Megan Whalen Turner is not a prolific writer but her books The Thief, The Queen of Attolia and The King of Attolia are almost unbelievably good.

The Queen of Attolia contains one of the most affecting and and surprising romances I have ever read – even if you start reading the book knowing these two people will get together in the end. (I read a review that contained spoilers before I brought a copy of The Queen of Attolia.)

Similar to Diana Wynne Jones, Megan Whalen Turner’s books are multi-layered and will stand up to re-reading for the rest of my life; but more importantly, they contain what I think of as Truth.  That is, when I finish reading them, I come away feeling that I understand some part of human relationships/interactions better than I did before.  All of my favourite books, the ones I will never get rid of, no matter how my tastes change, contain some kernel of Truth.

Whalen Turner’s first published book was a short story collection called Instead of Three Wishes.  I haven’t managed to find a copy to read yet, but one of the stories is featured on her website in full.

Instead of Three Wishes:  A young woman does a favour for an elf prince who offers her three wishes.  When she turns the wishes down, he must find something that she will accept so he is no longer in debt to her.