This very first, exclusive excerpt of White Magic, a dark fairy tale, is only the beginning. Keep an eye out for more of this very special story, coming in ebook and paperback, as we approach release day: Christmas Eve!
It was at the wedding that Snow White saw her stepmother for the first time, and was enchanted. Not by a spell, though the woman was a witch and the princess knew it in the first moment. No, the girl was caught by her stepmother’s presence, her brilliance, her stunning beauty.
In white and gold, her silk robes heavy with embroidery, the gleam of the new queen’s gemstones and jewelry was not what held the girl’s attention, but the woman herself.
This new mother was pale as fine ivory, her skin smooth, her eyes black as the bottom of a well. Her hair was spun copper, hot coils wound about her ears, long braids flowing into a mass of curls and every strand in motion, a thousand vermilion snakes erupting in a tangle of perfect beauty.
A sensation like hot water, or sparks flung from a fire, prickled on Snow White’s skin. She smelled something sweet and sour, a violent, violet odor of blossoms and rust. Without knowing how or why, awareness coursed through her, a living thing on its own.
The wedding ceremony passed in a blur before the princess’s eyes, with one center, one focus, blazing bright and wild. Her stepmother was a witch. A witch! The knowledge beat in Snow White’s breast, alive, dancing, a fire with a heart of storm.
Even at the reception, she thought her stepmother spilled the secret from laughing lips with every sound, but no one else cared to hear it, or no one could. Only Snow White stared at her, enraptured. Magic. It was here – it had finally come.
She was the king’s daughter, it was true, but she wanted neither riches nor the kingdom. Only magic. To be a witch; to hold the power in her own hands.
That night, and for several days after, Snow White watched the new queen’s treasures being brought in, across the white-stoned courtyards, beneath the shadow of green leaves and up the stairs of the empty western tower, where they were hidden behind a black door, freshly painted.
Clothes and furniture, chests and cases did not much interest the girl, but there were other things. A bright steel cauldron, its bottom not black but white. Hangings for the tower walls, each one marked with strange embroideries, runes and symbols, vistas of foreign lands. A box of dark wood, ornamented with a single seal – a potted plant with forty brilliant blossoms, yet no scent.
Last of all came a mirror, wrapped in cloth of gold. On each of those things, Snow White smelled the magic-fragrance she had encountered at the wedding and the iron tang of blood.
The girl made up her mind by the end of the fifth day. Why should she settle for a stepmother, when instead she could have a witch?
Want more? White Magic is here!