The Witch’s Tower
by Tamara Grantham
(Twisted Ever After #1)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: March 11th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
About the Book
Gothel is a witch. Punished for the actions of her mother, her choice is simple: either she stands guard over Princess Rapunzel—or she dies. But just because a choice is easy doesn’t mean it’s pleasant. Protecting Rapunzel means watching as the princess lays trapped in a tower, bedridden by hair that is so long and heavy it’s slowly driving her insane. Gothel’s life has become one of imprisonment and solitude as well—until a prince and his handsome squire appear at the tower.
Only one object can cut Rapunzel’s hair and end the curse: a pair of magical shears. But the shears are guarded by the most terrifying witches in the land, who also happen to be Gothel’s aunts. As Gothel and the prince’s squire, Raj Talmund, work to form a plan, she finds herself more and more drawn to the mysterious young man from the Outerlands. Unfortunately, his destiny is far more dangerous than she wants to admit: to save a princess, he must kill the witch who’s been forced to guard her.
THE WITCH’S TOWER is the first in an inspired new series of fairy-tale retellings from award-winning fantasy author Tamara Grantham.
99¢ for release week only!
Blood. My blood.
Rapunzel was getting bolder. A gust of rain-scented wind rushed through the clearing as I pulled a scrap of rolled linen from my cloak. I wrapped it around my wrist where she’d clawed my skin. Droplets soaked through, staining the fabric.
Sighing, I straightened to stare at the moonlit tower looming over me. I didn’t know what to do with Rapunzel. She was growing more unstable. It didn’t help that my mother had placed a curse on her. How could Rapunzel’s mind be right when she was forced to lie in bed all day, a prisoner to her hair that was so heavy, it prevented her from moving?
The clouds thickened, covering the sky, making the tower seem to disappear. I lit my lantern. The flame burned bright inside the glass as I started down the trail through the forest. As I walked, twigs snapped under my boots. The sounds of chirping crickets, and the occasional hoot from an owl, filled the air.
The scent of rain lingered on the wind. I hoped it held off until I made it to the village. The trail sloped downward, and I followed it over a narrow footbridge spanning a stream. As I crossed, my footfalls echoing over wooden planks, I reminded myself why I was traveling through these cursed woods. We needed supplies. Going into the village was the only way to get them, although leaving the tower was risky. If the high sorcerer found me gone, he’d hang me for sure, but what choice did I have? The flour was growing rancid, I would eat dirt before I touched another wild beet, and I was certain the dirt would taste better. It would help if I had skills in gardening, but I’d always had rotten luck when it came to growing things.
A breeze rushed through the woods, stirring the turquoise blue strands of my hair. I tucked it beneath my cowl, hoping to keep it hidden. It made me easily identifiable, and if anyone saw its strange color, they’d start asking questions. I hated questions. I hated answering them even more.The trees grew thicker along my path, making it hard to see anything.
A noise caught my attention.
Hoof beats came from up ahead. I ducked behind a briar bush as two forms emerged from the trail. Dousing my lantern’s flame, I stared at the shapes of two men on horseback approaching me.
I held my breath, my own heartbeats sounding too loud.
“Halt!” one of the men called. “I see you there.”
“Come out,” the other man shouted.
Under the light of their lanterns, the gleam of their swords’ pommels shone, peeking from their scabbards strapped to their backs. Would they use their weapons?
Breathing deeply, I attempted to keep my cool. They had no reason to harm me. I kept that in mind as I stood and stepped away from the bush.
“What are you doing out here?” one of the men asked.
“I’m on my way to Willow Wood village.”