Snow White is book 1 of the Ever After series. From the blurb, we are promised a deep and dark look at the background of the soon-to-be evil queen.
Azura needs the royal bloodline to gain magic she isn’t a natural vessel for. Forced to drain from supernatural creatures, Azura’s magic is never full, always leaking away. But that bloodline…should contain all she needs.
Unlike Azura, Snow White was born a vessel for elemental power. But the iciness clings to her, and she is kept apart.
Her father, the king, wishes for a new wife, and invites all eligible ladies within the vicinity to attend him. Azura, putting on her most docile public face, intends to be that new wife.
At the month-long event, Azure & Snow meet and, drawn to each other, they begin a tentative dance as different desires clash, and well-laid plans look to come unravelled.
Sooner or later, it’ll be time to find out just exactly how thoroughly ice can burn.
On to the story, then. We have two narrators: Azura and Snow. They take their turns at leading us around in their heads, and it’s actually quite fun to have meta knowledge of what’s actually going on, especially when we see the same event from both sides.
From her first chapter, we learn that Azura thinks of herself as a viper. A predator, surrounded by prey. She believes she has a perfect plan, and a perfect mask, and perfect control, but she’s fooling herself. Her magic is powerful and effective, and she is used to using it constantly, so even for this high a reward, she can’t just stop. But, her control is good, and she reels Snow in with ease.
From Snow’s first chapter, we see that she is lonely, and idolises the father that dotes on her. She believes he wishes to marry for her sake, not his own, and loves him all the more for it. We also discover that the element inside her can literally freeze her blood and heart to ice. So when Azura warms her (and is also stunningly gorgeous), Snow is definitely interested.
I love in this that Azura is the porcelain pale, fair-haired one, and Snow is dark upon dark. Not just for the opposing forces gambit, but because it’s a reversal of the standard white=good narrative that’s so damned insidious. That opposition doesn’t stay, as they move towards each other and beyond, but it’s a nice opening touch.
I read this in a single sitting, just couldn’t not keep going, so it’s safe to say I enjoyed it! The tangle of events is fierce, unknotting one bit just for something else to make a snarl of a mess, and it’s all far from being untangled by the end of tthe book.
Actually no that’s not completely accurate. Most of this book’s mess is untangled, but there’s a whole lot more knots that were created by that to pick up on next time!
If you like lesbians, dark magic, evil to good (well, less evil anyway), and never actually knowing if something is gonna come out good or bad – you’re in the right place!
Snow White was released on June 14th 2022. Get your copy on Amazon US or UK, or your favourite bookseller or library.