“Once Upon a Time”. All great stories begin with “Once Upon a Time”. It is the mark of an author who is confident of the work, to inform the reader in advance that the author wrote a great story. Margaret Owen brought us through a pandemic world, both and literally, with the Merciful Crow. Now the latest new story begins with the famous 4 words that brings the reader to the old fashioned tried and true formula of good vs evil, heroes vs the villains, mystical creatures, animals, and gods. Full of comedy, drama, and suspense. Plainly stated, it is a must read. Influences from Brothers Grimm fairy tales are abundant as the story unfolds about Vanja, stepdaughter of Fate and Death trying to make it out in the world on her own, whether it means to borrow or steal (or both) including someone else's life. The choices made have their repercussions.