Haelewise has always lived under the shadow of her mother, Hedda—a woman who will do anything to keep her daughter protected. For with her strange black eyes and even stranger fainting spells, Haelewise is shunned by her medieval village, and her only solace lies in the stories her mother told of child-stealing witches, of princes in wolf-skins, of an ancient tower cloaked in mist, where women will find shelter if they are brave enough to seek it.
When Hedda dies, Haelewise is left unmoored. With nothing left for her in her village, she flees to the legendary tower her mother used to speak of—a place called Gothel, where she meets a wise woman willing to take her under her wing. But Haelewise is not the only woman to seek refuge at Gothel. It’s also a haven for a girl named Rika, who carries with her a secret the Church strives to keep hidden. A secret that just might explain why Haelewise keeps hearing her mother’s voice.
Beautifully rendered and rich in historical detail, this fractured fairytale spins the familiar story of Rapunzel on its head by centering its villain—Haelewise, the witch of the tower of Gothel.