Tales from the Hinterland – Melissa Albert


4.5 stars

The Door That Wasn’t There

The voice she heard was so thin and rustling, she could almost believe it was leaves against the window.

There once was a rich merchant who had a wife and two daughters. When his wife died, he found another. But the new wife was not pleased to be a mother and she locks the daughters in the house. One of them finds a way out…and the other…well…let’s just say that the other won’t be traveling any time soon.

Hansa the Traveler

There was a girl who spoke to the moon. That isn’t enough to make a tale, but to her the moon spoke back.

Hansa has been forbidden from looking out the window at night for if the moon touches here…something awful would happen. At least that’s what her father and paternal grandmother has told her. But…she’s a curious kid. And one day, she finds a way out.

The Clockwork Bride

The toymaker arrived in town on the back of rumors so vicious they cut the tongue.

Eleanor and her brother were fascinated by the brilliant clockwork toys but the fascination soon turns sinister…ultimately extracting a terrible, terrible price that no one was prepared to pay.

Jenny and the Night Women

In the course of time she bore a child, a pink and white and beautiful child, with a core of hidden decay.

Jenny was the much-wanted child of two otherwise childless parents. But her hidden, rotten core begins flaring up the older she gets. After one particularly bad tantrum, she finds a rumor – a legend – that will allow her to punish her parents. The Night Women.

The Skinned Maiden

They reached up and peeled the fur from their necks, from their faces and shoulders and limbs…

A young maiden within a bearskin catches the eye of a prince. Upon some pretty poor advice, he finds a way to capture her – but not her heart. The skinned maiden does not forgive, nor does she forget.


When Alice was born her eyes were black from end to end, and the midwife didn’t stay long enough to wash her.

The queen gives birth to this…child. This creature. This thing. And all she can think of is a way to get rid of Alice. Unfortunately for her, Alice proves very, very difficult to get rid of.

The House Under the Stairwell

On a knife-bright day at the edge of an overgrown garden, three sisters pricked their fingers on a briar and let their blood fall to the earth.

The sisters wish for their husbands to be revealed but one of them…let’s just say that she got far more than she bargained for.

Ilsa Waits

In a village where a plague called the dream sickness slipped from house to house, a man lay dying.

The youngest of her siblings, Ilsa watched as one-by-one her family slips into death’s clutches. But death? Death was never prepared for Ilsa.

The Sea Cellar

At the edge of a great wood, on the shore of an inland sea, is a house where daughters go to die.

Two sisters. One is gambled away to the house and one is pronounced “safe”…but the safe sister knew right away that there was no point unless she could be reunited with her sibling. And so she goes. To the house. To disappear.

The Mother and the Dagger

Wherever you live, there are rules you must go by.

A queen, desperate for a child. A king determined not to be fooled. A horrible fate alone, in the woods…luring in life.

Twice-Killed Katherine

She was called Katherine, and grew up in solitude.

The hated daughter of the sorcerer finds her own powers…and he is ready to take advantage of it. But Katherine…she is clever and ruthless and above all, she won’t be tricked again.

Death and the Woodwife

Beware the hallow-eyed man who make their living on the road, beware the riddles and the pretty things they sell.

The woodwife suffers death but no more.

Overall Thoughts

Ohhh man. I’ve been literally waiting all year for this gorgeous book to come out.

I loved The Hazel Wood and the Night Country and I’ve been waiting for this companion novel.

I loved the scary-fairy aspect of this story – the stories were so creepy and well-written. I really wish this book had illustrations. I think that would have just brought up to perfection.

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