Her tears grant wishes. Her next tear will end her life.
She didn’t ask to be the Wishtress.
Myrthe was born with the ability to turn her tears into wishes. But when a granted wish goes wrong, she is cursed: the next tear she sheds will kill her. She must travel to the Well to break the curse before it can claim her life—and before the king’s militairen find her. To survive the journey, Myrthe must harden her heart to keep herself from crying even a single tear.
He can stop time with a snap of his fingers.
Bastiaan’s powerful—and rare—Talent came in handy when he kidnapped the old king. Now the new king has a job for him: find the Wishtress and deliver her to the schloss. But Bastiaan needs a wish of his own. He gains Myrthe’s trust by promising to take her to the Well, but once he gets what he needs, he’ll turn her in. As long as his growing feelings for the girl with a stone heart don’t compromise him.
Their quest can end only one way: with her death.
Everyone seems to need a wish—the king, Myrthe’s cousin, the boy she thinks she loves. And they’re ready to bully, beg, and betray her for it. No one knows that to grant even one wish, Myrthe would pay with her life. And if she tells them about the curse . . . they’ll just kill her anyway.
“A beautiful tale about self-worth, second chances, and mysterious enchantment.” —Kathryn Purdie, #1 New York Times bestselling author
Exciting and clean YA fantasyStand-alone novelBook length: approximately 125,000 wordsIncludes discussion questions for book clubs
Brandes's (Romanov) literal wish-fulfillment fantasy is filled with Christian allegory and richly imagined worldbuilding that's complemented by complex characters. When Myrthe was 12, she cried for the first time and discovered that she was the Wishtress—one who is born "every hundred years or so. Always female. A heroine of the kingdom," and that her tears can be turned into wishes. Now 17, her grandmother, Oma, who has studied Wishtress history her entire life and insists the gift comes with strict rules that Oma refuses to teach, purports to keep Myrthe locked away for her own protection. After a wish gone wrong endangers Myrthe's life, dooming her to death with the next tear she sheds, she resolves to cage her heart away in a prison of stone. Accompanied by enigmatic magic user Bastiaan, who has the power to stop time, Myrthe must embark on a perilous quest to break her curse, but as the two connect, it becomes harder to keep her heart locked away. Brandes's fluid prose adeptly details the fantastical world of Winterune, and Myrthe and Bastiaan's seemingly forbidden romance handily propels the plot toward a climactic resolution. Characters read as white. Ages 13–up. Agent: Steve Laube, Steve Laube Agency.