Her Dark Enchantments by Rosalyn Briar Genre: Dark Fantasy Romance, Fairytale Retelling
The Wicked Fairy. The Mistress of All Evil. The villain of Sleeping Beauty goes by many names, but where did she come from?
Myravelle Spinner grew up in a tower with only spiders, spindles, and stone walls for friends while her mother spun gold for the king. She wondered why her mother refused to teach her fairy magic until one fateful mistake led Myravelle to become the healer in the king’s Sleepy Wood Company.
Drained from years of waking soldiers from a cursed sleep, Myravelle must now choose a new canvas–a man whose life she drains with a dagger to fuel her healing powers. A ritual binds her to Byzarien Dumont, who loathes fairies for the fires that left his family impoverished and his body riddled with scars. His burning hatred causes Myravelle’s enchantments to wilt, leading the king to threaten her mother’s life.
Byzarien can only see Myravelle as a beautiful spider who strings men along her web, while Myravelle considers love a weakness for the king to exploit. With their families in danger and soldiers rotting in a death-like sleep, the pair must learn to trust one another before the dark magic spinning in Myravelle’s soul unravels once and for all.
The Wicked Fairy never asked to become a monster…
Sharp and sexy, Her Dark Enchantments is a deliciously dark romance that will plunge you deep into the fairy woods, proving every villain is the hero of their own story. Majestic with her blades and blood magic, Myravelle is the goth queen I would be proud to serve. Lyrical and richly atmospheric, if you love underdog heroes and sensual slow burns, look no further for your next favourite read.
—Lily Rooke, author ofThe Dying Light
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Everyone who enters the giveaway will receive digital copies of both Her Dark & Enchanting Poetry and Her Dark & Enchanting Spellbook. These are lovely companion pieces to the novel.
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Near the ritual’s end, she hesitated. Loneliness clawed into her bones like the cold, and she missed her mother more than ever. So, Myravelle did a foolish thing. She slipped sweet pea into the burning cauldron, hoping to attract a lover and a friend: a soul mate.
She bent over the pot and allowed her ragged whispers to set the embers aglow, spells turning the dried ingredients into flames. A pillar of aromatic smoke rose into the air, where it mingled with the ever-cloudy sky, and she gripped the cold hilt of her dagger. As she lifted it to the sky, her magic grew inside, strong and true. Cool, flowing rushes streamed through her veins, all the while boiling currents burned from her heart to collide with a force that made her wail in agony.
She dropped her dagger onto the table and rested her palms against the smooth, worn wood. The pain in her chest spun itself tightly around her heart and tugged outward, connecting to where or to whom she did not know. Why did it hurt her so? Had she performed the ritual too many times? Had she asked for too much by adding the sweet pea? She blinked away the tears swirling her vision and met the captain’s glare.
Shaking, Myravelle raised the dagger to her palm, where there was a scar in the shape of an ancient rune. This one, a simple circle with a straight line connecting two stars. She had never learned what any of the symbols meant—her mother had never taught her about the fairy enchantments. Nevertheless, Myravelle could see them glowing in her mind when she needed them. It was that raw, untrained magic that had frightened Xylina the most.
With the tip of the dagger, she traced the rune at the center of her palm. The scarred skin broke open with such deep pain, Myravelle gasped. When the shape was complete, she placed her palm face-down above the cauldron, letting the smoke seep into the wound. She made a fist, digging her fingers into the open flesh, and dripped the precious rubies of her blood into the cauldron.
It bubbled and sizzled against the coal with a coppery scent, and a fresh burst of smoke rose into the sky, crackling with silver and gold sparks. Myravelle’s mouth ran dry, and her legs wobbled. She leaned against the table to gaze up at the smoke, while her eyesight betrayed her, wisps of darkness hovering along the edges.
The cloud of smoke and sparks swirled high above the field as the soldiers watched with wide eyes. Bursts of tiny explosions made the smoke grow brighter, like a galaxy of stars. She grew even weaker as the magic churned and spelled the name of her new canvas.
Sparkling letters began to take shape as they burned against the dark sky. They always started randomly: backward, upside-down, and out of order. Then, twisting and twirling the golden letters became clearer and organized themselves into a legible name…
Rosalyn Briar is a former teacher, a mother of two fearless daughters, and a wife to her soul mate. She loves reading, traveling, and playing board games. More importantly, she believes in fairy tales. When she is not reading or writing, you might find her playing dress-up or gleaning through the woods for wildflowers with her princesses.
What inspired your novel?
Her Dark Enchantments was inspired by a poem I wrote for a flash fiction and poetry challenge on Instagram. After writing that particular poem, I couldn’t stop daydreaming about the two characters. What was their story? How did they meet? What happened to them? They eventually became my main characters Myravelle and Byzarien. Inspiration can come from anywhere!
What is your novel about?
Her Dark Enchantments is a villain origin story about the Wicked Fairy from Sleeping Beauty.
Who is your protagonist?
Myravelle Spinner is the protagonist of Her Dark Enchantments. She is a healer in the king’s Sleepy Wood Company who is exploited and often feared for her fairy magic.
What is something you learned from your research for Her Dark Enchantments? When the original tale of Sleeping Beauty was first told and written down, spinning wheels had not yet been invented. So, unlike the popular animated filmSleeping Beauty, it is most likely that the princess pricked her finger on the tip of a drop spindle. After discovering this interesting piece of information, I purchased drop spindles and roving and taught myself how to spin like my character, Myravelle does in the story.
What books would you compare Her Dark Enchantments to? It will appeal to fans of Hannah Whitten’sFor the WolfandFor the Thronefor their dark fairy tale aesthetic and gruesome magic. It would also appeal to the lovers of lyrical fairy tale retellings likeUprootedandSpinning Silverby Naomi Novik for their morally gray and magical female protagonists and enemies-to-lovers romance.