Rock-A-Bye Baby (The Sand Maiden Prequel) by L.R.W. Lee
Format: E ARC
Publisher: Woodgate Publishing
Number of Pages: 238
Publishing: June 4th, 2018
Source: Author in exchange for an honest review.
Caution: This book will empower those who say #MeToo but contains mature content including sexual abuse. Recommended for 18+.
Opening Line: "Father headed to Wake realm like every night to do his duty making humans dream."
Winds Blowing. Boughs Breaking. A Cradle Falling. Can the Sand Maiden Prevent Disaster?
Alissandra, an immortal Sand Maiden, and daughter of the king, she has always been close to her father despite being one of twenty-two children. She’s put him on a pedestal and sought to make him proud of her as she weaves the dreams of her many mortal charges helping them make sense of thoughts that need refinement, problems that need solutions, worries that beg for action, and things they should or shouldn’t have said.
But with her latest charge, she starts to sense that her father isn't all she dreams he is. It's hard to accept that the parent you love isn't perfect, but how do you do it when he's a god? How far do you let him push before you say no? And how far do you go to push back?
The Sand Maiden is a four-book NA Epic Fantasy Paranormal Romance series with YA appeal. If you loved Sarah J. Maas' A Court of Thorns and Roses, Elise Kova's Air Awakens, and/or Rachel E. Carter's The Black Mage you'll definitely love this.
My Thoughts: Rock-A-Bye Baby is the Prequel to Lullaby. The first book of the sand maiden series which centered on Alissandra "Ali" and her ability to weave humans dreams. Ali's father wanted to use her unique bond with Prince Kovis to control him and to take control of Wake realm for himself. When Ali refused to help him, her sister devised a plan to transport her from Dream realm to Wake. Once in Wake, Ali came face to face with Kovis, who was unaware of Dream realm but was intrigued by Ali's story and her special gifts. The two develop this magical bond that was delightful to read about.
Rock-A-Bye Baby begins the story about four hundred years before the events in the first book. It is separated into three parts, Wake, REM, and Nightmare. Each chapter reflects different periods of time, in annums (years), sometimes moons (months), and suns (days) shifting from the past to present time. Alissandra is a part of a huge family consisting of multiple siblings, grandparents and a father who is a force not to be reckoned with. Kovis and Ali's backstories are rounded out and the world of Dream and Wake are further explained. We learn how Ali received her training as a sand maiden and what each human charge she's had means to her. At the same time, the family dynamics that exist between Ali and her siblings and the destructive path their father takes as he tries to claim the seven nations of Dream to become Emperor was further explored. So many of the things that I was curious about after reading Lullaby really came together in the prequel. Most shockingly was Ali and her father's relationship. The highs and lows that they experienced, I really came to loathe his volatile temper and the way that he manipulated Ali. It's no wonder Ali feared for her life and made her escape from Dream to Wake realm.
Oh and the lovely backstory about Kovis, how Ali became his sand maiden, the development of her feelings for him. The problems that she helped him with through weaving his dreams and the insights into his relationship with his siblings. All the difficulties he experienced growing up, his past romantic relationships and how those things impacted him. The politics of Wake realm and how both Kovis and Ali's fathers were on a quest for power. Everything seemed to provide a deeper understanding of the characters, their motivations and like I said before, it really rounds out the story thus far. Yet at the same time added an interesting new element, Ali's aunts, who resemble the three fates from Greek mythology. They were quite the characters and I'm hoping that somehow they will feature in a future book in the series. Again, I must caution that this book is New Adult, there is mature content including sexual abuse, putting this in the 18+ realm for me.