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  • The Fairy Tale Magazine

Book Review: Her Dark Enchantments by Rosalyn Briar

Updated: Apr 26, 2023

Her Dark Enchantments tells the story of Myravelle Sinner, the healer of the King’s Sleepy Woods Company, who uses her dark magic to wake soldiers infected with a cursed sleep by draining the life forces of her canvases (men chosen to bond their will with her power). Myravelle’s newest canvas, Byzarien Dumont, a man physically and emotionally scarred by his own past, performs his duties reluctantly, though over time, he, like all the canvases before him, falls under Myravelle’s seductive spell.

Myravelle is a complex character both hated and feared for her power. She grew up in an isolated tower in Eglantyne Castle, watching her enslaved mother spin gold for the King. Now, Myravelle’s magic has become something to be coveted and controlled, and as she discovers her lineage and comes to terms with her own difficult past, she wears her grief “like heavy chainmail.” Her power and pain earn her the labels “Spider”, “Witch”, “Wicked Fairy”, and “Mistress of All Evil”, but though she ultimately seeks dark revenge, her story elicits sympathy as readers discover she is far more than the labels that are applied to her.

This book was a delightful romance which tells the origin story of Sleeping Beauty’s villain. I enjoyed the detailed presentation of the beautiful but dangerous fairy world which features creatures like water fairies, flame fairies, and plant fairies working in delicate balance with nature. I also loved the consistent return to the act of spinning and the mantra of “draft, pinch, spin, park, and repeat.” Fans of fairy tales will find much to love as they meet a classic villain and consider her actions in the context of her own painful experiences. If you enjoy “Sleeping Beauty” and “Rumpelstiltskin”, give Her Dark Enchantments a try!

You can order the book here.

Thank you to NetGalley for a free copy of the book in exchange for a fair review.

Kelly Jarvis is the Special Projects Writer and Contributing Editor for The Fairy Tale Magazine. Her work has appeared in Eternal Haunted Summer, Blue Heron Review, Forget-Me-Not Press, Mermaids Monthly, The Chamber Magazine, and Mothers of Enchantment: New Tales of Fairy Godmothers. She teaches at Central Connecticut State University.

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