The Book of Gothel by Mary McMyne

The Book of Gothel is a wonderfully cozy story of the witch who stole Rapunzel and kept her in the tower.


Haelewise, daughter of Hedda, a well-respected midwife, has always lived under her mother’s protective wing. When Haelewise’s mother suddenly dies, her father abandons her, and the village shuns her Haelewise sets out to find the mysterious tower named Gothel. The tower is purported to offer protection for women and girls who seek it. Throughout her journeys, Haelewise will be at odds with the Church, her mother’s pagan beliefs, and a powerful noble family.

The Book of Gothel

Review of The Book of Gothel

Reading this Rapunzel backstory was like being wrapped in a warm hug. It’s very much a coming-of-age, character-driven story where the reader follows Haelewise as she grows into herself. It touches on topics like the patriarchy, pagan practices, and feminism.

Although I thoroughly enjoyed this, I felt that some parts dragged a bit, and I could have done without the romance. I much preferred the sections that focused on Haelewise’s and Matthaus’ friendship as they were growing up.

The writing style feels like YA in the beginning, but then it slowly matures as the story deepens.

I highly recommend adding this book to your fairytale retelling tbr.

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Now Available.

Thank you to Orbit for the physical and digital copies for review purposes.

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