it’ll make my ratings a little clearer). This book was great! I cannot find a single problem, and I was glued to it the entire time. This one is already on my favorites shelf on a Goodreads. I find Salisbury to be a talented author who knows how to weave a story full of surprises. If you haven’t read The Sin Eater’s Daughter and you’ve been lagging on picking it up, I heartily encourage you to read that and this book.
I’ll be requesting an ARC of The Scarecrow Queen as soon as I find it available! I cannot wait for the final book! And there’s a free short story called The King of Rats that explains more of the “mythology” of the story…count me in!
What are you reading? I’ll be reading nothing until I get all my homework done, seeing as this is the official last week of school and finals are next week. So if I’m a little absent, just remember it’s only until the end of next week.
And I graduate December 10th! Whoo Hoo!