Unlocking the Spell (Sequel to Wide-Awake Princess)
Review of Wide-Awake Princess (prequel)
Publication Date: October 2nd 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Genre: Fantasy, Middle-Grade, Fairytale
Now that Annie has helped her sister Gwendolyn (a.k.a. Sleeping Beauty) wake up from the 100-year curse by finding her beloved prince, you would think that things would get back to normal. Think again! That beloved prince, Beldegard, is stuck in the body of a bear and the only way that Annie can be free of the two irritating lovebirds is to help-by finding the evil dwarf who cast the spell. Luckily, Annie has assistance from handsome prince Liam, and she has many tricks up her non-magical sleeve . . .
This book picks up right off where The Wide-Awake Princess stopped. Obviously we can't just keep the bear prince stuck in bear form, and of course everyone taps poor Princess Annabelle for the job.
What's fun about this book is, where the last book seemed to focus on fairytales where a Prince seeks a Princess or needs a Princess, or pretty much the Prince is the savior, this one focuses on all the fairytales with talking animals. We visit "Little Red Riding Hood" "The Three Little Pigs" "Goldilocks" among others. While stringing the many fairytales mentioned seamlessly together.
We get to meet up with Rose Red which made my day (Snow-White and Rose-Red for the win!) and I loved how the dwarf from that fairytale turned out to be one of the dwarves from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (different Snow White, of course).
One thing that did come to annoy me, and honestly I think it annoyed Annie as well, was the fact that all that the male characters seemed to feel like they should be leading the journey, when really Annie is the one knowing how to go about it and coming up with the ideas, but I feel like she gets shoved aside a lot. For example in the beginning with the Princes argue about who should be leading, no one suggests that Annie should do it, yet she's the one who ends up delegating tasks to break up their fight.
In general I enjoyed this book as much as the first, especially since there was a different tale focus, thus giving the two books some distinction from each other. I recommend this and its prequel to all fairytale lovers who like seeing them taking in a light and fun manner.