It’s no secret that many of the Disney Princess films are reimaginings of myths and fairy tales. For example, Rapunzel’s story itself is centuries old. But, after some pixie dust and a little music, we get the witty, adventurous story in Tangled. Taking a different “what if…” approach,  Disney’s YA series A Twisted Tale adds a new installation with What Once Was Mine.

Mother Gothel holds Rapunzels face in a scene from Tangled.

Liz Braswell authors the new tale, and she creates a wickedly twisted rendition of the story. The book’s title eerily draws from a Rapunzel’s healing incantation in the film. Additionally, the title follows the previous eleven books’ format of using a memorable movie line or song lyric to name the book. So, for example,  As Old As Time offers a new twist on the animated classic Beauty and the Beast. Or, for the less musically-minded films, Unbirthday, is a reimagining of Alice in Wonderland.

What Once Was Mine asks, “What if Rapunzel’s mother drank a potion from the wrong flower?” In this version, Rapunzel is born with silver hair that also has the ability to drain life. Yes, you heard that right. She has hair capable of enacting revenge on anyone who crosses her. So for the kingdom’s safety, her family locks her away in a tower, placing her under the care of Mother Gothel.

What Once Was Mine book cover showcasing Rapunzel in her tower with silver hair


The book’s official website explains more about the tale. Eighteen years later, determined to see the “floating lights” that appear on her birthday, Rapunzel leaves the tower. Along the way, she joins a young woman named Gina and Flynn Rider. However, Gina and Flynn aren’t what they appear to be. The duo has some secrets of their own, including the fact that Flynn is a rogue fugitive.

“Before she can reach her happy ending,” notes the synopsis, “Rapunzel learns that there may be more to her story, and her magical tresses, than she ever knew.” Well, I am officially hooked. With Halloween just around the corner, this wicked tale will be sure to tickle your inner villain. For those interested, Polygon revealed an exclusive excerpt of the novel. An additional excerpt is available on the book’s official page. What Once Was Mine can be pre-ordered and is set to release on September 7.

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