The Fairest of Them All

What if Rapunzel were Snow White’s evil stepmother?

From the author of Godmother and Mermaid, The Fairest of Them All explores what happens when fairy tale heroines grow up and don’t live happily ever after.

Living in an enchanted forest, Rapunzel spends her days tending a mystical garden with her adoptive mother, Mathena. A witch, Mathena was banished from court because of her magic powers, though the women from the kingdom still seek her advice and herbal remedies. She waits, biding her time to exact revenge against those who betrayed her.

One day Rapunzel’s beautiful voice and long golden locks captivate a young prince hunting in the forest nearby. Overcome, he climbs her hair up to her chamber and they fall into each other’s arms. But their afternoon of passion is fleeting, and the prince must return to his kingdom, as he is betrothed to another.

Now king, he marries his intended to bring peace to his kingdom. They have a stunning daughter named Snow White. Yet the king is haunted by his memories of Rapunzel, and after the mysterious death of his wife, realizes he is free to marry the woman he never stopped longing for. In hopes of also replacing the mother of his beloved daughter, the king makes Rapunzel his queen.

But when Mathena’s wedding gift of an ancient mirror begins speaking to her, Rapunzel falls under its evil spell, and the king begins to realize that Rapunzel is not the beautiful, kind woman he dreamed of.

Praise for The Fairest of Them All

“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


“How very lucky we grown ups 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, International Bestseller


“In The Fairest of Them All, Carolyn Turgeon takes old familiar fairy tales and retells them in a lush and dark yarn. Steadfast in vision, Turgeon depicts the shadow and the light battling in all her characters’ hearts.”
—Margaret O’Brien Dilloway, bestselling author of How to Be an American Housewife and The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns


“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 everywhere. Fairest of Them All will move her into a larger sphere, world wide. I loved this book from start to finish.”
—Jo-Ann Mapson, author of Solomon's Oak and Finding Casey
Julie Trelstad