Synopses & Reviews
“A fabulous fairy-tale mashup that deserves hordes of avid readers. Absolutely delectable.” —Kirkus Reviews
, starred review of award-winning series debut Enchanted
Readers met the Woodcutter sisters (named after the days of the week) in Enchanted and Hero. In this delightful third book, Alethea Kontis weaves together some fine-feathered fairy tales to focus on Friday Woodcutter, the kind and loving seamstress. When Friday stumbles upon seven sleeping brothers in her sister Sundays palace, she takes one look at Tristan and knows hes her future. But the brothers are cursed to be swans by day. Can Fridays unique magic somehow break the spell?
"'I have always loved a fairy tale.' So says Ava Bingen, a young seamstress in the palace of the fictional Scandinavian city of Skyggehaven. Dark and bloody fairy tales inform this dense, 16th-century narrative, richly layered with multiple viewpoints: Ava, the mad Queen Isabel, the dangerously weak King Christian, the diabolically ambitious Lord Nicolas, and the mute, literate African nursery-slave, Midi Sorte. In her first novel for young adults, adult author Cokal (Mirabilis; Breath and Bones) explores the landscape of the female body as it has been for so long: property of parents or husband, subject to the needs of family and state. During a time of deadly court intrigue and disturbing portents a new star in the sky, a muddy vortex in the earth Ava, Midi, and Isabel negotiate their individual paths of survival until their fates are woven together, giving them a chance to save the kingdom and each other. Though the novel's frank and upsetting depictions of rape, child-marriage, miscarriage, and syphilis mark this title for mature readers, its brutality, eloquence, and scope are a breathtaking combination. Ages 16 up. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Magical adventure, occasional humor, and moments of gentle romance make this a good choice for younger to mid-teens. Enchanted, Hero, and now Dearest will be at home in most libraries."
—School Library Journal
"A mashup of the original seven swan brothers fairy tale, ingeniously woven with new twists. . . . Magic abounds."
"With her trademark wit and clever world building, this will easily appeal to fans of the series as well as readers who love fractured fairy tales."
In her third book about the delightful Woodcutter sisters, Alethea Kontis masterfully weaves "The Wild Swans," "The Goose Girl," and a few other fine-feathered fairy tales into a magical, romantic companion novel to Enchanted and Hero.
About the Author
A young seamstress and a royal nursemaid find themselves at the center of an epic power struggle in this stunning young-adult debut.
On the eve of Princess Sophias wedding, the Scandinavian city of Skyggehavn prepares to fete the occasion with a sumptuous display of riches: brocade and satin and jewels, feasts of sugar fruit and sweet spiced wine. Yet beneath the veneer of celebration, a shiver of darkness creeps through the palace halls. A mysterious illness plagues the royal family, threatening the lives of the thrones heirs, and a courtiers wolfish hunger for the kings favors sets a devious plot in motion. Here in the palace at Skyggehavn, things are seldom as they seem — and when a single errant prick of a needle sets off a series of events that will alter the course of history, the fates of seamstress Ava Bingen and mute nursemaid Midi Sorte become irrevocably intertwined with that of mad Queen Isabel. As they navigate a tangled web of palace intrigue, power-lust, and deception, Ava and Midi must carve out their own survival any way they can.