Damsel meets A Heart in a Body in the World in this incisive and lyrical feminist fairy tale about a princess determined to save her sisters from a curse, even if it means allying herself with the very witch who cast it.
The Princesses of Ever are beloved by the kingdom and their father, the King. They are cherished, admired.
Jane, Alice, Nora, Grace, and Eden carry the burden of being punished for a crime they did not commit, or even know about. They are each cursed to be Without one essential thing—the ability to eat, sleep, love, remember, or hope. And their mother, the Queen, is imprisoned, frozen in time in an unbreakable glass box.
But when Eden’s curse sets in on her thirteenth birthday, the princesses are given the opportunity to break the curse, preventing it from becoming a True Spell and dooming the princesses for life. To do this, they must confront the one who cast the spell—Reagan, a young witch who might not be the villain they thought—as well as the wickedness plaguing their own kingdom…and family.
Told through the eyes of Reagan and Jane—the witch and the bewitched—this insightful twist of a fairy tale explores power in a patriarchal kingdom not unlike our own.
Corey Ann Haydu is the author of OCD Love Story, Rules for Stealing Stars, Eventown, and several other critically acclaimed young adult and children’s novels. She currently teaches at the MFA Writing for Children program at Vermont College of Fine Arts and lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and daughter. Learn more at CoreyAnnHaydu.com.
For the last five years, 17-year-old Princess Jane has been unable to eat due to the Spell of Without. Cast by young witch Reagan, the Slow spell can’t kill Jane, but it has trapped the Queen of Ever in a glass box and withheld love, hope, memory, and sleep, respectively, from Jane’s younger sisters upon their 13th birthdays. With only four days to break the spell before it turns True—and deadly—Jane must join forces with Reagan. But breaking it requires discovering the truth about Jane’s father, the king, and the reason for the inequality between the monarchy and the hungry townspeople. Haydu (Eventown) peppers the novel, told in alternating perspectives by Jane and Reagan, with familiar fairy tale symbols and tropes made fresh through attention to the inventive history of the witches that protect Ever. Affecting scenes showcase the threat of sexual violence that the kingdom’s females face from powerful princes and kings who deem resistors hysterical, and a breathless stream-of-consciousness style echoes the feelings of the two young women contending with Ever’s history, outdated beliefs about princesses and witches, and the way forward in a broken kingdom. Ages 14–up. Agent: Victoria Marini, Irene Goodman. (July)
– Publishers Weekly *STARRED*, June 1, 2020
This one is all about compassion, female solidarity, fighting for change, and smashing the patriarchy... A fiercely feminist #MeToo fairy tale.
– Kirkus Reviews
Haydu (Eventown) peppers the novel, told in alternating perspectives by Jane and Reagan, with familiar fairy tale symbols and tropes made fresh... Affecting scenes showcase the threat of sexual violence that the kingdom’s females face from powerful princes and kings who deem resistors hysterical, and a breathless stream-of-consciousness style echoes the feelings of the two young women contending with Ever’s history, outdated beliefs about princesses and witches, and the way forward in a broken kingdom.
– Publishers Weekly, *starred review*
The exploration of abuse of power shares significant territory with Cashore’s Bitterblue (BCCB 5/12), while the girls’ growing solidarity enables them, and by extension readers, to imagine a radically changed, beautifully imperfect world.
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