Win a copy of The Princess Curse! Details at the end of this post.

Chapter 1

Three days after my thirteenth birthday, Armas, the Executioner and Chief of Prisons, came for me while I ate breakfast.

“Apprentice,” Armas said, his cold voice freezing the thyme pie in my throat. “Princess Consort wants you.”

Cook whispered behind me, “Too many pies.” I almost erped with worry. I didn’t think they actually jailed people for eating too much in Sylvania, but they probably did punish new apprentices for insubordination. And I had been a tad insubordinate to my master.

I slid from my stool, feeling stiff and weak. But I held my head high and marched ahead of Armas into the courtyard while the castle kitchen burst into excited chatter behind us. My stomach knotted and tumbled harder, and I wished for a pinch of mint to settle it.

Halfway across the courtyard, I asked Armas, “Did the Princess Consort say why—?”

Excerpt copyright © 2011 Merrie Haskell

About the book:

Twelve princesses suffer from a puzzling (if silly) curse, and anyone who ends it will win a reward. Reveka, a sharp-witted and irreverent apprentice herbalist, wants that reward. But her investigations lead to deeper mysteries and a daunting choice—will she break the curse at the peril of her own soul?

What people are saying:

“A wonder of a book–myth and fairy tale, romance and high comedy. Reveka, the herbalist’s apprentice, takes us with her on a journey through our world and what lies beneath as she learns about life and death, love and loyalty, courage and despair. As I did, you will delight in this exciting and touchingly romantic story. I can’t wait to see what happens next to the fierce and strong Reveka. Read it.”– Karen Cushman, Newbery Medalist

Released: September 6, 2011

About the author:

Merrie Haskell lives in Saline, Michigan, with her husband, stepdaughter, and too many cats named for legendary characters. She works in a library with over seven million books, and finds that to be just about enough. You can visit her at


Merrie has been kind enough to contribute a copy of The Princess Curse for a giveaway!

Just comment on this post to enter.

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Please list your extra entries in the comments.

The contest is open in the US and Canada, and ends on November 9th at midnight EST.

Good luck and happy reading!