White as Snow

Tanith Lee, Author Tor Books $23.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-312-86993-9
Horror and fantasy veteran Lee, author of such adult fairy tale collections as Red as Blood and Forests of the Night, offers an enticingly dark and seductive reworking of ""Snow White"" that echoes the macabre ambience of the Brothers Grimm. Drawing on the sex and violence implicit in the original fairy tale, Lee gives a modern, introspective angle to the classic story. The evil queen, Arpazia, first appears as an innocent princess of 14, who is terrified when Draco, a rising new leader, conquers her father's castle and rapes her. Soon after he has her sister, Lilca, hanged because Lilca betrayed the castle. Draco forces Arpazia to travel with him and his barbaric army. She later bears him a girl, Candacis, whom she immediately shuns as an incarnation of evil, mumbling death spells as the infant tries to suckle her. Lee casts the evil queen in a sympathetic light, depicting her as a tortured soul who in later years begins to question her dark fate. With its melancholy shading, Lee's new twist on an old tale is sure to engage fans of dark fantasy. (Dec. 7)
Reviewed on: 12/04/2000
Release date: 12/01/2000
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