Genre: Adult Fantasy
Year Release: October 4th, 2022
Buy Links: Bookshop.org | Unabridged Bookstore | Libro.fm
Read a physical ARC
Content warning: queerphobia (specifically against aromantic and asexual people), transphobia, gender dysphoria, menstruation
The Story of the Hundred Promises is a fantasy novel that centers queer people and queerness in a fairy tale setting that feels lived in steeped, steeped in a familiar aesthetic and the trappings of a classic, complete with curses, magicians, fae, and more. Darragh, a trans sailor, is summoned to his family home where his father lies dying. To help, he goes on a quest to find the magician who helped him tradition several years ago.
The story that follows is full of tenderness, hard-won acceptance, and magic.
An interview with the author is going up on release day, October 4th, 2022.
This story is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast in the loosest way. There’s a Beauty, and there’s a Beast, but they don’t interact like that. There’s a labyrinth and a magician. Fairy tales play a role, but there’s no single story that proves the direct inspiration. My absolute favorite thing within this book’s pages are the mastery of story-telling both on a macro and micro level. In Part 1, there are fairy tales told and they are structured and crafted just like those we might find familiar. It’s clear Cochrane did his research with regards to style and prose, while making choices within the main story to tie them all together. It was really fun as a reading to follow the threads and see which characters made their appearances within the main story.
The frankness that the characters and their discussions around love and their place in a society that struggles to understand them feel organic and honest in a way that leaves the reader with a full heart, especially when their own queer experience might not fit neatly in a box or in a way easy to convey to others. The way Cochrane makes it fit in with the milieu of fairy tale is nothing short of masterful and enchanting, taking the reader on a compelling character-driven journey infused with magic and destiny.
Swoony and romantic in the way it uses the structure and tropes of fairy tales to tell a story that’s unequivocally queer, definitely must-read for fantasy fans.
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