Snow: A Dark Tale, Part 2


Read Part 1: The Magpie’s Tale

Prologue becomes present in Snow, which takes up the ending of Winter then jumps ahead eighteen years. Although the love triangle remains in place between the new “Elizabeth” and cursed wife, the passage of time has brought enough change to deepen and complicate the plot.

The false Elizabeth has shared eighteen years of life with Thomas and their marriage has resulted in two charming daughters, Rose and Fanney. Playful folk tunes by Jesse Manley and His Band underscore the bittersweet pageant of family life that plays out at the beginning of Snow.

The characters of the daughters, Rose and Fanny, originate from variations of two European fairy tales, "Snow White and Rose Red" and "The Juniper Tree." The former tale tells of two sisters, named Snow White and Rose Red, whose sisterhood is as harmonious as the white and red rose trees living in their garden. One cruel winter night the sisters give shelter to a wandering bear, whose true identity is a prince cursed by a spiteful dwarf. True to the form of many fairy tales, the tale ends with the breaking of the curse and Snow White’s marriage to the prince.

Some of the stories are from the Brothers Grimm and some are variations of the popular tales. “So often what you find is there are variations of these stories in different countries. So I actually spent a lot of time comparing and contrasting different versions of the stories to kind of see which elements made the most sense within the text,” said Ammon.

A slightly darker tale, “The Juniper Tree” opens with the image of a woman who is slicing an apple under a juniper tree when she cuts her hand. The blood falls onto the snow, and she wishes for a child as white as snow and as red as blood. She receives her wish, but dies of happiness upon seeing her son, and her husband buries her beneath the juniper. Later, in a bittersweet course of events, her son also dies, but is transformed into a bird who sings to his father and sister from the juniper tree.

From these fairy tales—and many others, including English to French to German lore—Garrett Ammon pulls a wealth of symbolism and characters to flesh out and meld together in Snow. In Ammon’s captivating retelling of this stories you will find the characters more real and poignant than ever before.

Read Part 3: Norse Legend.

PressTori Velasquez