Monday, September 26, 2011

Utterly Charming-Kristine Grayson

Utterly Charming

Kristine Grayson

Sourcebooks, Oct 1 2011, $6.99

ISBN: 9781402248511

Ealhswith the witch and Aethelstan Blackstone the wizard are in a custody battle over who cares for Emma the Sleeping Beauty. In Portland Blackstone accompanied by Sancho Panza hire near impoverished lawyer Nora Barr to represent the wizard in court, but once she hears him admit he has no legal relationship to the comatose woman, Nora says she cannot help him. Two weeks later, she is his lawyer as Blackstone faces criminal charges of arson and murder in a fire fight. Soon after that mess is cleaned up she is retained by the pair to hide the minibus containing Emma in her coffin.

A decade later, after a one millennium sleep, Emma awakens. Blackstone knows he is her Prince Charming, but she rejects him; blaming her so called champion for costing her a thousand years of life. Emma also wants no part of Ealhswith, the other party that has made her the rope in a tug of war. Instead she asks Nora to mentor her in living in modern day Portland starting with a social security card. Prince Charming finds himself attracted to Nora but knows his fate lies with Emma.

The second charming fractured fairy tale (see Wickedly Charming) is an engaging humorous satire that the late cartoonist Jay Ward would have appreciated. Filled with jocularity as Emma, Blackstone, Ealhswith and Panza converge in modern day Portland in an epic battle of magic in which the warriors learn modern day combatants require a lawyer. Readers will enjoy this amusing take on Sleeping Beauty sleepless in Portland.

Harriet Klausner

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