Sleeping Helena

Sleeping Helena

A fairy tale retold.
November 2010, Prime Books.

Orphaned at birth, Helena receives a gift from each of her eight extraordinary aunts. Her gifts make her beautiful, intelligent, talented—as well as headstrong, temperamental, and bound to fulfill a destiny that involves death. On Helena’s sixteenth birthday, all in her domain are bespelled by sleep. A broken mirror becomes a portal to a dark day in a distant past that shattered the lives of her family and altered the future of an entire kingdom. While the fate of the nation has been decided and cannot be undone, the fate of the family rests on a kiss, a fairy tale king, and what Helena will do when–and if–she wakes.

Sleeping Helena is a strange, charming tale, lovingly crafted. You’ll be swept in, delighted, and dazzled by this wonderful story.”
Carolyn Turgeon, author of Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story

Sleeping Helena is a deft and unusual re-working of the Sleeping Beauty legend by a writer who truly understands the metaphorical language of fairy tales. I was deeply moved by Erzebet YellowBoy’s powerful story, and cannot stop thinking about it. What better recommendation is there?”
Terri Windling, writer, editor, and artist specializing in fantasy literature and mythic arts.

“There are magic mirrors, forbidden love affairs, and ancient wounds held close to the heart. There is scandal, long memories, wild rides by night, and rivalries galore. There are thorny briars that never bloom.” —Realms of Fantasy

“A darkly poetic retelling of the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale, lingering in the reader’s subconscious long after the last page is turned.” —Publishers Weekly

“…turns what we know as ‘Sleeping Beauty’’ inside-out, backwards and sideways. Elements like youth and age, waking and sleep, smug pride and selfless love, shift in its narrative kaleidoscope until the reader is left dazed — and a once-familiar story is reborn.”
–Locus Mag

“I just finished your book this morning. It was wonderful, of course. It wasn’t predictable and it honestly kept me guessing until the end. It was full of wonderful surprises and I really enjoyed it. It both humbled me and awakened me. Well done, mother. Well done.”
–the author’s daughter

“Gifted in her infancy with beauty, talent, grace, and various skills by her eight elderly aunts, the orphan Helena grows up strangely lacking in virtues such as compassion. She’s also fascinated with discovering the meaning of the ambiguous gift of her eldest aunt Kitty, a gift that has something to do with death. Raised in a secluded house in the forest, prevented from encountering sharp objects, mirrors, or anything that could be shattered, Helena discovers the true family heritage and the terrible choice she is called on to make. The author of The Bone Whistle (writing as Eva Swan) gives the tale of Sleeping Beauty a fresh spin that retains classic overtones while introducing a new element to the timeless story. VERDICT YellowBoy’s interest in myths and fairy tales shines in this deceptively simple story that resonates with multiple levels of meaning.”
Library Journal