Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders, but her father is not a very good one. Free to lend and reluctant to collect, he has left his family on the edge of poverty—until Miryem intercedes. Hardening her heart, she sets out to retrieve what is owed, and soon gains a reputation for being able to turn silver into gold. But when an ill-advised boast brings her to the attention of the cold creatures who haunt the wood, nothing will be the same again. For words have power, and the fate of a kingdom will be forever altered by the challenge she is issued.
Channeling the heart of the classic fairy tale, Novik deftly interweaves six distinct narrative voices—each learning valuable lessons about sacrifice, power and love—into a rich, multilayered fantasy that readers will want to return to again and again.