I actually prefer this retelling of The Sleeping Beauty
to McKinley’s two versions of Beauty and the Beast
. It has more substance. And it’s not just the story that’s good, but the little details that she includes, which make the book a worthwhile read.
I loved all of the little signs of affection between the characters, which enhance the depth of feeling they share amongst each other. I really enjoyed the scene where Barder declares his intentions to Katriona… knowing he's wearing his best suit, his sudden shyness when he finally sees her, and the moment when they look into each other’s eyes and just know what’s written in each other’s hearts. I even liked how he silently offers to help her in her chores, even though his efforts would ruin his best suit. The moments shared between Rosie and Narl were also rather enjoyable... when his lips brush her cheek as he whispers her name, the way Rosie was able to read all the emotions that appear on his face for that split second. I just thought those scenes were well done.
There were even some cute moments that made me smile. For instance the scene describing the arrival of Kat’s mother-in-law, where she enters the house and immediately performs the white glove test… eyeing everything with disapproval. My grandmother does the same thing. ;) Reading Rosie's full name also put a smile on my face. It reminded me of that Monty Python skit in the Arts segment describing the guy with the long name: Johann Gambolputty de von Ausfern…etc...of Ulm.
The ending had a rather cool twist. It wasn’t something I entirely expected, but it made a good—even fitting—surprise.