Snow by Wheeler Scott
Torquere Press
Gay Fantasy / Fairy Tale
ISBN: 1-934166-40-5
Reviewed by Cassie

   

 

All his life, David has known he was cursed.  His birth killed his beautiful mother, and his father refused to see him.  Now his land is locked in an endless winter David himself causes, due to his curse.  Years later, his father remarries and he gains a stepbrother and sister, who wish to have his fatherís kingdom for their own.  They send him away to be killed, but instead he is only abandoned.  In the forest, he meets miner Alec, who reluctantly helps David by taking him to town.  David wants to stay with Alec forever, but can a cursed prince ever have happiness?

Snow is one of the most incredible (and difficult to describe) books Iíve read in a long time.  After being raised in almost total isolation, David is very naÔve and painfully lonely.  The beginning of the book is heart-wrenching as Davidís bleak life is revealed.  He vacillates between hope and despair in an almost childlike way, and his desire to have someone care for him, and to help others, sometimes causes him more pain.  His step-siblingsí plot to kill him and the machinations they use to get a woodsman to agree to do the deed are chilling.  The evil Prince and Princess are completely repulsive villains despite their outer beauty.  The other hero, the gruff miner Alec, is just the opposite.  He is short and not particularly handsome, but he has an inner strength of character even when he is conflicted about his relationship with David.  The course of true love never runs smoothly, though, especially in a fairy tale, so there are obstacles to be overcome.  In this book, the obstacles often seem insurmountable.  Alec has had his dreams shattered, and as a result he continually pushes David away.  He says and does terribly hurtful things, but David wonít be deterred.  David has to learn to deal with his curse, which gives him a terrible power.  Then, just when everything seems perfect, an even greater obstacle arises that nearly tears them apart permanently.  While reading Snow, I was moved to tears more than once.  The writing is almost lyrical at times.  The storyline is enthralling, and the loose retelling of Snow White had me reading for similarities.  Be warned, however, that this is no Disney tale.  The beginning of the book is flat-out sad.  Alec does something very cruel to David at one point, and thereís a big section near the end that actually had me fearing there wouldnít be a happy ending.  All in all, this was one of the saddest, most infuriating books Iíve read in ages, and definitely not to everyoneís taste.  So why did I love this book?  I loved this book because Wheeler Scott created characters I truly cared about, using lovely writing.  While not all of the emotions I felt while reading Snow were pleasant, I felt them strongly right along with the characters.  Reading this book was an experience Iím not likely to forget, and I think others who donít mind some bitter with their sweet will feel the same way.

     

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