Sleep Like Death

Kalynn Bayron returns to the fairytale realm of her debut, Cinderella Is Dead, with Sleep Like Death, a frightening, intoxicating spin on "Snow White" about a teenage princess determined to defeat an ancient monster.

Sixteen-year-old Princess Eve has trained all her life to defeat the Knight, a monstrous "myth made real." The Knight preys on the citizens of Queen's Bridge who are most desperate, granting them their deepest wishes twisted into horrible curses. Even the royal family is not immune to the Knight's devious compacts; Queen Sanaa, one of Eve's mothers, was transformed into a nightingale after she wished to have "the loveliest voice in the land." Eve, who can communicate with animals and conjure weapons from nature, is known as "the Queen's fury," and is certain she will be the one to take down the Knight. After an attempt at besting him results in the death of a friend, though, Eve learns shocking details of a previous deal another of her mothers, Queen Regina, made with the Knight. The teen is forced into hiding and must steel her will to return, slay the Knight, and free the subjects of Queen's Bridge from his reign of terror.

Bayron brings an inventive spin to her adventure-filled "Snow White," and weaves in new takes on several other fairy tales, such as "Sleeping Beauty" and "Rumplestiltskin." Eve isn't a traditional fairytale princess--she's fearless, disciplined, magical, and a gifted hunter, in addition to being devoted to her family and kingdom. Fans of dark fantasy and fairytale retellings, such as Gabi Burton's Sing Me to Sleep or Anna-Marie McLemore's Dark and Deepest Red, should enjoy this dramatic YA crusade. --Natasha Harris, freelance reviewer

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