Title: Waking the Prince
Author: Shawn Lane
Length: 22,000 words (100 pdf pages)
Publisher: Amber Allure
Genre: m/m fantasy (fairy tale)
Blurb: Living a quiet life in a remote village, Roland does not expect the arrival of the powerful warrior, Magnus, who speaks of fates and prophecies. But surely Roland can’t be the lost royal prince who is destined to slay the evil sorcerer, Veronious, with a legendary sword. Indeed, Roland doesn’t even know how to wield a sword.
But when Roland’s identity is confirmed and danger nears, he flees with Magnus, who trains him for battle by day and teaches him passion by night.
Just as Roland finds the legendary sword, Veronious learns Roland is the lost prince and casts a curse on him. The beautiful prince falls into a deep sleep, not to stir for a hundred years…unless he is awakened by a true love’s kiss.
Review: While not without its issues, after some of the duds I’ve had lately, this was a treat, without any of the annoying errors that plagued the last few books. It’s basically a take on sleeping beauty, with the young prince spirited away as a baby, supposed to be taught by Magnus’ father. When Magnus returns to fetch Roland, he finds out his father died when Roland was young so he has no clue he’s the prince, is not trained and knows nothing about the curse. However he soon leaves with Magnus ahead of the bad guys and they begin his training so that he can enter the castle and find the sword that will slay the wizard.
It’s not an exact play on the fairy tale. He pricks his finger on the sword but the castle where everyone is sleeping was well before his arrival, but of course, the kiss of his one true love brings him back to live in weeks rather than decades to an epic battle with the wizard.
I liked Roland. He’s pretty easy-going and once he accepts that he is the prince, he goes with the flow, although has a penchant for being pouty in the morning. Also, once he discovers gay sex he’s all ready to ensure he doesn’t die a virgin. I like it sometimes when the guy doesn’t angst over the whole issue of liking other guys and takes to it like a duck to water. It can be a change of pace. And this is a fairy tale. Sure parts of it are unrealistic and coincidental, but seriously what fairy tale isn’t. The chance that Belle’s father would get in trouble with the Beast and she’d be captured? Right. Like that would happen. So you have to read this as a fairy tale, where magical convenient things happen to make the story and adventure.
So on the whole, if you are looking for something purely for fun and are prepared to just enjoy the ride rather than expect rational plot points that you would in a serious book you’ll enjoy it. If those kind of liberties make you crazy, maybe not. I also like this author’s style, which even with a bit more formal “medieval” speech came through well. It was fun for me.