Review of The Princess Game: A Reimagining of Sleeping Beauty by Melanie Cellier

The Princess Game: A Reimagining of Sleeping Beauty
The Four Kingdoms Book 4
By Melanie Cellier

Star Rating: 
Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling
Number of Pages: 267

Date Started: December 22, 2017
Date Finished: December 24, 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
They call her the Sleeping Princess, but Celeste is far from asleep…

Celeste has been cursed since her sixteenth birthday–just not in the way the rest of the kingdom thinks. All they see is her breath-taking beauty, marred by her foolishness. Only she knows that she retains her brilliant mind. And it’s a secret she must keep at all costs.

Over the years she’s grown accustomed to the necessary deception. After all, her life depends on it. And she’s even found a way to protect her kingdom, working from the shadows. But now a dangerous new threat has emerged, one that Celeste can’t defeat alone. She needs the help of a newly-arrived prince. One who’s altogether too handsome and too charming. Somehow she needs to keep her secret, save her kingdom and find a way to free herself from the curse. The last thing she has time to do is sleep.

In this reimagining of the classic fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty, it’s only the princess’ mind that is asleep. And sometimes appearances can be deceiving.

Oh my goodness. This book was absolutely fantastic. While various parts of the original Sleeping Beauty were kept alive, the curse, the gift of fairy godmothers, this was a completely different and wonderful tale. The duality of Celeste was expertly done, and will remind most of how others perceive them versus how they are inside.

William was phenomenal, and as perceptive as I thought he would be. All of the characters had great depth and I quite enjoyed the story altogether.

The Four Kingdoms and Beyond the Four Kingdoms are some stories I believe anyone who is a fairy tale buff/aficionado would love, and they’re included on Amazon Unlimited.

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
Melanie Cellier grew up on a staple diet of books, books and more books. And although she got older she never stopped loving children’s and young adult novels. She always wanted to write one herself but it took three careers and three different continents before she actually managed it.

She now feels incredibly fortunate to spend her time writing from her home in Canberra, Australia where they don’t have a beach but they do have kangaroos hopping down the streets. Her staple diet hasn’t changed much, although she’s added choc mint Rooibos tea and Chicken Crimpies to the list.

She is currently working on The Four Kingdoms, a series of young adult fairy tale retellings.

Visit Melanie at her website: or follow her on Facebook: for all the latest news on The Princess Companion and other upcoming Four Kingdoms stories.

Review of Briar Rose by Jane Yolen

Briar Rose
By Jane Yolen

Star Rating: 
Genre: Young Adult
Number of Pages: 224

Time Started: 9/12/2015 10 pm
Time Finished: 9/13/2015 11 pm

Synopsis:(From Amazon)
Ever since she was a child, Rebecca has been enchanted by her grandmother Gemma’s stories about Briar Rose. But a promise Rebecca makes to her dying grandmother will lead her on a remarkable journey to uncover the truth of Gemma’s astonishing claim: I am Briar Rose. A journey that will lead her to unspeakable brutality and horror. But also to redemption and hope.


The last book that gripped me like this was The Book Thief.  I was drawn in and couldn’t wait to know more as the story unfolded.  I, like many others, love fairy tales.  The title “Briar Rose” was what caused me to pull this down off the bookstore shelf.  The synopsis sounded quite interesting, and really gave me no indication of what I was in for.  If you’re looking for a book that makes history relatable, and showcases how trauma can manifest itself, look no further.

Briar Rose is a hybrid retelling of Sleeping Beauty, which manages to entwine the past of a woman into the fairy tale.  The constant showcase of bits and pieces of Becca’s grandmother Gemma’s version of the story works to seamlessly mix the past with a warning for the future.

Although the story is original and compelling, there are places where the writing leaves something to be desired.  The repetition and disconnect between Becca and her two sisters is a bit jarring, and their lack of depth and characterization at times makes the story seem forced.  While Becca is our protagonist, we learn little of her besides her love for her grandmother.  Several times, as if thrown in haphazardly, Becca says that she is good at something or capable of something, explaining why, instead of showing us, and often about unimportant things, such as the ability to read a map and give directions.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and intend to keep it around for years to come, hoping that someday friends or family members will get the enjoyment out of it that I did.  I found it quite gripping and hard to put down.  Due to some content that younger children simply wouldn’t understand I would recommend reading ages 6th grade and up.

If this is a book you have read and have fallen in love with you absolutely must read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne.  I will say that this one did not pitch me into the emotional upheaval that The Book Thief did, perhaps because the protagonist is too far removed from the past.  Both of the novels mentioned above will bring you into the world that Becca’s grandmother experienced, and you will be taken for quite a ride.


Author Bio:
As Jane Yolen’s biography listed on amazon is at least triple what the synopsis of the story is, you can instead learn about Jane at her Amazon page here.

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Thank you!