Review: Once Upon a Dream


Once Upon a Dream by: Liz Braswell

My Rating: 1 of 5 Stars

What if the sleeping beauty never woke up? Once Upon a Dreammarks the second book in a new YA line that reimagines classic Disney stories in surprising new ways.

It should be simple–a dragon defeated, a slumbering maiden, a prince poised to wake her. But when said prince falls asleep as soon as his lips meet the princess’s, it is clear that this fairy tale is far from over.

With a desperate fairy’s last curse infiltrating her mind, Princess Aurora will have to navigate a dangerous and magical landscape deep in the depths of her dreams. Soon she stumbles upon Phillip, a charming prince eager to join her quest. But with Maleficent’s agents following her every move, Aurora struggles to discover who her true allies are, and moreover, who she truly is. Time is running out. Will the sleeping beauty be able to wake herself up?

Beware spoilers ahead!

I received this E-ARC via Disney Hyperion and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


I have read one of the authors books The Nine Lives of Chloe King. This was before I started reviewing and blogging. I ended up DNFing that book. You can imagine my surprise when I found that the author was writing dark fairy tale retellings for Disney. I saw this book on Netgalley and read the synopsis. It sounded interesting so I requested it. But unfortunately I did not enjoy it.

The book begins with a prologue in Phillips point of view. He has just defeated Maleficent. He has no idea where the dragon’s body is but assumes that someone must have double checked for it. He makes his way to Aurora’s tower. He begins to explain that for the most part he has no idea what’s happened. Phillip was in a cell when the 3 fairies saved him. They told him to kill the dragon and wake up Aurora. He’s reached the tower and kisses Aurora. Then he starts to get dizzy and realizes that no one checked on the body.

A few years before Aurora’s birth her parents got married. Together they ruled the land. But they were greedy and terrible people. They spent a significant time of their ruling eliminating good witches and fairies.

Once Aurora was born they invited everyone who was evil and the whole kingdom. When the guests started arriving the Queen immediately requested Aurora’s presents. The three evil fairies arrive. Two of them give Aurora a gift (singing and a good heart) and third fairy promises the King and Queen an army of monsters. They also mention that once Aurora turns 16 they would take her. Maleficent arrives and is shocked that the King and Queen have made a deal with the evil fairies. Maleficent’s a good fairy. Before she leaves she promises to save Aurora.

For the next 16 years the King and Queen neglect Aurora. They instead chose to focus on conquering their fellow neighbors. At this point the King and Queen have messed up epically. Their land is dying Β and so are their people. When the fairies arrive to take Aurora they demand their help. The fairies deny helping them mentioning it was the King and Queen’s fault for making a deal with them. Before Aurora is taken away Maleficent arrives. She now has enough power to save Aurora and the land. She saves the people and becomes queen.

I’m starting to realize that I don’t enjoy fairy tale retelling’s. I was amazed at the amount of changes that were done from the Disney movie. I couldn’t imagine the King and Queen being awful and the fairies being evil. I loved those fairies! I also couldn’t imagine Maleficent being ‘good’.

Aside from that I really didn’t like the writing style. It felt choppy and misplaced. And there were more words than necessary to describe something. When I read the authors previous book it was written in first person. Whereas this book is written in third person. I think had this book been written in first person it would’ve sounded better.Β If it had just been because it was different I would’ve written it of as ‘It’s not you but me’. But that’s not the case.

Overall I did not enjoy this book. But I still recommend it. It would definitely be interesting to read about Maleficent being a Queen and that for being a ‘good’ fairy she still puts the sleeping curse. And how with all these changes Aurora meets Phillip. I would recommend it to fans of dark fairy tale retelling’s and fans of the author.


10 thoughts on “Review: Once Upon a Dream

  1. Oh my gosh, that’s so interesting to hear that the King, Queen and Fairies weren’t good, I can’t fathom that way either. Retellings can be so tricky. I still have yet to find one where I love every single thing about it. But wonderful review, and here’s hoping the next retelling we both pick up we’ll actually enjoy. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nor can I! Yes they normally suck. The only one that I enjoy it the Land of Stories series.

      Only because that isn’t really a retelling but more like a reimagining. And the main characters Connor and his sister Alex know the original stories. So they know that the characters they’re meeting are different from what they’ve read. You should try it! You might like it more than any other retelling!

      Thank you Jen πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Monthly Wrap-Up: April 2016 | Fafa's Book Corner

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