Synopses & Reviews
A loose retelling of "Beauty and the Beast" that centers queer and trans characters
Trans sailor Darragh Thorn has made a comfortable life for himself among people who love and accept him. Ten years after his exile from home, though, his sister asks him to reconcile with their ailing father. Determined to resolve his feelings rather than just survive them, Darragh sets off on a quest to find the one person who can heal a half-dead man: the mysterious enchanter who once gave him the magic he needed to become his true self. But so far as anyone knows, no one but Darragh has seen the enchanter for a century, and the fairy tales that survive about em give more cause for fear than hope. In lush and evocative prose, and populated with magical trees and a wise fox, The Story of the Hundred Promises is a big-hearted fantasy suffused with queer optimism.
"Trans author Neil Cochrane's The Story of the Hundred Promises is a layered, sometimes cheeky and always enchanting queer fantasy with a big heart….A joyfully queer adventure for the world-weary." Shelf Awareness
“Multiple fairy tale references weave into the novel, lending their magical touch. But the book’s true magic lies in its close studies of Darragh and his allies.” Foreword Reviews
"This book made me cry in the middle of an airport....The Story of the Hundred Promises is the trans fable the world needs right now."
Charlie Jane Anders, author of All the Birds in the Sky
"A lush and evocative fantasy that explores the quiet places of generational trauma with true gentleness, through the eyes of characters who feel so honest and true you can't help but cling to optimism even in the face of fear. A fairy tale every bit as new as it is familiar, this book is a triumph."
Emmie Mears, author of the Stonebreaker series
"Through a deep world, lush prose, and delightfully crafted characters, Cochrane employs fairytales within fairytales to explore queerness and self-realization with a delicate and honest touch. The Story of the Hundred Promises is a beautiful tale of trust and love that will dig its roots deep within you and never let go."
Claudie Arseneault, author of Baker Thief
"Neil Cochrane's The Story of the Hundred Promises is set in a world where folktales can come true, where magic can change lives, where a quest undertaken with a pure heart just might succeed. His cast of characters sweeps you along, but they quest not for treasure or sacred objects — they quest for wisdom and knowledge, for renewal and connection. Cochrane has a gift for describing the sublime moments of natural beauty we see when we slow down enough to live in the moment. Amongst the many layers of this complex and deftly woven novel are both a love song to the restorative powers of nature, and a cautionary tale about the perils of commodifying natural resources. The Story of the Hundred Promises is an affirmation of the myriad ways of being a human, and of the many forms that love takes when loosed from the confining bonds of a binary culture. Cochrane's novel offers the hope that, if we do the work on ourselves and our relationships to heal the traumas of the past, we can and do rise to our best selves, and to our highest ideals of kindness and inclusiveness."
Stevan Allred, author of The Alehouse at the End of the World
"In a world of alternatives, love of all sorts weaves throughout this fantastic tale like rose vines. But it is self acceptance and love for ones own being that rings true throughout all realities."
Jonah Barrett, author of Moss Covered Claws
About the Author
Neil Cochrane is a queer, trans author and artist living and working in Portland, Oregon. He writes speculative fiction that centers queer characters overcoming obstacles and building families. He has worked in and around the publishing industry since 2012, in such various roles as editor, literary agent assistant, marketing director, and bookseller.