From highly acclaimed, bestselling author Ava Reid comes a gothic horror retelling of The Juniper Tree, set in another time and place within the world of The Wolf and the Woodsman, where a young witch seeks to discover her identity and escape the domination of her abusive wizard father, perfect for fans of Shirley Jackson and Catherynne M. Valente.
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.
"Reid fully embraces the darkness of the original tale while adding enough twists to make the story her own. Grimms’ fairy tale fans—and those who like their fairy tales grim—will be thrilled." -Publishers Weekly
“Utterly astonishing. This masterful, complex retelling conjures the pure horror of powerlessness as modernity crashes into tradition, and bodies are transformed and consumed. Juniper & Thorn is the dark fairytale brought to perfection: terrible, and true, and full of teeth.”
-Shelley Parker-Chan, bestselling author of She Who Became the Sun
“The Juniper Tree is as lovely as it is gruesome...Reid twists the familiar magic of fairy tales into gothic horror, telling a powerful story of surviving trauma that doesn’t shy away from its ugliness, while giving Marlinchen the agency to carve a better life. Reid’s intimate, visceral storytelling, veering at times into body horror, may make this a hard read for some; others will find themselves reflected in its pages with nuanced understanding.” -Booklist
Ava Reid was born in Manhattan and raised right across the Hudson River in Hoboken but currently lives in Palo Alto. She has a degree in political science from Barnard College, focusing on religion and ethnonationalism.