This is a retelling of the classic fairy tale Rapunzel told from the alternating first-person views of Rapunzel, Mother (the witch), and Konrad (the prince). Though I don’t particularly like this fairy tale, Napoli’s darker version quickly won me over with its excellent writing and atypical characterizations.
Rather than fulfilling routine fairy tale roles, the characters of Rapunzel, Mother, and Konrad actually have depth and develop throughout the story. I can both despise and sympathize with the normally all-evil motivations of Mother as well as experience the real psychological effects of imprisonment on the usually sweet and naive Rapunzel.
Though it started slow for me, I ended up loving this book by the end and re-reading many passages after I finished. The language Napoli uses is sparse yet rich and almost poetic at times. This is definitely one of the best fairy tale adaptations I’ve ever read.