Book Reads: Once Upon a Dream (Liz Braswell)

June 03, 2021

What if the sleeping beauty never woke up?

And that already encapsulates the plot of this book, entitled Once Upon a Dream, which is actually a retelling of the famous children's fairytale Sleeping Beauty, but with some interesting twists. 

With just that one question as the premise, I became curious about this book. It started with the familiar storyline wherein the prince came to the castle after having an encounter with Maleficent in her dragon form. He is on his way to kissing this beautiful maiden he found sleeping in confinement within the walls of the castle. He leans in and touches her lips with his... but nothing happened. Alas, the prince is captured under the sleeping spell himself and falls into a deep slumber together with the princess on the bed.

Now what happens? The journey that I took following this book was a very interesting one because I was taken into a different road but within that same fairytale universe. If you are a fan of the original Disney version, you will surely be enthralled by this adaptation.

The highlight for me in this book is that Princess Aurora is a badass lady who can take care of herself. She knows how to battle and she stands up for what she believes in (even contesting her choice to marry the prince). There were several bouts with illusions and trickery throughout their adventure to slay the evil witch queen Maleficent, and to emerge alive on the other side, you need to have a sound mind to judge if what you are looking at is real or just from the dark and twisted workings of your imagination.

I love the imagery that this book pictured to me, and I would very much be interested to see the story come alive in a film. There's a lot of creative material available in here that the producers can surely utilize for the live action version.

Below are also some of the nuggets of wisdom that I picked up in the story:

"It's not bravery if you don't feel fear, right? If you're not afraid, then you're not really forcing yourself to do something brave."

"Needing someone once in a while doesn't make you weak. It makes you human."

I read the majority of the book at night time, with my scented candles lit inside my room. This was my ritual every night, earlier this year. This book really did transport me into another world and I enjoyed every moment I had with Princess Aurora and her prince.

I highly recommend this book for everyone. It's a nice escape from reality and into the fairytale world. 👑

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