The Ice Princess’s Fair Illusion
Coming November 6th, 2018
Preorder the ebook
All Marian wants is for society to accept that she’s just not interested in… whatever society thinks she ought to be interested in. A princess with a reputation for insults and snide remarks, she’s afraid to show anyone who she would be if people would let her. In a fit of temper at her refusal to marry, her father creates her worst nightmare: she is to be wed to the first beggar who arrives at the gates.
Edel was visiting purely for diplomatic reasons, to see if Marian or her sisters might be a suitable companion for her daughter. She sees something in Marian that is achingly familiar and when Edel hears the king’s proclamation, only one thing is on her mind: to protect Marian from the fate that had befallen Edel herself.
Their lives threaded together by magic, Edel and Marian will have to find their way in the world in this queerplatonic, sapphic verse novel retelling of King Thrushbeard.
CW: acephobia/acemisia, arophobia/aromisia, sexual assault, brief allusion to self-harm, PTSD, spousal death, parental death, unsupportive parents
Tags: queerplatonic sapphic fairytale retelling, story in free verse, sex-repulsed MC, asexual MC, aromantic MC, young widow remarries, strained mother/daughter relationships, Marian’s father is a jerk, Duke Whatsit is also a jerk and deserves his stint in prison, f/f aromance, banter so much banter all the banter forever, the banter book, seriously this story is All About Cute Post-HEA Banter, cute girls being very cute, marian wants a little lamb, disaster ace, distinguished aro, labelstravaganza, gleefully and unapologetically ace and aro, sapphic AF, queer AF, basically everyone is queer, not recommended if you think ace/aro is not queer, kissing someone against their explicit wishes is assault, King Thrushbeard but sapphic and better, how did Snow White get into this story?, fridged dad, Part 2 is Not Fluffy, Marian gets teased about being sex-repulsed but in a friendly way which she is okay with, also Edel backs off and apologises when she does accidentally go too far, banterbanterbanter, keeping these two on plot is like trying to herd cats, experimental narrative structure, I will take this harmful insult for myself and HIT people with it, (Marian honey that does not mean it didn’t hurt you), if it’s aphobic it gets called out, I was very angry when I wrote most of this, fairy godmother fail, Edel is definitely the sensible one of the two (most of the time)
Oh, yes. It is time, everyone. The Thrushbeard retelling I’ve been sporadically talking about is finally ready to be released and revealed. WHOOT! I’m both super-excited and utterly terrified of publishing this story. It is gleefully and unapologetically ace and aro in a way that none of my books has been to date. And, well, basically, if it’s a negative stereotype you can take a sledgehammer to, I aimed to take a sledgehammer to it.
As I think most people who know me know by now, I’ve read a fair bit of ace fiction and… Well, I won’t beat around the bush. In my experience, those books tend to fail to tackle stereotypes in a way that I’m comfortable with. From dehumanising aroace people in the title to brushing off the trauma of sexual assault to simply… ignoring that certain stereotypes even exist. (Even though they were googleable in 2012 and 2016+ releases certainly have no excuse not to at least be aware of them, but that is a rant for another time.)
When I set out to write this retelling, I knew that I wanted it to be sapphic and I knew that I wanted Marian to be a homoromantic sex-repulsed asexual. So that’s what I did and once I started tackling ace concepts and ideas head-on I found I couldn’t stop. In part this is due to spending large chunks of Pride Month blocking and reporting vocal anti-ace people again.
The Ice Princess’s Fair Illusion is one of the angriest books I’ve ever written. Its use of an ace stereotype in the title is 100% intentional and gets explored in the text explicitly. It’s a raw book in places, aimed at capturing and sharing some of the ways in which aces and aros are hurt by a society that won’t make any room for them, even when it claims it’s doing exactly that.
But it’s also a book that is about love and hope and happily ever afters. Because of course I would give Marian and Edel a HEA ending. It just… deals with some bad stuff along the way. It’s a deeply personal book in a lot of ways and I hope you’ll enjoy it!
As mentioned, it’ll be available on November 6th, 2018, but if you’d like to sign up for eARCs before that time, you can do so here.