Review of PRINCESS SONORA AND THE LONG SLEEP by GAIL CARSON LEVINE
(third in the PRINCESS TALES series)
In PRINCESS SONORA, Levine spins a new version of “Sleeping Beauty.” One where her fairy gifts annoy the king and queen more than please them. They want a normal, healthy daughter, one they can watch grow from infant to woman and develop into her own unique individual. Well, the gifts make Sonora magically extraordinary but sometimes the royal couple longs for a more average child. That said, the gift that really drives everyone in the kingdom crazy is the one that makes Sonora ten times smarter than anyone else in the world.
Of course, the gift that worries everyone (even baby Sonora because she’s so smart she understands everything) is when the snubbed fairy Belladonna curses Sonora with inevitable death by finger prick. As the story goes, another fairy intervenes and changes death to 100-year sleep. Everyone thinks Sonora cries at that because she’s a baby, but she’s bawling so much because she doesn’t want the world to change around her while she takes the longest nap ever.
Thanks to Sonora’s incredible smarts, the kingdom develops its own catch phrase: “Princess Sonora knows, but don’t ask her.” Whenever anyone anywhere asks something that no one can answer, that’s the joke. For to ask Sonora a simple question means to invite a lecture expounding on a subject far more than one ever intended.
As Sonora matures, her parents start seeking potential suitors, each with their own list of wonderful fairy gifts crafting their perfect personalities. Sonora detests them all. Perfect on paper, lacking in person. Carson does a stellar job in pinpointing what Sonora needs in a partner. She likes to answer questions...so she needs someone who likes to ask them.
Another cute, witty installment in this middle grade series of fairy tale retellings.