First Lines Friday #22

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?  If you want to make your own post, feel free to use or edit the banner above, and follow the rules below:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

If you’re using Twitter, don’t forget to use #FirstLinesFridays!


Hello, reader!

We’ve arrived at the end of the week, which means it’s time to kick back, relax, and enjoy another First Lines Friday post! This time, I’m bringing you one of my most anticipated reads of 2021. It releases next Tuesday and I’m participating in a blog tour for it (hosted by TBR & Beyond Tours!) on Friday. I’m so excited to start this one this weekend cause I feel like I’m gonna love it.

That being said, let’s see if the first few lines can make me even more eager to read!


The Line(s):

“Once upon a time, on the coldest night of midwinter, in the darkest heart of the forest, Death and Fortune came to a crossroads.

They stood tall and unfathomable in the glass-smooth snow, Death in her shroud of pyre-smoke and shadows, and Fortune in her gown of gold and bones. More than that cannot be said, for no two souls see Death and Fortune the same way; yet we all know when we meet them.”


The Hints:

This is a dark retelling of The Goose Girl fairytale.

It is written by the author of The Merciful Crow duology.

The cover is giving me all the wintery folktale vibes and I’m LOVING IT!


The Reveal:

Click the cover to be taken to the Goodreads page

Goodreads Synopsis

Once upon a time, there was a horrible girl…

Vanja Schmidt knows that no gift is freely given, not even a mother’s love–and she’s on the hook for one hell of a debt. Vanja, the adopted goddaughter of Death and Fortune, was Princess Gisele’s dutiful servant up until a year ago. That was when Vanja’s otherworldly mothers demanded a terrible price for their care, and Vanja decided to steal her future back… by stealing Gisele’s life for herself.

The real Gisele is left a penniless nobody while Vanja uses an enchanted string of pearls to take her place. Now, Vanja leads a lonely but lucrative double life as princess and jewel thief, charming nobility while emptying their coffers to fund her great escape. Then, one heist away from freedom, Vanja crosses the wrong god and is cursed to an untimely end: turning into jewels, stone by stone, for her greed.

Vanja has just two weeks to figure out how to break her curse and make her getaway. And with a feral guardian half-god, Gisele’s sinister fiancé, and an overeager junior detective on Vanja’s tail, she’ll have to pull the biggest grift yet to save her own life.

Margaret Owen, author of The Merciful Crow series, crafts a delightfully irreverent retelling of “The Goose Girl” about stolen lives, thorny truths, and the wicked girls at the heart of both.


Did those first few lines capture your attention? Did they make you want to read the rest of the story? Let me know in the comments!

And, as always, happy reading!

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