Snow by Tracy Lynn One of my favorite subgenres of all time is the fairy tale made into a novel. For the conceit to work, the simple cartoon outlines of the original story have to be fleshed out, the story moving from anytime, anywhere, with any motherless child to a particular time, place and characters that feel real. This is a truly excellent example of the art. Jessica was born a duchess in a tiny manor in Wales. Neglected by her father, she took refuge in the kitchens. When her new stepmother came, over forty and determined to produce an heir at any cost, Jessica became a servant girl named Snow. The new duchess’s madness grows, and Snow flees by train to London, where she finds refuge with a little band of outcasts. The late Victorian setting works beautifully for the tale, with the industrial jungle of London substituting for the forest of the original Snow White. Magic and science blend in the stepmother’s experiments, while the world that Snow lives in also flows back and forth between modern and ancient. Lynn keeps the story close enough to the original to be recognizable, yet without providing the neat edges and answers for which fairy tales are known.
Other books in this little series (which I am going to track down) are The Storyteller’s Daughter and Beauty Sleep, both by Cameron Dokey.