Perched on a mountain in a land of ancient forests is a village, rife with secrets. Cut off from the outside world it is run by the elders, men to whom tradition is all.
This is a beautiful, magical fairy tale set somewhere in snowy Northern Europe, I could see elements of East of the Sun and West of the Moon, as well as modern feminist retellings of other fairy tales in Edith and her story. Which is how Edith’s own stories work, weaving together the old and the new.
Edith is the only woman, who finds strength in the midst of terrible heartbreak, to stand against the butcher and his cruelty (he seems a Bluebeard figure, there’s no explanation as to what happened to his previous wife) in the small village where fear, tradition and the elders (all men) hold sway.
Edith’s bittersweet winter in the forest (where the East of the Sun… came through strongest for me) enables her to return to the village and start to put things right, with her father, for her friends.
Lyrical, moving and with the gentlest of hope for the future at its ending, this is a stunning new fairy tale for this winter and those to come.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of of book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.