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The Book of Gothel Kindle Edition
"Smart, swift, sure-footed and fleet-winged, The Book of Gothel launches its magic from a most reliable source: the troubled heart. Mary McMyne is a magician."—Gregory Maguire, NYT bestselling author of Wicked
Germany, 1156. With her strange black eyes and even stranger fainting spells, young Haelewise has never quite fit in. Shunned by her village, her only solace lies in the stories her mother tells of child-stealing witches, of princes in wolf-skins, and of an ancient tower cloaked in mist, where women will find shelter if they are brave enough to seek it.
When her mother dies, Haelewise is left unmoored. With nothing left for her in her village, she sets out to find the legendary tower her mother spoke of—a place called Gothel, where she meets a wise woman willing to take Haelewise under her wing. There, she discovers that magic is found not only in the realm of fairy tales.
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.
"I absolutely loved The Book of Gothel. It combines everything I tend to love about stories in a breathtaking manner and is very hard to put down... It is a book I highly recommend and I see myself coming back to again and again."--Grimdark Magazine
"Mary McMyne's debut novel is dark and moody...This atmosphere, combined with the deep longings and confusion of a girl just entering womanhood and the fact that readers have a good idea of the fate that awaits her, shadows The Book of Gothel with an overwhelming sense of dread--but will also compel readers to keep going to the very end."--BookPage
"The Book of Gothel is wonderfully rich with historical detail, and sparkles with the intermingled magic of gods and goddesses, seers and wisewomen. Haelewise is a memorable heroine, worthy of legend. Readers will see the story of Rapunzel in a new and refreshing light."--Louisa Morgan, author of A Secret History of Witches
"Heartfelt and vividly imagined, this intriguing backstory to a classic fairy tale lifts the curtain on a medieval world where women battle to keep magic alive."--Emily Croy Barker, author of The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic
"McMyne’s debut is a reinvention of the Rapunzel fairy tale, a luscious origin story from the witch’s point of view.... McMyne melds folklore with actual historical figures and cleverly bookends the narrative with opening and closing chapters set in the twenty-first century."—Booklist (starred review)
"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.... The result is a sprawling epic, full of magic, love, and heartbreak. Fans of Circe and The Wolf and the Woodsman will devour this taut, empowering fairy tale."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"This debut novel by poet McMyne offers a fresh reimagining of the story of Rapunzel's witch.... Readers who have enjoyed Gregory Maguire's "Wicked Years" series will find McMyne's perspective delightful."--Library Journal
"This gorgeous, feminist retelling of 'Rapunzel' immediately captivates ... Readers of Naomi Novik and Katherine Arden will adore this new fairytale fantasy."--Buzzfeed Books
"Smart, swift, sure-footed and fleet-winged, The Book of Gothel launches its magic from a most reliable source: the troubled heart. Mary McMyne is a magician. Her take on the Rapunzel tale glows like a cloisonné gem set against a fist of dark soapstone."--Gregory Maguire, NYT bestselling author of Wicked
"Both gently and fiercely told, The Book of Gothel is a sweeping, sharp story of how history twists into fairytale and back again"--Hannah Whitten, NYT bestselling author of For The Wolf
"Fable and history rhyme in McMyne's captivating vision of a medieval past steeped in women's magic and bound by women's love."--Jordanna Max Brodsky, author of The Immortals and The Wolf in the Whale
"This is the fairy tale retelling I never knew I needed. Rooted in history, THE BOOK OF GOTHEL highlights the relationships between women and the ways in which we both help and hinder each other in the name of love and loyalty. Haelewise will be in my heart for a very long time."--Genevieve Gornichec, author of The Witch's Heart
"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 characterization."--Rowenna Miller, author of Torn
"Certain stories endure because of their beauty, wonder, and wisdom. The Book of Gothel is such a novel--one that will hold readers in delighted thrall right to the startling end."--Ronlyn Domingue, author of The Mercy of Thin Air and the Keeper of Tales Trilogy
"Mary McMyne's The Book of Gothel is a gut-punch of a fantasy novel - I found myself completely enraptured by this story within a story, and even more taken by the end, which I totally didn't see coming. Gothel feels both familiar and like a completely original fairy tale, and I was moved by the Jewish representation. This is Rapunzel like you've never seen her before." --Rena Rossner, author of The Sisters of the Winter Wood
"An inventive retelling of a classic tale that pulls you deep into the wild woods of medieval Germany. The Book of Gothel is a spell-binding debut."--Signe Pike, author of The Forgotten Kingdom
About the Author
- ASIN : B09L82HFPH
- Publisher : Redhook (July 26, 2022)
- Publication date : July 26, 2022
- Language : English
- File size : 1597 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 385 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #14,351 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on December 24, 2022
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The Book of Gothel is a standalone historical fantasy novel that tells the real story of Mother Gothel, the infamous witch from Rapunzel's fairy tale. Our opener/prologue begins by following a woman who is chasing tenure at UNC and whose area of focus is women in old fairy tales/manuscripts. She is contacted by a woman in Germany who has found an old manuscript in the basement of her grandmother's home. The story is the manuscript that this woman reads, and it turns out to be the story of Haelewise who has become known by the name of the tower she lives in, Gothel, and is setting the record straight as to what really happened with the princess she stole.
We follow Haelewise from the time she is a young girl as she grows up with her doting mother and distant father. She is shunned in her Christian village as she grows older due to her strange fainting spells and her unusual eyes. People believe that she's been possessed by a demon. Haelewise's mother attempts to treat her using the old ways, and her father by exorcism and other holy remedies, but nothing seems to work. Something occurs that causes Haelewise to flee and seek sanctuary with the wise woman who lives in the woods, and the story goes on from there.
I was instantly grabbed by the opener, but as we got into the story, I was getting slightly nervous because I don't always love the low magic setting. However, the writing and the story itself really pulled me in, and I couldn't put this book down. I was surprised by just how much I loved it. Also, there were a lot more magical elements as the story continued.
I think my favorite thing about this book were the vibes. It was really well-written, and ended up being so compulsively readable. I loved the dark cottagecore vibes, and it was the type of fantasy that felt like it could almost be real - like somewhere in the woods these characters existed, worshiping the Mother, and performing their healing and midwifery for their neighbors. It ended up being much more magical feeling than I anticipated.
Something that this story really explores is how Haelewise and others who follow the old ways can live in the tension of the Christian religion and the "pagan" religion that it replaced. I honestly loved how Haelewise was trying to figure out where she fell in her beliefs and what that meant for her life and her relationships.
I really enjoyed following Haelewise and seeing her grow over the course of the novel. My enjoyment of her as a character sort of snuck up on me, but I really appreciated her spirit and determination to follow her own path. Overall there are some really interesting themes explored in this novel, and I ended up loving the historical aspect of this with integration of some real life figures.
Thank you to NetGalley and Redhook Books for an eARC in exchange for an honest review. The Book of Gothel releases on July 26, 2022. I highly recommend this if you are looking for a break from all the Greek myth retellings but still want to revisit a familiar folk tale. It had major Bear and the Nightingale vibes, and was just a really enjoyable read.