Warning: If you have not read “The Sleeping Prince” by Melinda Salisbury, do not read this review if you want to avoid spoilers. If you don’t mind spoilers or have already read the book, go ahead and read this review!
I’m back with another book review! This time, the book I’m reviewing is none other than “The Sleeping Prince” by Melinda Salisbury. Here’s the summary so we have an idea as of what it’s about:
“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.”
Plotwise, I found the book incredibly interesting. Who was this Sleeping Prince? What was the backstory behind this man? It was interesting to learn about him and see what the other characters tried to do to try to beat him. I also loved at the end of the book that the antagonist won for once, rather than the heroine. It’s not often I see a twist like that in the plot.
For the worldbuilding of the book, I liked it overall but I would have liked more clarity in the beginning. I often had to refer to the book’s map in the beginning to understand what some of the terms meant, but it didn’t seem clear as of whether some names were names of places, objects, or people. The book wasn’t a huge info dump about its world or the myths it held, and yet was clear enough for me to understand what was going on despite such an unclear beginning so that’s a good thing.
In terms of character development, I would have liked to see better character development in Errin, especially with her interactions with others. What development she did had in the book wasn’t too static, but I feel like it wasn’t written to the best of its ability. She has a stubbornness that sticks with her at times, and though I found it charming in the beginning of the book it was starting to wear off halfway through. I especially disliked the fact that she didn’t stop her romantic advances towards Silas until he finally got frustrated and told her straight-up that he was technically a monk and therefore it wouldn’t have worked between them either way because he was committed to his duties, even if he did have romantic interest in her. Given how Errin obviously had her own difficulties handling the one guy who kept overcharging her to have a decent in the attempt to coerce her into having sex with him, I thought she would learn from that and learn to respect Silas’ boundaries if he said no, too. But no, she didn’t learn that. It’s one thing for her not to not get it the first time between her and Silas, but did it really have to take at least seventy-five percent of the book for her to understand that he really didn’t see her in the same way she did? I just found that part really icky between her and Silas overall, and it was one of the parts involving Errin that I disliked the most. It’s one thing to have a crush on someone and it’s okay to have that crush, but if they don’t like you you really shouldn’t force it to happen either. I was actually happy, as a result, with Silas telling her off in the book to give him some space and to stop pursuing him romantically.
Regarding the character of Silas, I also think he could have used more development as well. I liked how he stood his ground on his beliefs in the book but also at least listened to Errin’s point of view regarding certain situations. Even if he did stick with what he believed in most of the time, at least he was open enough to listen instead of shutting her down quickly. I also liked how he stood up for himself regarding social boundaries between him and Errin and how he refused to let her just keep romantically pursuing him, too. However, I would have liked to see more of how his interactions were with his superiors later on in the book. He’s presented as being obedient to his superiors, no matter what the cost, but I don’t think we had enough of a chance to see how he feels about the organization he even belongs to. Does he fully agree with them? Are there places where he feels differently? I don’t really have an idea. I hope to see more of that in the next book.
The Sleeping Prince himself is more talked about by the characters than actually appearing in the book, or at least it seemed that way until the plot twist of him actually being there in Errin’s dreams became present by the end of the book. In truth, the man was a smart enough villain to beat the heroes to the end, giving them no chance to go through with what plans they had to defeat him, and ultimately conquered them. He was definitely presented as someone who truly knows how to take advantage of the opportunities presented to him, and I wonder how his interactions with the other characters will be like in the next book, especially when interacting with Errin. I wonder what sort of developments will happen with him. Given that he didn’t appear much in the book with the other characters I’ll let him get away with not much development, but I’m hoping for the next book that we’ll see more of him interacting with the other characters and seeing more and more of what he really is like character-wise, other than being brilliantly ruthless with his villainous activities.
Overall, I’m going to rate this book 4 out of 5 stars, the one star not being there due to some lack of character development and the book being a little confusing when it came to worldbuilding. Otherwise I think this is definitely a book one should pick up.