Anne Nesbet recommended this book to me after hearing me confess my love for The Kingdom of Little Wounds, and it certainly hit the mark! Fairytale horror centered on the oppression of female bodies and psyches might be my favorite sub-genre of all time. There's just so much to be said and explored, especially in a setting unhindered by realism. Lanagan is not a lazy writer. The prose is intricate and dense, the plot anything but formulaic. For me, the disturbing violence and vast number of perspectives that the narrative forces the reader to consider show that Lanagan wrote this story for more than entertainment. It isn't meant to be easy to digest, so don't suggest it as an easy read. It is difficult, but it delighted me even as it horrified me.
— Ivy at Books Inc. Berkeley
Liga lives modestly in her own personal heaven, given to her by natural magic in exchange for her earthly life. Her two daughters, gentle Branza and curious Urdda, grow up in this soft world, protected from the violence, predation, and village prejudice that once harmed their mother. But the real world cannot be denied forever--magicked men and wild bears break down the borders of Liga's refuge. Now, having known heaven, how will these three women survive in a world where beauty and brutality lie side by side? This is a tale of journeys and transformations. From girl to witch to woman. From boy to beast to man. From hell to heaven to . . . reality. Building her tale on a mythic scaffolding, Margo Lanagan asks timeless questions about what it is to be human. She explores the evil and the sweetness in the world and reveals the essential magic of learning to live with both. Chosen as a 2009 Michael L. Printz honor book.