Tanith Lee is something of a guilty pleasure for me. I started with her – well I guess “sinful” is a pretty good description – vampire novel “Dark Dance”, and every now and then I just have to find another one of her books for more trashy fun. A couple, like Storm Lord and Days of Grass have been somewhat forgettable. Most are intricate, dark, entertaining stories. White as Snow is epic.
Part of a series created by Terri Windling, where different authors would write their own take on classic fairy tales, this book was inspired by versions of the Snow White story that are even older than the one written down by the Brothers Grimm. Most people know that the fairy tales we hear nowadays are sanitized versions of the Grimms Fairy Tales. What I didn’t know before reading the introduction (don’t skip that, it’s definitely worth a read) is that the Grimms themselves cleaned up the versions they heard. In the original stories, the fathers were a lot less kind-hearted, evil didn’t always meet a bad end, and rather than a step-mother, it was usually the mother responsible for torturing her children.