Burnt Sugar is a dark and evocative re-imagining of a classic fairy tale from the award-winning Kirstyn McDermott. Ideal for fans of Jane Yolen, Theodora Goss, and Catherynne M. Valente.
Decades after the incident in the woods, Gretel has forged a good life in a small village, running a bakery and taking care of her brother and the stray, bedraggled women who find work as her apprentices. Business is good, and when it’s not, Gretel took more from the witch than a knack of making sweet treats and gingerbread, just as her brother returned home forever changed by the torture he experienced.
The book of magic hidden beneath the stairs has kept Gretel and her household comfortable for years, but it also calls to Gretel in the night, demanding she return to the woods and replace the witch they killed. For years, she’s been resisting, determined to keep Hansel and her apprentices safe.
Then Hansel’s drinking goes too far and Gretel realises her brother is dying. Finally, the seductive call of the book’s magic might be too strong to deny…
Burnt Sugar is the first novella in Kirstyn McDermott’s Never Afters series. Dark, powerful, and brimming with magic, these tales weave a reimagined world in which fairy-tale girls grow up to find both love and heartbreak, family and friendship, and moments of loss and forgiveness.