Can she overcome her vanity to learn that what you want isn’t necessarily what you need—and save the cursed prince?
Why you should read it:
In its first week of release, The Subtle Beauty ranked in the top 20 of Amazon’s hottest new releases, outranked the bestselling Leven Thumps by Obert Skye, received a 5 star review on Amazon, and was nominated for a Whitney Award!
It was recently updated with an interactive pronunciation and translation guide.
Glory made a point of visiting the
gardens each morning before the sunlight reached the center. She welcomed its familiar warmth, but gradually started missing this morning ritual. One day she overslept, another week she felt unwell, and soon the ritual seemed unimportant. The idea that the sun worshipped her was ridiculous. Glory even laughed a little. Once she stopped this silly routine, she couldn’t help but feel punished because dead things started showing up on her windowsill. The first few mornings that she neglected her routine, it was a mouse, then a sparrow. Glory was disgusted and disturbed. The dead creatures were getting progressively bigger with each day she missed. Finally she had had enough. She threw open the window, effectively shoving off that morning’s dead March hare, and screamed.
Birds scattered from the buttresses,
stablehands stopped working below, and suddenly the gryphon appeared before her. Glory, startled, bellowed again.
“What is it?” asked the
gryphon, his talons digging into the stone, bracing himself against the great commotion. “What is wrong?”
Glory ran a shaking hand through her hair, trying to recompose herself. “I am being punished by the Sun God.”
The gryphon’s head cocked, and he blinked. “Bel is punishing you?”
“Ever since I stopped going to the garden to greet the sun in the morning, dead things have been showing up on my windowsill,” Glory frantically explained. “I have surely angered the sun, and now I am being punished.”
The gryphon’s beak ground with amusement. “Those are not dead things, Princess. Those are gifts.”
Glory paced her room, her hands on her hips. “Who in their right mind would leave carrion lying around as a gift?”
gryphon’s feathers ruffled, and he preened himself nonchalantly.
Glory shrieked. “You?”
The gryphon winced, his talons digging into the wall again.
“That’s disgusting! You great, blundering buffoon, what were you thinking?”
The gryphon reached out a leg, snapping his talons at her. “Have you any idea how difficult it is to catch a tiny field mouse with feet this big?”
Glory threw her hands into the air, as if to curse the gods. “You have got to be joking!”
“It is no joke, Princess.”
“Why in the world would you leave dead things as gifts?”
The gryphon’s tail thumped. “Do they not hunt where you come from?”
“Of course they do.”
“Would something larger impress you? Eoghan is
concerned you’re eating so little. There is a white stag I have— ”
“No!” Glory stomped her foot. “Dead creatures do not impress me, Gryphon. Chocolates, flowers, those kinds of things are gifts. Dead creatures are not gifts. They are just dead.”
The gryphon hissed, the fur on his back bristling. “Flowers are dead things, once disturbed, yet you say you like them. Ní thuigim tú! (I do not understand you!)” he squawked with frustration. “What will make you happy?”
The gryphon scoffed. “Is it not clear to you yet, Princess? He is not coming. Surely he is tired of your pretensions and is only too glad to be rid of you.”
“Do not be so sure,” Glory admonished.
“Can you not see? Open your eyes, Glory. It has been a moon since you first came here. He is not coming.”
Glory’s feet stopped moving. She mentally recounted the days. The gryphon was right. With a howl, she ran to her bed and grabbed her pillow. The gryphon seemed to know what was coming and scrambled to take flight. Glory flung the pillow toward him. It sailed through the window. There was an explosion of feathers. Glory was suddenly filled with a dread that she had somehow injured the creature. She ran to the window and leaned out, looking to see where the gryphon had gone. Instantly she was walloped in the head with a half-empty
pillowcase and could hear the gryphon chortle with delight. Glory growled and yelled at him as he flew away. “Curse you, you infernal birdbrain!”
The gryphon hovered in
mid-air, the sun behind him, and called back to her, “I am afraid that it is far too late for curses, Princess.”
Suggested listening for The Subtle Beauty:
- A Thousand Years- Christina Perri (Theme Song of The Subtle Beauty)
- Once Upon A Time—Sutton Foster
- Glitter In The Air—Pink
- Falling Slowly—from the musical Once
- Say It To Me Now—from the musical Once
- Maid of Culmore—Celtic Thunder
- Heartland—Celtic Thunder
- A Bird Without Wings—Celtic Thunder
- Hero—Enrique Iglesias
- According To You—Orianthi