Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
Release Date: May 31, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
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.
The Sleeping Prince is the second installment in author Melinda Salisbury's The Sin Eater's Daughter trilogy. The Sleeping Prince actually features two new characters in Errin Vastel and Silas Korby. But, don't ignore the villain who really makes things so much more entertaining, twisted, and darker. The Sleeping Prince has risen after 500 years of being cursed to sleep. He's on a mission, and he intends to make those who were responsible for him missing 500 years pay in earnest. I could spend an enormous time talking about The Sleeping Prince and how vindictive and utterly dark he really is and how he manipulates everything and everyone he touches. But, I'll stick instead to the newest characters.
The first chapter really grabs and holds your attention. It is bloody, it is dark, and it sets the stage for what the rest of the story's characters will have to deal with in order to survive. Moving past the bloodshed and horror, readers meet Errin who has living in a village called Almwyk where people come to rot. Errin's life has been turned upside down. Her father is dead, her brother is gone, and her mother has lost all of what made her human, and Errin believes she has some disease called The Scarlet Varulv.
The village of Almwyk is where dregs of society, debtors, drunks, addicts, and liars who have no other place to go live. They are closely watched over by soldiers who worry that the Sleeping Prince will soon rain horror down on the village. Errin and her mother are renting a cottage from the vile Chase Unwin. Errin has been trained to run an apothecary shop, but she can't go anywhere with her mother acting very strangely. She also has no clue where her brother Lief has gone to, or if he is still alive.
Errin must sell potions to a mysterious character named Silas who keeps his hair, and face covered at all times. Errin and Silas friendship/romance is not in your face. Silas is the one character who genuinely cares for Errin, but his identity, if exposed could make things even more dangerous for everyone involved. Silas is the mystery man of this story, and so it becomes even more important not to skip over parts where his true mission is laid out for readers.
For those of who read The Sin Eater's Daughter, you know where Lief is because we met him along with Twylla and Merek. The fact that he nor the rest of the first novel's characters don't show up until the last part of this story, makes things really interesting. By this point, we know who Errin is, and we hope that she has the skills and the courage to live to find out what really happened to her brother and the others. I have to say that Errin, to me, was a remarkable character, and I do hope we get more of her in the final installment.
At one point she takes credit for a mistake that causes so much pain, but doesn't run away from that mistake. She's all about her family, even after Lief disappeared without a trace. She is so loyal to her family that when given the chance to find a cure for her mother's ailments, she travels a rather long way back to her former home, and on to find a girl that Silas & his coven have been searching for. Someone who can turn the tide against The Sleeping Prince. Errin's own struggles are pale in comparison to what happens in other places where the Sleeping Prince's rampaging is tearing whole communities apart.
I dare say that I look forward to the next installment in this trilogy called The Scarecrow Queen.