His princess was dusty.
Arpien should have expected that. Anything lying undisturbed for a hundred years would gather dust. He’d crossed the ocean to find the right sword for this venture, but neglected to pack a feather duster.
Such is the opening of Waking Beauty, one of the most amazing books I’ve read all year. The fact that Brierly is dusty is the least of Arpien’s problems. He kisses her, she awakens, yet she’s not convinced she’s awake. She has dreamed of this night and day for a hundred years, so why should this episode of rescue be any different from the others?
Despite the levity of the concept, the entire tale is an ingenious allegory of the Christian life, illustrating the battles we face, the enemies—physical and spiritual—we are up against, and the true source of wisdom, strength, and victory. My mind is still processing the unfathomable depth of symbolism found in this novel.
But even a superficial reading of the story is delightful. Sarah Morin has an amazing way with words and description, and her clever humor permeates the book. I wish I’d marked everything that caught my fancy, but if I had, there would be very little left unmarked. So I can only provide an example from the pages most recently read, involving a couple of the fairies and Arpien:
He bent down and seized Arpien’s left wrist. Arpien’s hand flopped back and forth in the fairy’s unbreakable grip. “You are Arpien Trouvel, the human that belongs to this vademecum sword. I am Frendan, one of Brierly’s godparents.”
Gowsma put her hands on her hips. “Frendan, are you trying to throttle the lad?”
“I’m shaking his hand. You are not the only expert on human greeting rituals.”
Can you picture it? A young man’s hand flopping back and forth because some fairy-critter believes that’s how we humans shake hands? I swear, I laughed so hard at the image this conjured in my mind, I’m certain anyone watching thought I was insane.
I can’t do justice to this novel without practically reprinting the entire thing here, so let me just suggest that you put it high on your reading list for 2017. Doesn’t matter what your favorite genre is, you’ll love this. Guaranteed.