"Valente is one of the most intriguing young writers working in the mythic fiction field today. Her work is lyrical, unusual, ambitious..."
- Terri Windling
2007 World Fantasy Award Nominee!
Winner of the 2006 Tiptree Award!
"Stories ... are like prayers. It does not matter when you begin, or when you end, only that you bend a knee and say the words."
very once in a great while a book comes along that reminds us of the magic spell that stories can cast over us -- dazzle, entertain, and enlighten. Welcome to the Arabian Nights for our time -- a lush and fantastical epic guaranteed to spirit you away from the very first page.
ecreted away in a garden, a lonely girl spins stories to warm a curious prince: peculiar feats and unspeakable fates that loop through each other and back again to meet in the tapestry of her voice. Inked on her eyelids, each twisting, tattooed tale is a piece in the puzzle of the girl's own hidden history. And what tales she tells! Tales of shape-shifting witches and wild horsewomen, heron kings and beast princesses, snake gods, dog monks, and living stars -- each story more strange and fantastic than the one that came before. From ill-tempered "mermaid" to fastidious Beast, nothing is ever quite what it seems in these ever-shifting tales -- even, and especially, their teller. Adorned with illustrations by the legendary Michael Kaluta, Valente’s enchanting lyrical fantasy offers a breathtaking reinvention of the untold myths and dark fairy tales that shape our dreams. And just when you think you’ve come to the end, you realize the adventure has only begun.