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The Tapestry of Tales

Book #2 of Unraveled Series

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About The Book

Disney’s Twisted Tales meets the Half Upon a Time trilogy in this action-packed second book in the fantasy middle grade Unraveled series following best friends Cia and Romy as they go to Paris to take on the evil queen.

Cia Anderson has just started eighth grade. She’s worried about what to wear, whether or not the boy she had a crush on will ever talk to her again, and how her classmates would act if they knew that she’d spent the end of seventh grade fighting fairy tale characters. Her best friend, Romy, thinks it makes Cia cool, but Cia’s not so sure. She just wants to fit in.

But when Cia discovers a plot by the Evil Queen to steal the talents of kids all over the world, she realizes that she’s the only one who can stop it. Cia, Romy, and a classmate they accidently kidnap set off on a cross-continental adventure to thwart the queen, enlisting the help of a treacherous goblin, a fairy tale princess, and a shapeshifting storyteller.

And along the way, Cia might just discover that magic is stronger and scarier than she ever thought and that the Evil Queen is not the only one they have to worry about…

Excerpt

Chapter 1 Chapter 1
IN THE DAYS WHEN WISHING was still of some use, a king’s son was enchanted by an old witch and shut up in an iron stove in a forest. There he passed many years, and no one could deliver him. Then a king’s daughter who was lost herself came into the forest, and after she wandered about for nine days…”

Romy looked up from the Brothers Grimm book and made a face. She was lying on my bed, elbows bent, with her chin resting on the palms of her hands.

“What is wrong with the girls in this book?” she asked, tapping a finger on the page and swinging her legs behind her. “They’re always getting lost in forests.”

“Maybe this one’s actually going to rescue the prince? And it’s just taking a while?” I suggested, though I knew it was a long shot. Romy and I were halfway through the 203 stories in the Brothers Grimm book, and so far, the most exciting thing a girl had done was shear a sheep.

I sighed and stared at the pile of clothes I was sorting through, wondering what to wear for the first day of eighth grade. It felt nice to think about something other than the fact that I’d read hundreds of pages of fairy tales over the summer and still hadn’t found what I was looking for.

I spotted the putrid-green T-shirt Romy had brought back from Italy for me in the jumble of fabrics and, grinning, threw it at her.

“I’m never going to wear this. I said I wanted to wear brighter colors this year, not look radioactive!”

“Radioactive would be a great look for you,” said Romy, laughing as she caught the T-shirt and threw it back to me.

We both jumped when Mom knocked on my bedroom door. “CIA! ROMY! It’s seven thirty!”

“The book,” I hissed at Romy, a bubble of panic rising inside me. “Hide it!”

Romy shoved the book under a pillow just as my mom opened the door a fraction and peeked in.

“Come on, you two. Don’t be late on your first day back.”

Mom looked at the makeshift bed Romy had put together on the floor and winced. “Did you sleep okay on that?” she asked.

“Totally fine, Mrs. Anderson,” said Romy, stifling a yawn. Actually, we’d stayed up most of the night talking, so neither I nor Romy had slept much. She’d come over right after getting back from a three-week European cruise with her family—which sounded like it had been amazing—and I’d been away at camp since the beginning of the month, which had been awful. The camp hadn’t allowed phones, so Romy and I had a lot to catch up on.

“We’ll be right down,” I said, reaching under my bed for my sneakers. I hoped Mom wouldn’t notice the squeak in my voice or the way Romy kept checking that no part of the book was poking out from under the pillow.

“I made chocolate chip pancakes. Back-to-school eighth-grade special,” said Mom, still standing in the doorway. She didn’t like cooking and hardly ever made breakfast, but when she did it was pancakes, and they were always really good. She finally closed the door and shouted “Get them while they’re hot!” as she went down the stairs.

Romy waited a moment, then reached under the pillow and pulled out the Brothers Grimm book.

“I still can’t believe your mom would freak out if she saw you reading this,” she said, frowning as she stared at the navy-and-gold cover. In the middle of the illustration, there was a castle perched on a hill, and in the corners, there were fairies, each one carrying a wand and trailing fairy dust. The picture was way off, as there weren’t a lot of fairies in the book, and we’d yet to find any mention of fairy dust. “You’d think it was a pack of cigarettes or something.”

Romy shrugged and put the book in her backpack. “I just don’t get it, Cia,” she continued. “Why won’t she just talk to you? She knows that you know fairy tales are real.”

“Shhh,” I said, wanting Romy to lower her voice. My little brother, Riley, was probably downstairs devouring pancakes, but he might still be in the bedroom next door, and I didn’t want him to hear what we were talking about.

“I don’t know what her problem is,” I admitted, feeling frustrated. “She just keeps telling me it’s too ‘dangerous.’ That I need to focus on school and forget about magic and fairy tales.”

“Yeah, right!” sputtered Romy, stopping midway through brushing her hair, as if the eye roll she was giving me required all her energy.

I couldn’t blame her—I felt like rolling my eyes too. After everything that had happened, there was no way we could just forget about fairy tales. Before the end of seventh grade, I’d stopped needing to sleep, been kidnapped by Snow White (and she’d been just one of the fairy-tale characters who had been out to get me), and turned John Lee, the boy I liked, into a beast. All thanks to a spell gone wrong, cast by a rogue fortune-teller/fairy godmother—I still wasn’t completely sure who, or what, Madame Fredepia was. We’d managed to break the spell, and my mom, who I learned knew all about magic and fairy tales being real, had told me that everything would go back to normal.

And things had gone back to normal. Which had felt fantastic after having to worry about fairy-tale characters trying to kill me, maim me, or turn me into a mermaid. The first month of summer vacation had been great. I’d been lazy, played board games with Riley, taken family trips to the beach, and read. But then I’d gone to camp for two weeks….

As I tied my sneakers, I thought about what had happened at Camp Killary. It was a place that—according to its brochure—“shows girls how to strive to be their best selves.” I hadn’t cared about the striving part—it had only been a couple of months since I’d escaped from two fairy-tale villains, negotiated with a third, and saved Riley’s life, so I’d been feeling pretty good about myself—but the camp had looked really pretty, on the shores of a lake in Maine, and the swimming, archery, pottery, dance, and climbing had all sounded like a lot of fun. So when Mom had suggested that I go, I’d said yes.

The first night, we were all sitting around the firepit roasting marshmallows when Brianna, one of the camp counselors, told us we’d be having an icebreaking session. Then she’d asked me the first question.

“What’s the latest you’ve ever stayed up at night?”

My heart had started racing. The marshmallow I’d just eaten felt like it was turning into a lump of lead in my stomach.

What was the latest I had ever stayed up at night?

All the girls turned to look at me, and most of them started giving me friendly smiles, like they knew how uncomfortable it felt to be the first to have to speak up in a group. They didn’t know that the reason I was blushing, the reason I was staring into the fire, the reason I couldn’t speak, was because my answer to that question—a question that every other girl around that firepit could have answered easily—was that the latest I had ever stayed up at night was fourteen days. How could I tell everyone that I’d once stayed awake for 336 hours?

Brianna saved me by moving on to the next girl, who said that she’d once stayed up all night watching movies. As soon as I heard her answer, I felt annoyed with myself. Why hadn’t I just said something like that? I got ready for Brianna’s next question, determined that, this time, I was going to act like everyone else. A normal thirteen-year-old girl.

But then she asked me this:

“What’s something you don’t have in common with anyone else?”

What’s something I don’t have in common with anyone else?

Before I knew what I was doing, I had let out a loud snort. I pressed my lips shut to hold back the laughter that I could feel fluttering in my chest. I was starting to feel hysterical. What’s something I don’t have in common with anyone else? I’ve been spelled. I’ve met fairy-tale characters. I’ve had tea with Cinderella’s stepmother and stepsister. I turned the only boy I ever had a crush on into a beast, went to visit him in the hospital, and told him he was disgusting. I traded ten years of youth for a spell-breaking candy that was eaten by a sea lion in the middle of a storm whipped up by the Sea Witch.

All the girls were staring at me. A few of them were still giving me sympathetic smiles, but most of them looked confused. I noticed a girl who had complimented the mug I’d made in pottery class lean over and mutter to the girl sitting beside her. I couldn’t hear what she said, but in my imagination it was What’s wrong with her? or, I’m glad she’s not in our cabin.

I had the urge to blurt out the truth, but I knew that if I started talking about my close encounters with fairy-tale characters, everyone would think I was just trying to get attention or acting like a jerk. I tried to come up with an answer that would make me sound normal, but my brain seemed to have stopped working. So, I mumbled something about having a stomachache and ran back to the cabin.

Then for the next two weeks, Brianna made a big show of saying hi whenever she saw me, as if I had a flashing sign above my head that read NEEDS HELP. SOCIALLY AWKWARD.

It. Was. Horrible.

“Come on, Cia. I’m starving,” said Romy, cutting through my thoughts. “I want breakfast.”

“You go on,” I said. “I’ll be there in a minute.”

I had an icky, uneasy feeling, and all of a sudden the idea of pancakes made my stomach turn. The feeling that I’d had at camp, that I just didn’t fit in anymore, washed over me. And the thought that I’d been trying to ignore ever since that first night in Maine came rushing into my head. What if being spelled and crossing paths with fairy-tale characters made me weird, and not, as Romy kept telling me, cool? What if the reason Mom kept refusing to answer my questions about fairy tales was because she knew that what had happened to me was weird, and the danger she kept telling me about was the danger of me being discovered as… as what?

The reason I kept asking Mom about magic and fairy tales, the reason I was reading the Brothers Grimm book and whatever other fairy-tale-related material I could get my hands on, was because I wanted to understand what had happened to me. Why it had happened to me. And whether it might happen again. And part of me—I hadn’t even told Romy about this—part of me was hoping that I’d read about someone else who had been spelled and dragged into the lives of fairy-tale characters. I wanted to read about someone like me.

I wanted to know that I wasn’t alone.

About The Author

Maeve Kadyan

Cathy O’Neill was one of those kids who opened every wardrobe expecting to find Narnia. Years later, her own kids brought make-believe games and fairy tales back into her life and, with them, the inspiration for the Unraveled series, which includes The Princess Revolt and The Tapestry of Tales. Cathy grew up in Dublin, Ireland, and now lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and four daughters. She is a coauthor of the bestselling self-help book Babyproofing Your Marriage.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Aladdin (March 7, 2023)
  • Length: 432 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781534497771
  • Grades: 3 - 7
  • Ages: 8 - 12
  • Lexile ® 710L The Lexile reading levels have been certified by the Lexile developer, MetaMetrics®

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