The Sleeping Prince by Melinda Salisbury
Publishing Date: February 4th, 2016
Goodreads | Book Depository
Return to the darkly beautiful world of The Sin Eater's Daughter with a sequel that will leave you awed, terrified . . . and desperate for more.
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.
I was apprehensive going into this book as the protagonist is someone different but I shouldn't have bothered being so because it completely worked.
This time around we follow Lief's sister, Errin, as she struggles to take care of herself and her mother in a tatty hut in a lowlife village. She uses her apothecary skills to make enough money to just get by and avoid the wrath of the creepy Unwin as much as possible. Her most loyal customer, and now somewhat friend, is Silas: a mysterious figure who hides his face and lurks in the corners. Things for Errin become much more difficult when the Sleeping Prince awakens and war begins. She has to find a way to keep her mother safe and determine if Silas can really be trusted or not.
The book focuses a lot on the war being forged between the Sleeping Prince and the rest of the kingdoms. It's a harsh and brutal war and not glamourised in any way which I loved. Our main character isn't miraculously protected or saved and she has to face the realities of war. It's not nice but she has to do what she has to do to survive.
There is a massive reduction in the amount of romance compared to book one and I feel like this corresponds nicely with the focus of war. Who has time to be contemplating a brushed hand or small kiss every minute of the day when there's a war raging? The little romance that there is is nice and provides some lighter moments at times to keep us on our toes.
Some old characters do return which I was really happy about. Some of what happens with those characters is satisfying. Some is frustrating (with the frustration lying in the characters' decisions *shakes head*).
It was nice to learn about the world through someone else's eyes. We get more history from a different perspective and area of the land. Some things we were introduced to before are expanded and there is plenty of new information to expand our knowledge of the kingdoms too. Melinda Salisbury is a mastermind at creating a cliffhanger ending and I don't know how I'm supposed to wait a whole year to know what happens next. I am also in love with the epilogue which was just perfect. I need book three immediately!