Haelewise has always lived under the shadow of her mother, Hedda—a woman who will do anything to keep her daughter protected. For 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 just might explain why Haelewise keeps hearing her mother’s voice.
Praise for The Book of Gothel
“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… Fans of Circe and The Wolf and the Woodsman will devour this taut, empowering fairy tale.” –Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“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)
“Readers who have enjoyed Gregory Maguire’s “Wicked Years” series will find McMyne’s perspective delightful.” –Library Journal
“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, New York Times 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 F. Whitten, New York Times bestselling author of For the Wolf
“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
“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 Olympus Bound trilogy
“Mary McMyne does more than retell a beloved fairy tale. She elevates the voice of the sacred Feminine hidden within. 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
“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
“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
“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
“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