Ah, fairy tales. This book I picked up on a whim (okay, it was on display at the library, face-out, and the cover drew me in. And the title. And the description on the back..."A forbidden wood, an enchanted castle, a sleeping princess...and the prince destined to break the spell." Ooh!).
So, as you might guess, this is really the story of Sleeping Beauty - or rather, the prince who wakes her up. It begins well before he wakes her, and revolves around the efforts of his caretakers to keep him both alive and free from the control of Margravine zu Malvolin (pretty awesome name, btw). She's the evil witch (really of the Faie) who cast the original spell on Princess Aurora.
Anyway, this book is great. I loved every minute of it. The main character is both believable and flawed, brilliant and, at times, completely idiotic. In short, very human. He's surrounded by a cast of interesting characters, the most significant of which is Balisan, his master-at-arms, who teaches him everything a prince needs to know about defending himself - from understanding who your enemy's family is, to knowing how to swordfight. He's totally awesome.
Of course, fairy tales re-told can be awfully predictable - but this one is fresh and full of little details to keep the reader's interest. I can't wait to read more from this author (this is her first novel).