Once Upon a Dream, or Nightmare?

Ashtyn Britt


Having reviewed two of the other Twisted Tales on our favorite Disney classics, it was only right I continued to do so. This time, we have Once Upon a Dream: A Twisted Tale by Liz Braswell. We follow a version of Sleeping Beauty, where Maleficent wasn’t successfully defeated by Prince Phillip’s sword as shown in the Disney movie. It also has quite a change when Prince Phillip lays his kiss on Princess Aurora, only to quickly fall into the deathlike-sleep himself!

We see how Maleficent tied her lifeforce to the curse on Aurora so many years ago, and how she used her power to set up a dream world for Aurora and the entire kingdom as they slept, giving them new memories, and having Maleficent as the ruler of the land. Aurora can tell that something seems amiss, although she can’t figure out why, and in the meantime simply goes about the castle believing herself as Maleficent’s adopted daughter.

It isn’t until she witnesses Maleficent killing one of the subjects to keep her lifeforce alive that Aurora realizes how evil Maleficent is. Once she escapes the palace of thorns, she stumbles upon Phillip, and he helps her regain part of her memory from her real life. As they venture together to search for a way out of this nightmarish land and destroy Maleficent once and for all, we also get a deeper viewing into Aurora’s mind and more details about who she is in an entirely new way.

For those who weren’t satisfied with Sleeping Beauty’s portrayal of this Disney princess, I beg of you to please read this book as quickly as you can! There are a lot of angles this story explores that most people hadn’t previously thought of during their first watching of Sleeping Beauty. This book is available through the library, and on Amazon for less than five dollars!

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