When the muses bicker about whose gift is greatest, it’s the mortals who suffer.
Aurelia is cursed to die after eighteen years, with the caveat that true love can follow her into the spirit world and bring her back. To ensure her the best chance, Aurelia’s parents betroth her to one of the neighboring prince twins. But what happens when she falls in love with the wrong prince? Who will save her?
This novella is only 36 pages but it packs so much character development and worldbuilding into a tiny package. It’s a retelling of Sleeping Beauty but deviates from the Disney/Grimm defaults. A baby princess is cursed, but rather than an evil fairy being spiteful it’s just a side effect of the seven muses bickering over who’s the best. The curse isn’t a hard deadline either. It doesn’t take effect on her birthday, but rather sometime in that year.
The parents are proactive too. Arrange a betrothal as soon as possible. Make sure they’re together often enough to form bonds. Tell the dang princess to be careful rather than keep her in the dark!
Anybody who likes fairy tale retellings should take an hour to enjoy this one.