Setterfield writes, "There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner. Wind themselves around your limbs like spider silk, and when you are so enthralled you cannot move, they pierce your skin, enter your blood, numb your thoughts. Inside you they work their magic," and through her own brilliant novel she proves this to be true. We are gripped from the first line and held captive until the last. Setterfield's characters are impatient guides pulling us through an intricate maze of ghost stories and misleading truths, only allowing us to gather our bearings when we have arrived at the bittersweet end of her tale. The book is magnificently penned. Phrases are so well turned and words so carefully chosen that we cannot help but take pause to admire their beauty; scenes are cut and reopened with such skill that we cannot help but rush ahead to discover the ever illusive truth. The Thirteenth Tale, pulsing with so many years of repressed pain and memory, refuses to be easily forgotten, haunting us like the many ghosts of her heroines' pasts.