The author who brought some of the best, if not the best, faerie stories into the YA world is now hoping you’ll love her next novel, Heart of the Moors, a story based on the Disney character Maleficent.
Check out the cover below and then read on further the excerpt:
“Are you pleased?”
“Yes,” Aurora said, leaning her head against Maleficent’s shoulder.
The faerie absently stroked her golden hair, and Aurora sighed. “Do you think that I would have turned out horrible if I was raised in the palace? Would I have hated faeries?”
“I think you were born with a generous heart,” Maleficent said, “and no one could have made you otherwise.”
“Would I have been frightened, then?” Aurora continued, thinking of the girls her own age who had been among the townsfolk and the farmers.
“You were never afraid of anything. Even when you ought to have been.”
Aurora gave Maleficent a fond smile.
“Come,” her godmother said. “Eat with me.”
They dined inside the conjured palace of vines and moss, at a table of gnarled wood. Stacks of honey cakes, a pitcher of cream Aurora hoped wasn’t stolen, and duck eggs were all spread out on dishes and bowls of black clay.
When Aurora was full, she lay on her back on mossy cushions and looked up at the stars through a screen of vines.
“You must like this place,” Maleficent said, lifting a single brow, “a little.”
“Of course I do,” Aurora said, stretching out her arms. “I love it. And I love that you made it for me.”
Everything felt like it had before Aurora discovered whose daughter she was, what Maleficent had done, and what had been done to her.
She slanted a look at her godmother, who had come to rest on another cushion. She was different with wings. She took up more space yet also seemed to have a new lightness in her. Aurora had never realized how confined she must have felt, being forced to walk on the ground as Aurora did.
There were many things she hadn’t realized.
What had it been like to be so disastrously in love with Stefan and so horrifically betrayed? What had it been like to face him down? What was it like now, to try to trust humans enough to make a treaty with them?
Aurora thought of the meeting she’d had with the villagers that afternoon and Phillip’s strange expression. This was the day they were meant to go walking, but he’d never appeared to escort her out, so perhaps he was displeased in some way? The thought bothered her more than it should. She wished she could ask for Maleficent’s advice, but she was pretty sure she knew what her suggestion would be.
Cook his heart over a spit. Roast it well. Then discard it.
“Would you like me to make up your bed for you, as I used to when you were a child, beastie?” asked Maleficent.
Aurora grinned at the old nickname. “Yes.” It would be good to be away from the Perceforest castle, away from the smoke and the iron and the constant feeling that someone was waiting to corner her.
When she was younger, she had slept in a spider-silk hammock hung from the branches of an enormous tree. But that night she had a magical bed in a leafy bower.
Aurora climbed in, under piles of blankets of faerie workmanship, each one almost impossibly warm and light.
Read the rest of the excerpt here.
Or pre-order your copy of Heart of the Moors, which will be published October 8th.