"Exactly the kind of punishment we as readers deserve."—Hiron Ennes, author of Leech
A world-weary woman races against the clock to survive a deadly forest in this dark, otherworldly fairytale from Nebula and World Fantasy Award-winning author Premee Mohamed.
At the northern edge of a land ruled by a merciless foreign tyrant lies a wild, forbidden forest ruled by powerful magic.
Veris Thorn—the only one to ever enter the forest and survive—is forced to go back inside to retrieve the tyrant's missing children. Inside await traps and trickery, ancient monsters, and hauntings of the past.
One day is all Veris is afforded. One misstep will cost everything.
About the author
Premee Mohamed is an Indo-Caribbean scientist and speculative fiction author based in Edmonton, Alberta. She is the author of novels Beneath the Rising (2020) and A Broken Darkness (2021), and novellas These Lifeless Things (2021), And What Can We Offer You Tonight (2021), and The Annual Migration of Clouds (2021). She is also an Associate Editor and Social Media Manager for the sci-fi podcast Escape Pod. Her short fiction has appeared in a variety of venues and she can be found on Twitter at @premeesaurus and on her website at www.premeemohamed.com.
“Woven with the dark and dreamlike intricacy of a medieval tapestry, this novella implicates the reader as an accomplice in its monstrosity. It’s exactly the kind of punishment we as readers deserve.”—Hiron Ennes
"Nothing in nature matches the uncannily sweet murdermirth of Premee Mohamed. She will show you yearning in a scrap of cheese or the whole world in the rules of a game. This book is bigger inside than out... by a large margin."—Meg Elison, winner of the Locus Award
"Hansel and Gretel meet Annihilation in Premee Mohamed's The Butcher of the Forest, a fairytale that shifts into a meditation on war and grief, one that asks questions about who is innocent and who is complicit in oppression. Come for the eldritch monsters; stay, as always, for Mohamed's critiques of power."—S. Qiouyi Lu
"An enchanting, bite-sized adventure. . . . Readers will be rapt."—Publishers Weekly
"Recommended for readers of magical-bargain and forest-journey novels, such as Emily Tesh’s “Greenhollow” duology and Peter S. Beagle’s The Way Home."—Library Journal