Step into the enchanting, beautiful, and sometimes dangerous world of fairy tales in Alethea Kontis’ Tales of Arilland. Alethea received a volume of unexpurgated fairy tales for her eight birthday, and the impact of reading those stories of magic, monsters, darkness, blood, and hope is clear in the nine tales in this wonderful collection.
Discover the story of Bluebeard’s first wife (“Blood From Stone”), what really happened to Snow White in those dark woods (“The Unicorn Hunter”), how dangerous the Little Mermaid might have been (“Blood and Water”), and just how far Little Red Riding Hood was willing to go (“Hero Worship”). Included in this collection is “Sunday,” the original novelette that inspired the award-winning novel Enchanted, as well as “The Cursed Prince,” the previously untold history of Prince Rumbold of Arilland…and more.
Tales of Arilland is available for a limited time in The Realm of Faerie bundle.
Enter the Realm of Faerie, a world of beauty, danger, and enchantment. But remember the legends if you want to make it back home again…
The king liked to surround himself with fairies and fey-bloods. It was common knowledge that proximity to someone with fairy blood elongated one’s lifespan, and while no one could remember exactly how old their handsome king was, they knew he had been around long enough to outlive one queen and marry another while still in his prime. Rumbold recalled the prevalence of dark-hair among the dignitaries at court, darker than his mother’s long chestnut curls, but none of them with tresses as black as Velius…
“Am I fey?”
Soft fingers paused in their meandering trail across his furrowed brow and slid down his cheek. “My never-constant son. What makes you ask such a thing?”
“The boys at the training ground today said that Velius was fey.”
“Velius. The duke’s son.”
Rumbold nodded. Velius was a duke’s son, but nobody ever called him that.
“Well, they’re right in any case,” she answered. “It’s too late an hour for me to go into, but yes. Your cousin has more wild fairy blood in him than anyone I’ve ever met.” She looked away, and the lamplight turned her blue eyes golden. “Almost anyone,” she added as an afterthought. “What does any of that have to do with you?”
“The other children say that I’m fey too, because I have dark hair.”
Contagious as his mother’s laugh usually was, it didn’t make Rumbold feel instantly better. The enthusiastic kiss she placed on his forehead did. The pillow haloed her dark brown curls around her as she settled back down and took a deep breath. Rumbold knew that breath meant a story, so he closed his eyes and snuggled into her warm body again.
“Faerie is a land so large its size mirrors the human world—perhaps even surpasses it; no one knows for sure. Deep in the heart of Faerie lives the Fairy Queen. She is its only Queen, and has reigned over the land since the beginning of time. Her hair is as black as night, her skin as white as pearl, and her eyes are deep violet, as deep and rich as dragon’s blood.
“She has no children because she cannot; in order to give life to another being of her own flesh, she would have to sacrifice so much of herself and her power that there would be nothing left. But it is said that those humans with the most fey blood in their hearts look very much like the Fairy Queen.”
— from “The Cursed Prince” in Tales of Arilland by Alethea Kontis
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Alethea Kontis is a princess, a voice actress, and a force of nature. She is responsible for creating the epic fairytale fantasy realm of Arilland, and dabbling in a myriad of other worlds beyond. Her award-winning writing has been published for multiple age groups across all genres. She is the host of “Princess Alethea’s Fairy Tale Rants” and Princess Alethea’s Traveling Sideshow every year at Dragon Con. Alethea has narrated for ACX, IGMS, Escape Pod, Pseudopod, Cast of Wonders, Shimmer, Apex Magazine and Clarkesworld Magazine, and she contributes regular YA book reviews to NPR.
Alethea’s YA fairy tale novel, Enchanted, won both the Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award and Garden State Teen Book Award. Enchanted was nominated for the Audie Award in 2013 and was selected for World Book Night in 2014. Both Enchanted and its sequel, Hero, were nominated for the Andre Norton Award. Tales of Arilland, a short story collection set in the same fairy tale world, won a second Gelett Burgess Award in 2015. The second book in The Trix Adventures, Trix and the Faerie Queen, was a finalist for the Dragon Award in 2016. Alethea was nominated for the Dragon Award again in 2018, for her YA paranormal rom-com When Tinker Met Bell. In 2019, the third in her Harmswood Academy trilogy–Besphinxed–was nominated for a Scribe Award by the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.
Princess Alethea was given the honor of speaking about fairy tales at the Library of Congress in 2013. In 2015, she gave a keynote address at the Lewis Carroll Society’s Alice150 Conference in New York City, celebrating the 150th anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. She also enjoys speaking at schools and festivals all over the US. (If forced to choose between all these things, she says middle schools are her favorite!)
Born in Burlington, Vermont, Alethea currently lives on the Space Coast of Florida. She makes the best baklava you’ve ever tasted and sleeps with a teddy bear named Charlie.