“The Maiden Thief” by Melissa Marr is a dark fantasy novelette about a teenager whose town is plagued by the annual disappearances of girls and young women. Her father blames her when one of her sisters is one of the taken.
The Maiden Thief is a really good retelling of a classic fairytale. Verena’s town has been targeted by annual disappearances of young women, right around the time of her birthday. Our heroine, who while in a society that is all about gender roles, is trying to find her place in her family after the death of the mother and her brother. When her sister disappears, her father blames her writing a tract on the Maiden Thief to the disappearance. The identity of the fairytale that inspires it is a huge spoiler, so I’ll just say that there was something creepy about the guy, okay? Verena is a little envious of her sisters, and that clouds her judgement but she also wants to atone for what she thinks is her fault and so she makes that decision. But our smart heroine thwarts the Maiden Thief and saves her town in the end, with an ending that was as amazing as the writing.
Read the whole story at Tor.com