Close Your Eyes: A Fairy Tale

This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Buy on Buy on
*This page contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.
Send NetGalley books directly to your Kindle or Kindle app

To read on a Kindle or Kindle app, please add as an approved email address to receive files in your Amazon account. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
Also find your Kindle email address within your Amazon account, and enter it here.
Pub Date 21 Dec 2021 | Archive Date 09 Nov 2023


 Set in early 1400s Europe, Close Your Eyes is a sincere, yet light-hearted and lustful, ode to love. As Samuel, the court jester, struggles to describe why his friends, Agnieszka the cook, and Tycho the story-teller, fled the King of Gora's service, he learns that love was the beating heart behind everything that happened in the castle. He learns as well that more ghosts than he knew of walked the midnight halls, and that the spirit of Jeanne d'Arc haunted his friend, and once slid into bed with Tycho, daring him to leave - to take to the cold roads of Europe, where he had once wandered orphaned and alone, and find his destiny there.

Set in early 1400s Europe, Close Your Eyes is a sincere, yet light-hearted and lustful, ode to love. As Samuel, the court jester, struggles to describe why his friends, Agnieszka the cook, and Tycho...

A Note From the Publisher

Close Your Eyes: A Fairy Tale, was shortlisted for the Historical Fiction Company's 2022 Book of the Year, and won in the HFC's "Historical Fantasy" sub-category.

Close Your Eyes: A Fairy Tale, was shortlisted for the Historical Fiction Company's 2022 Book of the Year, and won in the HFC's "Historical Fantasy" sub-category.

Advance Praise

Close Your Eyes: A Fairy Tale by Chris Tomasini is not at all what you expect it to be. From start to finish this book surprised me with how captivating it was. I found myself enjoying this book so much, especially in the way it is written. This book unfolds as a fairy tale told by Samuel and that seems to give it a certain charm. Although Samuel is only taught to read and write later in his life, his ability to share the tales of his friend gave an even more charming aspect to this story as a whole. The book is well written and the characters are interesting and so easy to empathize with that you become enchanted as you go through the various tales of each character. You truly wish to know more and see more of their lives and what they’ve been through. This book was really beautifully done and I would highly recommend it.

Miche Arendse / Readers' Favorite

The technique the author uses of weaving letters and journal entries, along with the symbolic stories told by Tycho, along with the forward-moving plot told by Samuel, is remarkable and truly a unique voice in historical fiction. For a debut novelist this is a dream come true, in every sense of the word; one which will touch your heart and provide a child-like escape for a modern adult reader. While revealing the deep sorrow and pain that comes with loss, the very human elements which connect the reader to the characters, this is a tale of love... of true love, and the sacrifices which often come at the expense of great love in all its forms – brotherhood, friendship, family, loyalty, commitment, marital fidelity, passion, and hope. This book truly is a classic in the making.

D.K. Marley / Historical Fiction Company

A surreal romantic odyssey that transports you to medieval-era Europe, to a time of fearsome kings, beautiful princesses, forbidden love, and politically motivated arranged marriages, Close Your Eyes is an exploration of love in a myriad of its forms. Filled with romance, courtroom drama, humor, and heartbreak, Chris Tomasini's ode to love is an enthralling read from start to finish.
Pikasho Deka / Readers' Favorite

Close Your Eyes: A Fairy Tale by Chris Tomasini is not at all what you expect it to be. From start to finish this book surprised me with how captivating it was. I found myself enjoying this book so...

Available Editions

ISBN 9798786479561
PRICE $3.00 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (EPUB)
Send to Kindle (EPUB)
Download (EPUB)

Average rating from 52 members

Featured Reviews

"Love it would seem, requires a crusade - a crusade fought with kindness and generosity, and acclaimed by the joyous bells of a thousand city squares: bells which ring out across blue horizons, telling a continent to close its eyes, to dream beautifully and to wake with hope."

Every now and then, you will come across a book that just makes you feel like sighing with joy and happiness and an eagerness to tell the whole world about it. Close your Eyes by Chris Tomasini is one of those. It reminds you of the pleasure of reading a fairytale, while being thankful that you are an adult and finally understand the deeper meanings behind our beloved fairytales.

This isn't your typical "Once Upon a Time" fairytale. Rather think Canterbury Tales or A Knights Tale with a court jester as our story teller. Samuel wanted to tell the story of his dearest friend, Tycho and being an illiterate, it took him four years to obtain the mysteries of the written word and to finally tell the story of a brilliant storyteller who left the blueprints of our story in scrolls of an infrequently kept journal.

What magical tales sprang from these scrolls! Kings and Queens, princess and princesses, knights in shining armor and loyal to death servants - all on a quest for love in its various forms. The story is narrated with wit and wisdom and reads like a collection of fairytales with fact and fiction, made-up-tales and reality, blending together in a perfect happily-ever-after tale. Once again, do not expect your typical "and they lived happily ever after" ending, as we as adults know - you can only live happily ever after on a day to day basis.

Deep sadness and unhappiness are part of every tale, but what makes this tale worthy of the title of a fairytale, is that hope springs from every ending and by the wonderful life lessons hidden between the pages. Isn't hope, love and wisdom the basis of every fairytale?

It's rather difficult to believe that this book is basically a debut novel for Chris Tomasini. The writing style is superb with the most beautiful prose and symbolism woven into the tale. I do hope that Chris will continue to write, the world can do with more tales like these.

Was this review helpful?

I loved Close Your Eyes: A Fairy Tale, a beautiful novel set in early 1400’s Northern Europe. The story is told by Samuel, the Kingdom of Gora’s court jester, who is struggling to share the reasons his friends, Tycho the storyteller and Agnieszka the cook, have illegally fled from service. Tycho has left Samuel a scroll as a parting gift, and after spending four years learning to read and write, Samuel, a dwarf who lived a life as a traveling entertainer before coming to the court to amuse the King’s daughter, uses his storytelling techniques and skills to unfold Tycho’s tale, “hoarding secrets, {and} revealing them only as necessary”.

The novel provides background on Samuel’s early life as well as the life and tragic love story of the King and his two children. Another important character is Ahab, the court astronomer, who becomes obsessed with learning Tycho’s destiny. The servants of the Kingdom are not free to leave the castle, and Tycho’s storytelling ability is a balm to a court living with an overwhelming cloud of grief. Ahab wonders where Tycho’s stories come from, and this initiates a contemplation of storytelling as an art form. As Tycho falls in love with Agnieszka, he will face difficult decisions that bring him and the reader to a deep understanding of the power of true love.

This was a beautiful, sweeping tale that presents much food for though regarding true love and storytelling (my favorite topics). I felt as though I was at the mercy of a skilled storyteller as Samuel wove together several narratives that ended with a beautiful and uplifting message. The book took me to another time and place and made me wonder about the human desire for meaningful connections and purposeful work. Close Your Eyes: A Fairy Tale is the perfect read for anyone who is interested in love and storytelling.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair review.

Was this review helpful?

What a beautiful and enchanting tale. I requested a copy of this book on NetGalley because the description did look interesting, and the title had me questioning what this could be about. I did not expect to be swept away as quickly and completely as I was. Tomasini's writing is eloquent, captivating, mystifying... all the adjectives that could adequately describe a fairy tale. Sam, a little person and the court jester, is our narrator, piecing together his own written history, as well as excerpts from his friend Tycho's journal and the diary of a twisted Bishop to create a lovely but heartbreaking tale surrounding Tycho (the castle story teller) and Agnes (the royals' cook).

In the novel, readers are given the pleasure of taking a seat in the Story Room with Sam, Anges, the prince, and princess to listen to many of Tycho's stories that he, almost divinely, let spill from his soul. This is one of the many reasons I was enchanted. Tycho is a handsome womanizer, always jolly and seductive, but he is haunted more than anyone really knows. This inner darkness he faces comes to a head when he must decide what to do about the woman he loves that will never love him back, a decision that will alter his life completely.

I do not know what else to say about "Close Your Eyes." I am almost left in a thoughtful speechlessness. While some of the characters are only teenagers, I would recommend this book to a mostly adult population. There were no explicit scenes, but a lot of sexual and lustful themes that would be more appropriate for a mature audience.

I give this title a 5/5, and it will be hastily added to my favorites shelf.

#netgalley #arc #fairytale

Was this review helpful?

I'd have to give this book a 4.5. It was brilliant. The book told from the perspective of a court jester, is full of humor, wittiness, and uniquely satisfying characters. However, it goes so much deeper than that. I found the underlying message of love, destiny, and purpose profound. Despite having philosophical undertones, the book is easy to read and completely immerses the reader in a true fairy tale.

I also enjoyed going back in time to the early 1400s - to a whole new world with characters you couldn't help but fall in love with. Overall, for a quick book of 250 pages, it was executed perfectly and leaves you thinking about the larger meaning of our lives while admiring what the main characters taught you along the way.

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: