So glad to see Sleepless return after its summer break and the release of the collection of the first storyline. It’s an outstanding series that uses fantasy and romance conventions to tell a deeper story of politics. Sarah Vaughn and Leila del Duca are showing us a young woman finding her place and power in a setting where everything seems turned against her.
It’s been almost a year since we last saw the princess Poppy. She’s still being guarded, but by another knight (a woman, in a nice touch). A telling scene shows how she’s still considered a preferable choice to the new king by some. We learn more about her recent history and her relationship with her father, as well. Those bits of how she came to her unfortunate situation, pressured into a political marriage, are my favorite elements.
With so much set up here — beyond what I’ve mentioned, there’s her growing friendship with Princess Rellen; various hints of spycraft, since a conspiracy continues; and the question of what happened to Cyrenic — I’m very eager to see how this next storyline progresses. Particularly since it’s all so well-told, with various voices, elegant dialogue and evocative, expressive images. (The publisher provided a digital review copy.)