By Morgan Elizabeth Huneke
Available on Amazon
“I, Calandra, of the Wingans, do bestow upon you, the Princess of Hanover, a gift. You have been given long life. I cannot interfere with that, but when you are sixteen years of age, you will prick your finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and fall into an everlasting sleep.” She stepped closer so that she could be heard only by Liesel and her parents. “Then you will at last see the truth. Be wary. Be wise. Your fate rests upon yourself.”
On her sixteenth birthday, Princess Liesel Rosanna falls victim to a sleeping curse—but wakens in another world, a prisoner of war. As the bait in a trap for her fiancé, the crown prince of Hanover, Liesel longs to escape back to the fairy tale world. The world where she is only wanting a true love’s kiss to set everything to rights.
As situations quickly grow dire, Liesel must choose which story to live, which life is real. The fate of her country rests on her decision.
Morgan Elizabeth Huneke is a homeschool graduate who lives in Georgia. She has enjoyed creating characters and writing stories since early childhood. Books have always been a big part of her life, never more so than when working at the local library. Her other interests include reading, playing the piano and violin, and politics. To learn more about Morgan and her work, visit: www.morganhuneke.com or www.morganhuneke.blogspot.com
Unfortunately, her book didn't win ... but that meant that we got the story later, all on its own with its own brilliance. Quick disclaimer here - I did beta read the book for her, which, for me, meant that I gave it a stiff edit. So I've read the story multiple times, and in multiple versions.
And Twisted Dreams is delightfully brilliant and twisted. It starts as a traditional retelling of Sleeping Beauty - with an opening that rather reminded me of Sonora and the Long Sleep by Gail Carson Levine - but even within that opening, you quickly realize that there is something very wrong. The Catileens giving gifts are the ones who seem sinister, while the Wingan granting the curse ... seems benevolent.
Things grow even stranger when the curse comes about and Liesel wakes up in a cell in a sci-fi world, now remembering a very different past. And a fiance who's the prince of the planet/country that is at war with her captors. They're holding her for extortion.
But which is the true reality?
I loved this story, it's morals, message, and twists. I'll admit that there are a few blandish characters ... but there was Matthew, the hero's younger brother. Oh, the dear, enthusiastic boy. Read the book just for him.
The worldbuilding was brilliant. For the shortness of the story, there's a surprising amount of worldbuilding in it - and as someone who loves worldbuilding, it made me so happy.
And then the theme - Sacrificial love. I love a good story of sacrificial love.
In short, go read this lovely little story. You won't regret it.
Profanity: NONE - no offensive language
Sexuality: NONE - not even hinted at.
Fighting, torture, characters are drugged.