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Reviewed by Amy Powers for Readers' Favorite
The Tower Steps by Aelth Faye is the retelling of the classic story of Rapunzel, with a few twists and variations. Marjoram was born with strong, uncontrollable magic, all thanks to her parents who stole magical herbs from the witch’s garden to feed her mother’s pregnancy cravings. Her parents surrendered her to the witch when they realized the intensity of the magic, and now Marjoram has secluded herself at the top of a tower to avoid hurting anyone. Through the years she befriends one of the witch’s gardeners by exchanging letters, and now a doctor has come to help Marjoram face her fears so that she can leave the tower. After receiving new information, Marjoram is torn between the comfort of her tower and the possibility of experiencing the outside world.
The Tower Steps is set in a unique world in which various fairy tale characters appear. This easily functions as a standalone novella within the Fairytale Hour series. I love Aelth Faye’s take on this retold fairy tale, which contains all the magic and elements that we would expect. I especially enjoyed that the conflict was more internalized and that Marjoram wasn’t the victim of someone holding her hostage like the classic Rapunzel. She was a prisoner of her fears, which a lot of young adult readers can understand and relate to their own experiences. With a fast pace and full of familiar moments, this book is impossible to put down until the end.