The Ice Princess’s Fair Illusion
(Fairytale Verses #2)
(Friendly reminder that the price goes up to its regular $4.99 sometime around Sunday 11 November. You can still get it supercheap if you’re quick! And, if you like it and want more verse novel fairy tales, the first book, Sea Foam and Silence, and its companion are also on sale right now!)
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, aiming to ensure her daughter inherits a strong and peaceful kingdom. 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.
It’s here! It’s here! The Ice Princess’s Fair Illusion is finally available! YAY! I’m so happy and so excited to be releasing this superqueer and massively ace and aro narrative into the world. I have… attempted to say a lot about it in the past few weeks, with varying levels of success, and with most things focusing on the queerness of this verse novel.
So here are some fun things about it!
- Not only are there lots of queer labels used in the text, there are discussions about how we use labels and who/why we benefit from using them
- Basically everyone not Marian’s father and duke Whatsit is queer even if it’s not obvious
- But if they’re major secondary characters (like Snow) it’s obvious
- Edel and Snow’s relationship, though one of stepparent/stepchild technically, is 100% not about blood relationships (and yes Edel is a stepmother, not Snow’s biological mother)
- There is no reasoning with anti-ace and anti-aro bigotry, but there IS writing stories fuelled by anger at the exclusionism and the goalpost moving and still ending up with a HEA
- It’s a novella! And a verse novel in dialogue. (If that puts you off, most reviews of my verse novels by people who were hesitant find it enjoyable when they sink into it. Verse novels are actually, in my experience, pretty good for reluctant readers too and I expect the reasons are related.)
- It has some darker core points and deals with anti-ace rhetoric (called out), sexual assault (strongly condemned), and generally living in a society that accepts most queer people to varying extents but erases aces
- About the only anti-ace rhetoric you won’t see tackled explicitly is that nonsense attempt to redefine the split attraction model into something ace and aro exclusionary. (And mostly because I can’t even with the nonsense of it.)
- HEA! (Obviously.)
- Two fairy tales for the price of one as Snow White gets partially retold in the B-plot!
- Edel is love
- Passionate, impulsive ace vs no less passionate, more level-headed ace
- QUEER PRINCESSES
- who cuddle
- and weird fairy godmothers who are surprisingly useless at their vocation
- I talked about the reasoning behind the title at Huntress of Diverse Books (Thank you again for having me, Sinead!)
- I wrote a brief (un)FAQ answering questions about the book!
- I talked about whose labels matter in relation to the ones I’ve mentioned explicitly here
- I talked about the influences on The Ice Princess’s Fair Illusion
- I also talked about the challenge of retelling a fairy tale that pivots around misogyny without, well, the misogyny
I think that about covers it! So grab your copy for cheap today! And to everyone who preorders, thank you all so much. You are amazing and I hope this story will be everything that you hoped and dreamed it would be!