Review of Delilah Night, “For the Love of Snow White”, in Myths, Monsters, and Mutations, edited by Jessica Augustsson (JayHenge Publications, 2017): 36-68 — Purchase here. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman. (Read the review of the anthology.)
It takes a lot of guts to start off a story “Once upon a time”, but Night should have every confidence in herself: This is one of the most satisfying fairy tale retellings I’ve read.
Fairy tales are rife with shadowy evil step-mothers whose sole purpose in the story seems to be to provide a bad guy. We never find out why they are evil, or what happened to the hero/heroine’s first mother. We do in this story; the narrator here is Snow White’s step mother, and we learn about how she came to the kingdom, ensnared the king, and, ultimately, cast Snow White into a sleep like death.
But the story isn’t just “Snow White told from another perspective”. It is a story of the clash between pagan druidic religion and the coming of a new god, a mix of classic myth/fairy tale with Christian religion and druidic rituals. It is a story of love and familial bonds. There is a very happy and cheerfully ordinary F/F romance.
Only two things slightly detracted from the story. There was some slightly overt erotica, which doesn’t in principle bother me but which felt rather out of place in this story particular story, and there is also one count of attempted incest, which, eugh, but in this case it did work in the story.
Part of what makes the story so successful is its length, one of the longest in the volume. I’ll be very curious to see if any other story can oust this one from its current spot as my favorite.