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Extended Audio Sample Stray, by Elissa Sussman Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Elissa Sussman Narrator: Caitlin Davie Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Four Sisters Series Release Date:
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Epic, rewarding, and provocative, this original fairy tale tells the story of Aislynn, a princess who misbehaves and must give up her royal trappings and enter a life of service as a fairy godmother. Stray will appeal to readers of Entwined, by Heather Dixon; to those who grew up watching the Disney princess movies; and to fans of the acclaimed musicals Into the Woods and Wicked.

Princess Aislynn’s magical ability is powerful and uncontrollable, and at her academy’s Introduction Ball—where she hopes to be introduced to her beloved and begin a life of happily ever after—Aislynn makes a horrible mistake instead. According to The Path, the strict patriarchal doctrine of the land, Aislynn must now be redirected—her loving heart is removed and put in a cabinet, her royal ball gown is replaced with a simple purple robe, and she is assigned to a Princess Linnea as her fairy godmother.

A cross between The Handmaid’s Tale and Wicked, with a dash of Grimm and Disney thrown in, this original fairy tale is part coming-of-age story, part fairy tale, part adventure, part sweet romance. Will Aislynn remain true to her vows and her royal family and turn away from everything she longs for? Or will she stray from The Path and discover her own way?

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Quotes & Awards

  • Stray is, at its core, the story of a young woman finding herself amidst oppression. As protagonist Aislynn comes to terms with who she is and reaches her own conclusions about society, she becomes much more than a damsel in distress, proving herself to be capable, brave, and open-minded. This combined with the rich setting and a strong cast of supporting characters makes Stray an exceptional start to a (hopefully) great new series.”

    RT Book Reviews (4 stars)

  • “This fun tale will appeal to reluctant female readers. Sussman explores some unique themes, including a LGBTQ relationship and even a yummy recipe in this fantasy with supernatural and romantic elements.”

    Library Journal

  • “Aislynn’s confusion and nervousness are palpable, but watching her learn to stand up for herself is heartening. Sussman delightfully mixes dystopian tension with retold fairy tales, and the result is something wholly original.…The enticing action culminates right at the end, which sets the stage for book two and will likely leave readers breathless for more.”


  • “Fairy-tale tropes are turned on their heads in this exploration of class and ideology…The creative use of the role of fairy godmother is fascinating, as is the fantasy world.”

    Kirkus Reviews

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About the Author

Elissa Sussman received her BA from Sarah Lawrence College and in a previous life managed animators and organized spreadsheets at some of the best animation studios in the world, including Nickelodeon, Disney, DreamWorks, and Sony Imageworks. You can find her name in the credits of The Croods, Hotel Transylvania, The Princess and the Frog, and Tangled. She lives in Los Angeles with her boyfriend and their rescue dog, Basil. Stray is her first novel.