Review in 5 – The Book of Gothel – Mary McMyne

Re-tellings are a favourite of mine. I’ve devoured re-tellings of greek myths, fairytales, myths and legends by many an author. I don’t know what it is but it’s just something about making either a myth accessible for modern day or bringing a different light to the story. And The Book of Gothel definetly shines a light on a different aspect. The villian of the tale.

Everyone knows the tale of Rapunzel in her tower, but do you know the story of the witch who put her there?

Haelewise has always lived under the shadow of her mother, Hedda—a woman who will do anything to keep her daughter protected. For with her strange black eyes and even stranger fainting spells, Haelewise is shunned by her medieval village, and her only solace lies in the stories her mother tells of child-stealing witches, of princes in wolf-skins, of an ancient tower cloaked in mist, where women will find shelter if they are brave enough to seek it.

Then, Hedda dies, and Haelewise is left unmoored. With nothing left for her in her village, she sets out to find the legendary tower her mother used to speak of—a place called Gothel, where Haelewise meets a wise woman willing to take her under her wing.

But Haelewise is not the only woman to seek refuge at Gothel. It’s also a haven for a girl named Rika, who carries with her a secret the Church strives to keep hidden. A secret that unlocks a dark world of ancient spells and murderous nobles behind the world Haelewise has always known…

Star Rating – 3.5 Stars

Review in 5

  • For those that root for the bad guys
  • Feel like the stories themes matures as Haelewise matures and grows through the book
  • Love the mixture of the history and religion elements of Germany during that time clashing with fantastical elements
  • The beginning and ending, where the reader is pulled into another time surrounding Haelewise’s story. The perfect full circle
  • The immaculate merging of old and new, just perfect

A retelling to add to your list.

Released 28th July in paperback. Many thanks to the team at Orbit for a review copy.


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