Review: Upon A Midnight Dream by Rachel Van Dyken

Upon A Midnight Dream by Rachel Van Dyken
Series: London Fairy Tales
Release Date: May 27, 2012
Publisher:  Astrea Press
Pages: 258
Source:  Publisher

“I release you…” were the last words Rosalind remembered before her world went black. Stefan, the future duke of Montmouth, no doubt thought his words were welcomed but he couldn’t have been more wrong. Oh, he was handsome as a pagan Norse god, but that was unimportant when her life as well as those of her family hung in the balance.

With less than six weeks left, Rosalind has stopped believing in the fairy tale, the prince on the white horse, and the stolen kiss that would awaken her from her worst nightmares. Resigned to her fate, she waits for the inevitable curse to run it’s course.

“We must marry at once!” Stefan declared, fully expecting Rosalind to be delighted that he had come to save her, but he was sorely mistaken. Rosalind was no simpering docile female; she was a fiery temptress with a stubborn streak only matched by his horse, Samson. Insulting, infuriating, intoxicating and alluring enough to drive a man mad. Stefan found himself thankful for the curse that required him marry her, thankful for the betrothal contract he had so recently tried to release her from…With the fortitude of a sailor shipwrecked, abandoned, and a solider warring for his life Stefan decides to lay siege to the greatest prize, Rosalind’s heart.


Review:  I really loved the concept behind this story and was looking forward to a revamped version of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ set in a regency setting. For me there was some disappointment still the story wasn’t that bad.

I think that when trying to re-tell a classic you find that you have an idea in your head but trying to convey it to people the way you see it sometimes doesn’t come out the way you intend for it to.

Two young lovers (first introduced in another of Ms. Van Dyken’s series) are once again re-united in Upon a Midnight Dream. We find Stefan somewhat on the debonair side with a tendency to be funny at times. Making him seem more real, down to earth is shipwrecked for a couple months coming back to England only to have changed into a brute of sorts. You might think that the experience would leave him a little more humble. Upon his entrance back into society he releases his fiancée Rosalind from their contract starting the beginning of the gypsy curse where family members start to die.

Rosalind finds that all she really wants is to be loved and wooed as any girl wants. She also is a bit Narcoleptic which when you think about it can be rather humorous in the story. Reminds me a little of Sleeping Beauty in the Shrek movie where she nods off in the middle of everything. Cute, but a little over the top…

The mystery of the gypsy curse is out there and easy for me the reader to figure out but at times you want to hit the characters up alongside the head as they are rather dunces when it comes to the clues. They are portrayed as idiots most of the time.

The overall story was fun to read with a touch of the old fairytale updated for the adult reader. The sexual tension adds that adult theme to this fairytale, along with the mystery over the deaths, strange sickness and everything else that happens in the story.

I really enjoyed Stefan’s horse Solomon who has a very strong personality of his own and it is kind of endearing the way Stefan would talk to him as if he were a human. The other element I found comical was Mary the resident fairy godmother (because no fairy tale is complete without a faux fairy godmother) and her cane.

As Stefan and Rosalind finally marry it is more for the sake of stopping the curse then for the happy-ever-after of the fairy tales.  I did rather enjoy the story of Stefan and Rosalind despite the predictability of the mystery. I personally would have enjoyed somewhat more depth but it was after all a fairy tale.

To find out the actual outcome, to see if Rosalind finds her WOW, factor you’ll just have to read Upon a Midnight Dream for yourself.