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Cover for The Fairest of Them All

The Fairest of Them All

A Novel

Carolyn Turgeon


List Price: 16.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


What if Rapunzel was Snow White’s evil stepmother?

In this kingdom, only one fairy tale can end with happily ever after.

In an enchanted forest, the maiden Rapunzel’s beautiful voice captivates a young prince hunting nearby. Overcome, he climbs her long golden hair to her tower and they spend an afternoon of passion together, but by nightfall the prince must return to his kingdom, and his betrothed.

Now king, he weds his intended and the kingdom rejoices when a daughter named Snow White is born. Beyond the castle walls, Rapunzel waits in her crumbling tower, gathering news of her beloved from those who come to her seeking wisdom. She tries to mend her broken heart but her love lingers, pulsing in the magic tendrils of her hair.

The king, too, is haunted by his memories, but after his queen’s mysterious death, he is finally able to follow his heart into the darkness of the forest. But can Rapunzel trade the shadows of the forest for the castle and be the innocent beauty he remembers?

Praise For The Fairest of Them All: A Novel

“Turgeon . . . imaginatively combines murder, revenge, sex, magic, and other genre tropes into a dark and twisted fairy tale.”
— Publishers Weekly

"Turgeon incorporates a sense of melancholy that adds an enormous amount of depth and sympathy. . . . Rapunzel's . . . absolute devastation at a shocking discovery ring[s] true, adding a layer of realism to the magic-sparked tale. Lovers of fairy tales will enjoy Turgeon's fresh take on classic stories."
— Library Journal

"The connection Turgeon makes between the two familiar fairy tales brings out the humanity in the 'wicked queen' of the Snow White story, making the reader see how she came to be who she was. Fans of fairy tales and paranormal romances will both enjoy this magical little tale."
— Jessica Howard, blogger at Quirky Bookworm

"Intricate, inventive, and charged with magic. Carolyn Turgeon masterfully clears the mists of fairy tale and legend to reveal the complex humanity that lies beneath the stories of Rapunzel and Snow White."
— Eleanor Brown, New York Times bestselling author of The Weird Sisters

"I loved this unexpected spin on the story of Rapunzel, a strong-willed devourer of hearts. Be careful, she just might take a bite of yours."
— Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

"Magical, mythical and totally original, Turgeon's haunting story of Rapunzel and Snow White unfolds like a waking dream, with prose that shimmers like cut diamonds. About love, longing, and loss, it turns the fairy tale into something as provocative as it is profound."
— Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You and Is It Tomorrow

"Forget everything you know about fairy tales filled with glamorous princesses and happy endings. In Carolyn Turgeon's skilled hands, characters that have long been the bedrock of literature come to life, revealing their all too human desires, and a mesmerizing, hidden darkness. Her body of work is already substantial and growing, which is good news for readers everything. Fairest of Them All will move her into a larger sphere, worldwide. I loved this book from start to finish."
— Jo-Ann Mapson, author of Solomon's Oak and Finding Casey

“Turgeon reimagines two fairy tales to produce a lush, dark yarn. Her steadfast vision reveals the shadow and light battling in each of the characters’ hearts.”
— Margaret Dilloway, author of How to Be an American Housewife

“There are fairy tale princesses like Rapunzel, who are lovely and compassionate and kind. And there are fairy tale villainesses like Snow White’s stepmother, who are ambitious and clever and wicked. In Carolyn Turgeon’s brilliant retelling, however, good and evil are combined to create a fairy tale anti-heroine who could break your heart – and then eat it.”
— Alisa Kwitney/Sheckley, author of Token, Flirting in Cars, and Moonburn

The Fairest of Them All possesses the spirit of all great fairy tales—filled with brave hearts, twists of fate, and incredible transformations. Carolyn Turgeon honors the traditional stories of Rapunzel and Snow White yet intertwines their lives in a way that gives the tales, as well as both women, new dimensions. The dark, sensual magic at work in this book will allure readers right to the shocking, beautiful end.”
— Ronlyn Domingue, author of The Mapmaker’s War

“How very lucky we grownups are to have Carolyn Turgeon’s fairy tale to captivate us. What a joy to be delighted again by witches, princesses and Kings – now all fleshed out and psychologically complex and compelling. Under Turgeon’s deft hand, Rapunzel’s and Snow White’s tale is as beautiful as it terrifying. Enter into this enchanted forest and be enthralled!”
— M.J. Rose, author of The Reincarnationist

"To call Carolyn Turgeon’s The Fairest of Them All a retelling doesn’t seem quite accurate. This story of Rapunzel and Snow White may feel as familiar as it is thoroughly innovative, but it reads like an original – like the real story. Turgeon has managed to peel back centuries of dressing and sweetness and lace that have been heaped upon these characters. She has plucked them from their perfumed clouds, and returned them to their primal form, to the unique women they were once, before their fairy tales diluted them. In gratitude, they sing from the pages, all full of suffering and longing and ferocious intellect. This is the Rapunzel I have always wanted to know."
— Jeanine Cummins, author of A Rip in Heaven

"I love all of Carolyn Turgeon's novels, and this is her best yet. Sensual and captivating, The Fairest of Them All follows the life and loves of a classic fairy-tale villain – the Wicked Stepmother. We gain sympathy for this devil, as the novel fathoms the depths of her vanity and her history of heartbreak. I was ready to follow this magical story anywhere it took me, and it was full of surprises and delights every step of the way."
— Timothy Schaffert, author of The Coffins of Little Hope

Touchstone, 9781451683783, 288pp.

Publication Date: August 6, 2013

About the Author

Carolyn Turgeon is the author of Rain Village, Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story, Mermaid: A Twist on the Classic Tale, and the young adult novel The Next Full Moon. She is the editor of Mermaids, a special-edition annual magazine, and teaches writing in the low-residency MFA program at the University of Alaska at Anchorage. Find out more at and