Morning mortals! Another day dawns and I’m here with another book review. This was one of my Christmas acquisitions and was actually the first book I finished in 2018 (which may give you something of a hint as to how far ahead my blogging schedule has got from my reading schedule). The Sleeping Prince is the second book in The Sineater’s Daughter series which, according to Goodreads I read back in May 2017. Suffice to say I was thrilled to get back to this series after such a long time!
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.
It’s always a risk writing a second novel with a different MC than the first one. In my case this made me super confused for a hot minute. I’ll confess that’s my own fault for diving into a sequel almost a year on from the first book without refreshing my memory. In fact I think this was a smart choice. It works for Illuminae and Gemina, I think it’s one of the best ways of avoiding ‘second novel’ issues.* It keeps the plot fresh, and it allows for worldbuilding in a way that isn’t possible if you stick to the original characters. That’s of even more significance in a story such as this, where the majority of the action from the first novel took place in one location.
*Side note: who is excited for Obsidio because I am. A ridiculous amount.
By contrast there’s a huge amount of travelling in this story. Errin is a thouroughly enjoyable character, not a direct opposite to Twylla which would have been the obvious (boring) choice, but a complimentary character to bring into this story.
While I was sad to lose those little descriptions of which foods correlated to which sins – one of the most enchanting aspects of book #1 – you do get a similar sensation from Erinn’s occasional mention of what herbs/materials do certain things. We move from Sineating to the work of an Apothecary. Both are professions I love hearing more about and Salisbury – as ever – delivers.
This is a middle novel in the sense that it is building to the third book (which I have already read and will be reviewing very shortly). For that reason it’s hard to pluck the plots apart as, in my head, they are quite intertwined. However, the fact that Errin is an entirely new character means that you need a book to set up her place in events and to build the story to the point where she can ‘join the action’.* In some books this would feel like taking one step forward after taking two steps back. I think Melinda Salisbury’s writing is captivating enough to carry a whole new character into her world.
*Perhaps it would be better to say that the action joins her?
It’s a well wrought tale which sets the stage for the epic-ness that is The Scarecrow Queen. It is heartbreaking as well as having a vein of hopefulness at its core. This is one of those stories you see intertwined with other works of fiction. I can see why Melinda Salisbury has so many die hard fans out there. I’m excited for her new book State of Sorrow publishing later this year.
My rating: 4/5 stars
All opinions are my own.
What say you? Did you enjoy book 2 of The Sin Eater’s Daughter? Let me know in the comments below!