Daniel Z. Lieberman is Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at George Washington University. He lives with his wife and two sons on the edge of a forest. Dan's academic work has appeared in dozens of psychiatric books and journals.
Tom first sees the princess off in the distance, in the meadow behind the farmhouse. This is a stroke of luck--better than trying to prove his valor chasing his father's pigs. Introducing himself properly, though, is going to be a problem. He can't just walk up to a princess, and the farm doesn't have any dragons to slay, or even pirates to rescue her from.
One day, hope arrives in the form of an imp walking past the farmhouse. Tom's heart beats fast. Maybe the imp will help him. The imp, however becomes annoyed, and decides to turn Tom into a tree. It will be a beautiful tree, the cunning imp promises, a tree the princess will love. But the tree will live for only a single year. Tom, desperate to do something, and unable to persuade the imp to help him in any other way, agrees.
The princess does love the enchanted tree. Spring arrives, and blossom petals rain down around her. In the warm summer afternoons, shaded by thick clusters of leaves, she dreams of a young man with an easy smile and love in his eyes. But soon winter comes, the princess stops visiting the meadow, and the tree withers and dies.
Alone, Tom tears his soul from the dead remains of the branches, and finds he's nothing but a ghost, haunting the meadow where the princess used to walk. All winter long she does not come back, and his ghostly resentment grows until his only refuge is to hide himself away, to dive deep into the earth, and never return.
Now the princess is the only one who can save him. A magic potion reveals the secret of the enchanted tree, and the young man she saw in her dreams. To find him, she will have to give up everything that makes her a princess, and journey to the realm of utter darkness.
Tales from the Palace of the Fairy King is a book of new fairy tales from a time long ago, told in classic style. In seven interwoven stories princes do battle for honor and for love, princesses seek their destinies, and farmers' sons discover the world in an age of fairies and imps and real magic.