The Book of Gothel

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Little, Brown Book Group Limited, Jul 26, 2022 - Fantasy fiction - 400 pages
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Everyone knows the story of Rapunzel in the tower, but do you know the tale of the witch who put her there?

Enter a world of dark magic, mysterious woods and evil princes. This is the truth they never wanted you to know, as only a witch might tell it.

With her strange black eyes and even stranger fainting spells, Haelewise is shunned by her village, and her only solace lies in the stories her mother tells of child-stealing witches, of princes in wolf-skins, of an ancient tower cloaked in mist where women will find shelter if they are brave enough to seek it.

But when her mother dies, Haelewise is left unmoored. With nothing left for her in her village, she sets out to find the tower of legend-a place called Gothel, where Haelewise meets a wise woman willing to take her under her wing.

But Haelewise is not the only woman to seek refuge at Gothel. It's also a haven for a girl named Rika, who carries with her a secret the Church strives to keep hidden. A secret that reveals a dark world of ancient spells and murderous nobles behind the world Haelewise has always known.

The Book of Gothel is a lush, enchanting retelling of the tale of Rapunzel from the witch's perspective, perfect for fans of Circe and The Bear and the Nightingale.

Praise for The Book of Gothel:

'Both gently and fiercely told, The Book of Gothel
is a sweeping, sharp story of how history twists into fairy tale and back again' Hannah Whitten, author of For the Wolf

'McMyne's shimmering debut gives a fresh, exciting backstory to one of the most famous villains in fairy tale lore' Publishers Weekly (starred review)

'This gorgeous, feminist retelling of 'Rapunzel' immediately captivates' Buzzfeed

'McMyne's debut is a reinvention of the Rapunzel fairy tale, a luscious origin story from the witch's point of view' Booklist (starred review)

'An excellent piece of historical fiction, weaving a complex tale about how medieval society treated women who dared to be different' Paste

'The Book of Gothel is wonderfully rich with historical detail, and sparkles with the intermingled magic of gods and goddesses, seers and wisewomen' Louisa Morgan, author of The Secret History of Witches

'A captivating vision of a medieval past steeped in women's magic and bound by women's love' Jordanna Max Brodsky

'Mary McMyne is a magician' Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked

'An inventive retelling of a classic tale. . . a spellbinding debut' Signe Pike

'Mary McMyne does more than retell a beloved fairy tale. She elevates the voice of the sacred Feminine hidden within' Ronlyn Domingue, author of The Mercy of Thin Air

'The Book of Gothel delivers an intelligent spin on a well-loved fairy tale, the rich historical detail deftly woven with folktale magic and thoughtful characterisation' Rowenna Miller, author of Torn

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - kimkimkim - LibraryThing

As a kid I loved fairy tails, truth be told I still do. I remember a collection of Golden Books and books by The Brothers Grimm sitting on the bookshelf in my bedroom. I have reread many of the ... Read full review

The Book of Gothel

User Review  - Publishers Weekly

McMyne’s shimmering debut gives a fresh, exciting backstory to one of the most famous villains in fairy tale lore: the witch who put Rapunzel in her tower. Haelewise daughter-of-Hedda has been plagued ... Read full review

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About the author (2022)

Mary McMyne has won the Faulkner-Wisdom Prize for a Novel-in-Progress, a National Endowment for the Arts Parent Fellowship to Vermont Studio Center, and an award from the Sustainable Arts Foundation, which allowed Mary to travel to Germany to conduct research. She has widely published stories and poems in venues like Redivider, Gulf Coast, Strange Horizons, and Apex Magazine, and her debut fairytale poetry chapbook, Wolf Skin won the Elgin Chapbook Award. She is a graduate of the New York University MFA Program and currently an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Lake Superior State University.

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