Alix E. Harrow's lush sophomore novel grapples with the allure of feminine power and the bonds of sisterhood in a historical setting. A creative twist on magic and imaginary worlds draws from familiar European folklore, sure to delight any reader familiar with Grimms Tales and other mythological stories.
Three sisters, traumatized by their violent father, discover one another on the streets of New Salem in the mid-1850s. A mysterious pull has drawn them together at the moment of two incendiary events: a protest for Women's Suffrage and the dramatic yet brief appearance of the Lost Way of Avalon. These events compel the sisters to work together, despite old wounds, and inadvertently aid a tyrannical mayoral candidate in his efforts to snuff out witchcraft forever.
This slight but viciously effective novella introduces a sadomasochistic mythology that spills over with gore and poetics. The monastic creatures within are iconic for a reason: they intrigue, terrify, and titillate. But its the human characters that are the real monsters, driven by ego and selfish desire. This tale explores the line between pleasure and pain and reveals the bloody face of transcendence.