Thank you to Forest Avenue Press/Edelweiss for a copy of The Story of the Hundred Promises in exchange for an honest review. 

Summary

Trans sailor Darragh Thorn has made a comfortable life for himself among people who love and accept him. Ten years after his exile from home, though, his sister asks him to reconcile with their ailing father.
 
Determined to resolve his feelings rather than just survive them, Darragh sets off on a quest to find the one person who can heal a half-dead man: the mysterious enchanter who once gave him the magic he needed to become his true self.
 
But so far as anyone knows, no one but Darragh has seen the enchanter for a century, and the fairy tales that survive about em give more cause for fear than hope. — from the publisher.

A tale as old as time… 

Y’all know I love a fairy-tale retelling. Neil Cochrane’s The Story of the Hundred Promises is marketed as a “loose” retelling of Beauty and the Beast. There are certainly elements of that classic fairy tale spread throughout this one. However, this novel is so much more than that. Here, Cochrane creates a whole new tome of stories à la the Grimms. The interstitial tales throughout, as well as the POV-change mid-story, make a lush, full world. 

RELATED: Book Review: The Stone Road

The elements of The Story of the Hundred Promises are all familiar, which makes it a cozy read. But Cochrane has shaken and blended them into something new, making this book fun and exciting to read. If you’ve never grown out of Disney but will die upon the hill that Frozen and Luca are queer metaphors, this book is for you. Are you a Lorax stan? You’ll probably love this book. 

Millennials who need some healing from parental drama will love this. (One character tells her kid, “My heart, it is my privilege to care for you.”)

Author Neil Cochrane (Book Review The Story of the Hundred Promises)

Author Neil Cochrane. Credit: Kitta Bodmer Photography 2022

(Sorta) queernormative … 

Neil Cochrane makes an interesting choice in The Story of the Hundred Promises that sadly touches on the IRL. The world his characters live in seems to always have been down with polyamory and same-gender relationships. But transness is another story.

RELATED: Book Review: A Song of Silver and Gold 

And even those who seem to understand binary trans identity have a harder time understanding those who live beyond the binary. And while our world is changing for the better, I rarely see books willing to acknowledge transphobia that isn’t tied to a larger sense of queerphobia. 

The only thing that was a little jarring for me was the juxtaposition of high fantasy/medieval-style language with modern terminology like aromantic and transition

RELATED: Movie Review: Blonde

Should you read it?

Absolutely! This was such a delightful, quick and magical read. The fairy tales are charming, as is the main story, and the themes are sure to please all fantasy lovers, especially the queer millennials among them. 

The Story of the Hundred Promises is out on October 4, 2022. Pick up a copy at your local indie bookstore or library. 📚🌹
 
 
 

5 Retellings of Classic Stories You Need to Read

Melis Amber
Follow them