• Nina Clare

Fairest Son by H. S. J. Williams (2018)


Two faerie kings - one evil, one good. A prophesied child that will bring an end to the ancient war between the kingdoms, and a human girl with a hidden past who gets caught in the middle of it all.

When a young huntress meets an immortal faerie in the depths of the woods, she warily accepts his unusual offer of shelter and food. Thus begins an unlikely friendship that will twist on betrayal and forgiveness and take some surprising turns.

Fairest Son is a retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, with a beautiful prince rather than a princess. The familiar tropes of Snow White are all present, but reworked in imaginative ways, translated into settings of snowbound caves, hidden faerie courts, and an ominous loch harbouring a monster in its depths. Irish myth and legend also lends a mysterious Celtic feel to the story.

While only a novella length book, the author achieves a lot in a short space by reworking a familiar fairy tale into something deeper: a Christian allegory of the fight between good and evil. The contrast between the dark Unseelie Court and the Seelie Court of light represents this battle. Immortal life and death are the stakes, and the king of darkness is a cruel and ruthless enemy.

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