Review: “The Wide-Awake Princess” by E.D. Baker

For the love of books

The Wide-Awake Princess is E.D. Baker’s latest publication.

This novel’s setting is a different world dominated by magic.  Genuine talent and accomplishment are rare in royal families as a result of fairies’ magic.  Appearances are truly deceiving, but not for Princess Annabelle of Treecrest.  She was bestowed at birth by her fairy godmother with the “gift” of being untouched by any magic, good or bad; she also can sense magic’s presence and absorb it when she is around it.  However, since her entire family is “blessed” with magical gifts, she is basically ignored by them for fear of her “gift.”  In comparison, her magically beautiful older sister, Gwendolyn, is renown in all kingdoms.  Nevertheless, Annie’s “abilities” are useful, especially when Gwendolyn’s momentous sixteenth birthday approaches.  The fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty is re-examined as Annie and a loyal guard named Liam search together for a way to end the famous curse and discover the real enemies of Treecrest.

Throughout the storyline, there are numerous connections to other fairy tales like Hansel and GretelRapunzelThe Frog PrinceSnow White, and Snow-White and Rose-Red.  Magic itself seems to be a negative force that hides the truth and causes problems.  Without magic’s touch, most of the princes Annie and Liam bring back to Treecrest to kiss Gwendolyn are naturally unattractive, foolish, and conceited.  Annie and Liam are very likable characters; they both are intelligent and self-reliant without magic’s “help.”  The author adds her sense of humor and romance to the story, which contributes to the semi-satirical atmosphere.  In the Tales of the Frog Princess series, the protagonists must learn how to cope with their own magic.

In The Wide-Awake Princess, Annie is a unique heroine who survives without magic in a land that depends on it.  It is interesting and very entertaining to follow how Annie and Liam deal with the many problems, both magical and non-magical, that occur during their quest.  In the spirit of her previous novels, E.D. Baker again demonstrates her talent as a writer and her ingenious versions of classic fairy tales in The Wide-Awake Princess.

Original review: A new twist on a classic fairy tale, Examiner.com

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