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White As Snow (Fairy Tales) Paperback – December 7, 2001
Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
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In an alternate-history medieval Europe, the noble maiden Arpazia, raised in an isolated castle, finds herself the captive of the conquering general-king Draco. The only remnant of her former life is an exotic glass mirror possessed of witchy powers. She feels no connection to Coira, daughter of her forced marriage to the brutal Draco. She becomes the lover of a woodsman, Klytemno, who embodies the divine Hunter King in pagan rituals. Then Klytemno requires her to send her black-haired, snow-pale daughter Coira into the woods as a sacrifice.... --Cynthia Ward --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Indeed, there are elements from the classic folk tale in White As Snow: the mirror (although rather un-magical in this novel), the dwarves, the flight to safety from the Queen...however, as a top reviewer mentioned, the novel is overflowing with metaphor and symbolism, some fairly accessible to the average reader and some obscure. In my opinion, Lee tries to dip her pen into too many inkpots in this novel - Greek mythology, Catholic doctrine, and God-Goddess rituals. Despite the help of a competent forward by Terri Windling, I think the general reader will be left confused by the numerous metapors, and ultimately indifferent.
If you're the type who loves digging into every reference in T.S. Eliot's Wasteland, you won't mind the overload of images from different cultures, times and lands. What I think no reader will enjoy, however, are the characters in this work. I don't think there is a likable one in the lot. Our two females, mother and daughter, are both self-deprecating and exceptionally arrogant at the same time, so depressed and disinterested (apparently) with humanity in general that you just wish they would go away. They mope more than anything else. It is hard to muster sympathy for them or become invested in their fictional lives. I found I did not much care what happened to them at story's end.
It's a tough read, not for the faint of heart. Pondering the numerous metaphors and symbols (especialy the symbolism of the mirror, I'd add) may be very rewarding for some and provide good discussion amongst readers. But if you're looking for a more old-fashioned tale - and by this I mean a story with strong protagonists, antagonists, and compelling plot line - you'd best look elsewhere.
Note that I could either be talking about the ancient tale of Demeter and Persephone, or about the fairy tale "Snow White." Tanith Lee weaves the two together masterfully in her novel, "White as Snow." As I read it, I kept reading a scene and then thinking, "Hey, WAIT a minute, that was the part where Demeter tries to make the little kid immortal", and so forth. It just fit incredibly well; the book followed both the myth and the fairy tale, making me realize just how much symbolism the two stories had in common in the first place. It is a testament to Lee's skill that after reading the book, I began to seriously wonder whether the fairy tale truly *is* a corrupted version of the myth, distorted through centuries. Whether there is any real connection, the world may never know--but Lee makes us believe there is.
And as I write this, I remember that in ancient times Demeter was associated with the mirror.
I deducted one star because I had trouble sympathizing with the characters; they seem emotionally cold throughout much of the book. It makes sense, given their traumatic pasts, but it doesn't make it any easier to relate to them.
Still, four solid stars for a richly archetypal neo-myth.
Like Terri Windling's series, I am always excited when I see a new Tanith Lee novel. I had just finished reading Wolf Tower (which is a wonderful book) and saw White as Snow was due out soon...I waited with much anticipation for the book's arrival and I am happy to say I wan't disappointed by Tanith Lee's retelling of Snow White. This is one of her many reworkings of this particular fairy tale, but what makes this one different is that it is also a powerful and ingenious parallel of the Persephone/Demeter myth. As usual, Lee's prose is gorgeous and the story is challenging and unpredictable. There are a lot of layers to this novel and it deserves to be read and reread so that one can savor the imagery and emotion that this book builds. I particularly liked the dark psychology of the book--the war between mother and daughter, the war fought within oneself, the war between the sexes...everything resonates in this book and scenes continue to echo in my mind. This book belongs on the shelf next to Deerskin,by Robin McKinley and The Armless Maiden, an anthology by Terri Windling, for it is a powerful novel dealing with the more common, darker emotions of humanity.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The Seven Kingdoms of Westeros meet the Brothers Grimm. Tyrion Lannister meets Snow White. The Oracle of Delphi meets Alice thourgh the Looking Glass. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Fairy Tale
Tabitha Lee writes a wonderful, complicated, sophisticated reworked Snow White. Like everything she has written, it stimulates one's imagination and makes you moan for the story to... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Bangor girl
This novel was published before the time of eBooks. You would think that even so, there would have been a word document or other digital used for the original printing that they... Read morePublished on May 8, 2014 by Geek Girl Atl
Someone suggested I read it, unfortunately I've gotten to chapter two and couldn't seem to finish it. My major issue is the fact that it jumps around way too much. Read morePublished on November 25, 2013 by tabi
This book was so engrossing that often I forgot its "Snow White" premise, and was surprised often; I was delighted and haunted by its subtle touches on the original tale. Read morePublished on September 11, 2013 by Amazon Customer
This was my first book by Tanith Lee but definitely won't be the last. Her writing has intellectual depth as well as dark emotional vibes. Read morePublished on August 20, 2013 by Lewis Woolston
Tanith Lee put a great set of new twists on an old classic--a wonderful blending of all the European versions of Snow White, the Demeter/Persepone myth, and a lot of wonderful... Read morePublished on June 23, 2013 by Kristen B.
Where do I begin? I don't know, but I will anyway.
This book is beautiful. It is literary magic. Read more