Fantasy Humor fairy tale fairy tales retold quirky uplifting

The Thirteenth King

By Elizabeth Hopkinson
Apr 4, 2020 · 2,410 words · 9 minutes

Photo by K. Mitch Hodge via Unsplash.

From the author: There is a kind of truth in everything. Even a fairy tale about a boy with twelve books in his back pocket who somehow ends up becoming king of the most beige-brown city imaginable.


"It's true!" he cried, in his ordinary voice this time. And all the people crowding beside him on the Temple roof shouted, "It's really true!"

That's the second-to-last line of the story. I ought to know because I wrote it myself. Now you know it too; that's the benefit of hindsight. Everything would be much easier to believe in if we had more of that. And having started at the end, I could now go on and tell you the whole story backwards. It's not unfeasible; it's been done before. But,...

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