On the eve of Princess Sophia's wedding, the Scandinavian city of Skyggehavn prepares to fete the occasion with a sumptuous display of riches: brocade and satin and jewels, feasts of sugar fruit and sweet spiced wine. Yet beneath the veneer of celebration, a shiver of darkness creeps through the palace halls. A mysterious illness plagues the royal family, threatening the lives of the throne's heirs, and a courtier's wolfish hunger for the king's favors sets a devious plot in motion.
Here in the palace at Skyggehavn, things are seldom as they seem and when a single errant prick of a needle sets off a series of events that will alter the course of history, the fates of seamstress Ava Bingen and mute nursemaid Midi Sorte become irrevocably intertwined with that of mad Queen Isabel. As they navigate a tangled web of palace intrigue, power-lust, and deception, Ava and Midi must carve out their own survival any way they can.
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"Starred Review. Though the novel's frank and upsetting depictions of rape, child-marriage, miscarriage, and syphilis mark this title for mature readers, its brutality, eloquence, and scope are a breathtaking combination. Ages 16up." - Publishers Weekly
"Starred Review. Complex and carefully crafted - mesmerizing." - Kirkus Reviews
"Brazen, baroque, The Kingdom of Little Wounds plots coordinates of history, fever, and magic in such a way that each is occasionally disguised as the other...I lived in her controversial kingdom for only a week, but I suspect and hope I shall never recover." - Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked and What-the-Dickens
"An epic, mercurial tale of astounding beauty, power, and madness." - Gigi Amateau, author of Claiming Georgia Tate
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Susann Cokal was born in California and lived most of her life there and in the Southwest, where she found much of the material for Breath and Bones. She also spent a year studying medieval history, art history, and literature in Poitiers, France, the inspiration for Mirabilis. After earning two PhDs (one from Berkeley in comparative literature, one from Binghamton University in creative writing), she taught at California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo.
She now lives in Richmond, Virginia, and teaches creative writing and contemporary narrative at Virginia Commonwealth University. And shed like to state for the record that shes not quite as stuffy as all that sounds.
Her next book will publish in October 2013, The Kingdom of Little Wounds.
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