Genre: Fantasy/ Fiction

A gruesome curse. A city in upheaval. A monster with unquenchable appetites. 

Marlinchen and her two sisters live with their wizard father in a city shifting from magic to industry. As Oblya’s last true witches, she and her sisters are little more than a tourist trap as they treat their clients with archaic remedies and beguile them with nostalgic charm. Marlinchen spends her days divining secrets in exchange for rubles and trying to placate her tyrannical, xenophobic father, who keeps his daughters sequestered from the outside world. But at night, Marlinchen and her sisters sneak out to enjoy the city’s amenities and revel in its thrills, particularly the recently established ballet theater, where Marlinchen meets a dancer who quickly captures her heart. 

As Marlinchen’s late-night trysts grow more fervent and frequent, so does the threat of her father’s rage and magic. And while Oblya flourishes with culture and bustles with enterprise, a monster lurks in its midst, borne of intolerance and resentment and suffused with old-world power. Caught between history and progress and blood and desire, Marlinchen must draw upon her own magic to keep her city safe and find her place within it.

Number of Pages: 320 Pages 

Date of Publication: 21/06/2022


The author is Ava Reid and the book has been published by Del Rey

Rating: 4.5/5


An adult fantasy horror novel that will keep you awake reading it. Retelling stories with a twist without them becoming repetitive and predictable is really hard to achieve. Reid accomplished this to write a story loosely based on ‘The Juniper Tree’, a German fairy-tale that is well executed and very well written.

Once you start reading the story you just want to keep going. The prose is beautiful although the ambience of the story is definitely dark and even gruesome at times. Fantasy settings can allow an author to represent parts of a difficult subject in their story in simpler to digest ways and Reid has the ability to do just that. Marlichen is a great character who is empathetic and caring about others. Through the book we see a great development of the characters and their motives to do or say certain things. I loved how complex the relationships are between the characters, and this is definitely something that I appreciate from any author.

There are some trigger warning for this story.  It is gory and contains body horror as well as child sexual abuse, incest, cannibalism, antisemitism, xenophobia, physical and psychological abuse by family members, self-harm, thoughts of suicide as well as bulimia and vomiting.

QOTD. Do you love horror/fantasy stories?

Have you seen fairyloot edition yet? it is gorgeous.


Availability: The book is coming out on the 21st June 2022

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