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The Fairest of Them All: A Novel by [Turgeon, Carolyn]
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The Fairest of Them All: A Novel Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

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Length: 289 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews


"Turgeon's work is haunting and hypnotic, blending the line of reality and magic into a gorgeous flowing narrative. Set against a modern day backdrop, this tale reexamines an all-too familiar story and breathes new life into it." (Anton Strout, author of Dead to Me, )

"With a fairy's touch, Carolyn Turgeon expands the familiar Cinderella story into something deeper, richer and darker than we've ever been allowed. A stunning reminder that enchantment -- both its pleasures and dangers -- is as human as we are.” (Daphne Gottlieb, author of Kissing Dead Girls, )

"Godmother is a true exploration of the dark vitality of city life and the hidden horrors of the fantastic." (Nick Mamatas, author of Under My Roof, )

"Turgeon must have a magic wand for a pen–-these haunting, dazzling pages turn themselves." (Jennifer Belle, author of High Maintenance and Little Stalker, )

"Intricate, inventive, and charged with magic. Carolyn Turgeon masterfully clears the mists of fairy tale and legend to reveal the complex humanity that lies beneath the stories of Rapunzel and Snow White." (Eleanor Brown, New York Times bestselling author of The Weird Sisters )

"I loved this unexpected spin on the story of Rapunzel, a strong-willed devourer of hearts. Be careful, she just might take a bite of yours." (Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet )

"Magical, mythical and totally original, Turgeon's haunting story of Rapunzel and Snow White unfolds like a waking dream, with prose that shimmers like cut diamonds. About love, longing, and loss, it turns the fairy tale into something as provocative as it is profound." (Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You and Is It Tomorrow )

"Godmother is earthy, lyrical, sensual, and deeply, intelligently romantic. Carolyn Turgeon has a gift for mingling the magical and the mundane. Her earthy, sensual and richly imagined take on the fair folk should appeal to fans of Holly Black." (Alisa Kwitney/Sheckley, author of Flirting in Cars and The Better to Hold You, )

"Godmother is a transcendent little gem of a book." (Novelist Cherie Priest for Subterranean Magazine,)

“Turgeon . . . imaginatively combines murder, revenge, sex, magic, and other genre tropes into a dark and twisted fairy tale.” (Publishers Weekly)

"Turgeon incorporates a sense of melancholy that adds an enormous amount of depth and sympathy. . . . Rapunzel's . . . absolute devastation at a shocking discovery ring[s] true, adding a layer of realism to the magic-sparked tale. Lovers of fairy tales will enjoy Turgeon's fresh take on classic stories." (Library Journal)

"The connection Turgeon makes between the two familiar fairy tales brings out the humanity in the 'wicked queen' of the Snow White story, making the reader see how she came to be who she was. Fans of fairy tales and paranormal romances will both enjoy this magical little tale." (Jessica Howard, blogger at Quirky Bookworm for Shelf Awareness)

“Absorbing, poignant, and heartbreaking…Readers who love fairy tale retellings will find this fresh take difficult to put down.” (Library Journal)

"More robust than a fractured fairy tale, Turgeon's brooding retelling gives voice to both women, fleshing out an essentially tragic tale of destiny and desire….Guaranteed to keep you guessing who – if anyone – will live happily ever after.” (Booklist)

“Turgeon has done a superb job of creating compelling characters and conflict from a story already familiar to readers." (Publishers Weekly)

“A gothic love triangle with two equally matched heroines. This isn’t kid’s stuff.” (Kirkus Reviews)

"Vividly imagined and skillfully told, Mermaid is a dark tale that shimmers with light." (Cathy Marie Buchanan, New York Times bestselling author of The Day the Falls Stood Still, )

“There is a part of every reader that longs to return to the days of reading fairy tales and myths, when imagination had no limits and stories were spellbinding. Carolyn Turgeon’s Mermaid evokes just that feeling. She is one of my new favorite writers.” (Jo-Ann Mapson, author of Solomon’s Oak and the Bad Girl Creek trilogy, )

“This Mermaid is resplendent with shimmering details, the dark and thrilling story behind that comforting childhood memory. At once fresh and familiar, heartbreaking and full of hope, this dark retelling of Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid is like a gorgeous dream remembered." (Jeanine Cummins, bestselling author of A Rip in Heaven and The Outside Boy, )

“A terrific book, sweet, touching, and great fun. I loved it." (Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat, )

"Lil is complex and appealing, and vivid imagery and lyrical writing give shape to a charmer with a very satisfying, enigmatic ending." (Booklist)

"Forget everything you know about fairy tales filled with glamorous princesses and happy endings. In Carolyn Turgeon's skilled hands, characters that have long been the bedrock of literature come to life, revealing their all too human desires, and a mesmerizing, hidden darkness. Her body of work is already substantial and growing, which is good news for readers everything. Fairest of Them All will move her into a larger sphere, worldwide. I loved this book from start to finish." (Jo-Ann Mapson, author of Solomon's Oak and Finding Casey )

“Turgeon reimagines two fairy tales to produce a lush, dark yarn. Her steadfast vision reveals the shadow and light battling in each of the characters’ hearts.” (Margaret Dilloway, author of How to Be an American Housewife )

“There are fairy tale princesses like Rapunzel, who are lovely and compassionate and kind. And there are fairy tale villainesses like Snow White’s stepmother, who are ambitious and clever and wicked. In Carolyn Turgeon’s brilliant retelling, however, good and evil are combined to create a fairy tale anti-heroine who could break your heart – and then eat it.” (Alisa Kwitney/Sheckley, author of Token, Flirting in Cars, and Moonburn )

  “The Fairest of Them All possesses the spirit of all great fairy tales—filled with brave hearts, twists of fate, and incredible transformations. Carolyn Turgeon honors the traditional stories of Rapunzel and Snow White yet intertwines their lives in a way that gives the tales, as well as both women, new dimensions. The dark, sensual magic at work in this book will allure readers right to the shocking, beautiful end.” (Ronlyn Domingue, author of The Mapmaker’s War )

“How very lucky we grownups are to have Carolyn Turgeon’s fairy tale to captivate us. What a joy to be delighted again by witches, princesses and Kings – now all fleshed out and psychologically complex and compelling. Under Turgeon’s deft hand, Rapunzel’s and Snow White’s tale is as beautiful as it terrifying. Enter into this enchanted forest and be enthralled!” (M.J. Rose, author of The Reincarnationist )

"To call Carolyn Turgeon’s The Fairest of Them All a retelling doesn’t seem quite accurate. This story of Rapunzel and Snow White may feel as familiar as it is thoroughly innovative, but it reads like an original – like the real story. Turgeon has managed to peel back centuries of dressing and sweetness and lace that have been heaped upon these characters. She has plucked them from their perfumed clouds, and returned them to their primal form, to the unique women they were once, before their fairy tales diluted them. In gratitude, they sing from the pages, all full of suffering and longing and ferocious intellect. This is the Rapunzel I have always wanted to know." (Jeanine Cummins, author of A Rip in Heaven )

"I love all of Carolyn Turgeon's novels, and this is her best yet. Sensual and captivating, The Fairest of Them All follows the life and loves of a classic fairy-tale villain – the Wicked Stepmother. We gain sympathy for this devil, as the novel fathoms the depths of her vanity and her history of heartbreak. I was ready to follow this magical story anywhere it took me, and it was full of surprises and delights every step of the way." (Timothy Schaffert, author of The Coffins of Little Hope )

About the Author

Carolyn Turgeon is the author of Rain Village, Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story, Mermaid: A Twist on the Classic Tale, and the young adult novel The Next Full Moon. She is the editor of Mermaids, a special-edition annual magazine, and teaches writing in the low-residency MFA program at the University of Alaska at Anchorage. Find out more at and

Product details

  • File Size: 3908 KB
  • Print Length: 289 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone (August 6, 2013)
  • Publication Date: August 6, 2013
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00A285R8K
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #480,590 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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