Excerpt of “Of Them All” by Leah Cypess

Other princesses are blessed at their christenings, or else they are cursed. But my fairy godmother had to be clever. On the day of my christening, she leaned over my cradle, kissed my cheek, and said, “You will be beautiful only to those who wish you harm.”

I don’t remember that, of course. And it wasn’t the story I grew up hearing. My mother repeated the tale of my blessing often, proclaiming how delighted she was that I would be “beautiful even to those who wish you harm.” She said it over and over, until eventually everyone believed that was what they had heard.

When I was ten years old, she summoned me to her sitting room and told me the truth. That, I remember. Thee sun slanted diagonally through the large oval window, making dust motes float sparkling around me and causing my mother’s light blue dress to shimmer like a hazy sea. She beckoned me closer, and when I came – reluctantly, in case she had…

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