Tanith Lee has been called ""the Angela Carter of the fantasy field"" for he sensuous prose, dark imagination and fascination for old fairy tales. She thrilled readers with her adult fairy tale stories in collections like Red as Blood and Forests of the Night. Now she gives us a full novel-length version of her favorite old tale, ""Snow White"" -- set in a land of crumbling palaces and haunted forests, a tale in which ancient myths and beliefs collide with a new religion and new way of life. Arpazia is the queen cold as snow who gives birth to a daughter with hair black as night and lips as red as blood ... but she wants nothing to do with the child, violently conceived the night her father's castle was sacked and taken. The child, Coira, grows up virtually abandoned in a warlord's palace ... until the elder gods lure mother and daughter into the woods. The book also features an introduction by Terri Windling about the history of the ""Snow White"" tale and modern fairy-tale fiction.
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) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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December 01, 2000
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