A Spindle Splintered

Tor.com. Oct. 2021. 128p. ISBN 9781250765352. $17.99. FANTASY
A feminist revision of Sleeping Beauty by Hugo Award winner Harrow (The Once and Future Witches). It opens on Zinnia Gray celebrating her 21st birthday at the top of a ruined tower. She has a terminal illness and doesn’t expect to see 22—nor does she expect to prick her finger at the stroke of midnight and find herself swirling through the multiverse of Sleeping Beauties. Zinnia can’t save herself from her illness, but she can save Princess Primrose from the curse of an evil fairy and her destiny as a wax doll in a pretty casket. The quest to save Primrose leads to a fairy who is not a fairy, a curse that is not a curse, and a chance for Zinnia and Primrose to save each other in a way that the Brothers Grimm never imagined.
VERDICT Sleeping Beauty crashes into the multiverse in Harrow’s queer, subversive, explicitly feminist retelling. This story of power, agency, and sisterhood is recommended.
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