Sunday, November 16, 2014

Review: Shadows On Snow by Starla Huchton


~Book Info~

Title: Shadows on Snow
Author: Starla Huchton 
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Fantasy /YA 
Publisher: Self Published 
Release Date: Nov 3 2014
Edition/Formats: eBook & Print 

~Blurb/Synopsis~

Once upon a time, a dark evil crept into my kingdom, stealing my loved ones and the happy life I knew. The world turned against me, and I swore to become stronger, to keep myself safe.
Once upon a time, there was a handsome prince, hair dark as ebony, skin as pure as the freshly driven snow, and I became the only one who stood between him and death.
Once upon a time, our stories intertwined, and now, healing my heart may be the only way to save us all from the evil that threatens to destroy what little we have left.

~Book Links~

Goodreads | Amazon US | Amazon UK

~My Review~

*Disclaimer: I received a free e-copy in exchange for an honest review as part of the RBTL Shadows On Snow Blog Tour.*


Shadows on Snow is a twist on a classic fairy tale. 

Prince Leopold is handsome, with his dark hair and pale skin; he's definitely the male version of Snow White! Everyone who meets Prince Leopold instantly warms to him and likes him.

Rae is staff at Prince Leopold's castle. The story is told from Rae's POV. However there is more to Rae than meets the eye; Rae has been put at the castle to find out what is making the Queen so ill and to try and save her. But not everything goes according to plan for Rae or for Prince Leopold...

I'd give more details but you really don't want me spoiling it for when you get your own copy!! ;)

I was invited to review this book as part of a blog tour and if I'm honest I knew from its blurb I had to read it. This is the first book I've read by Starla Huchton, and I'm looking forward to discovering more of her work.

Starla's writing had me hooked from the beginning. I felt as though I had been transported into Rae and Prince Leopold's world. It was as if I was there with them experiencing and feeling everything and every emotion with them. Once ai was there I certainly didn't want to leave.

The characters are fab; they continue to develop throughout the entire book, and Starla Huchton has given enough details about them and keeps some mystery too. A prime example of this is Rae. Rae is intriguing, we know that there is something different about Rae but we don't know what until Starla decides to tell us. I felt like the addition of Prince Leopold's POV could have helped to give his character a bit more depth, also I would have loved to have known how he was thinking and feeling at times too.

The pacing is great, there's no time to get bored but it's not too fast that it becomes confusing either. Starla for me has done a fantastic job of taking a classic fairytale and completely changing it to make it her own and unique. 

Shadows On Snow has been a thoroughly enjoyable read, one that I could happily read again (when I have time)! I definitely recommend giving Shadows On Snow a read and I'm looking forward to my next encounter with Starla Huchton.

~Excerpt~


“You’ve grown up much since last we met,” she said as she circled me.I closed my eyes and prepared to summon another memory for the mimicry of the evening. “Who shall I be tonight, Godmother? There was a lovely woman in the village a few weeks past that—”Her wand struck me across my nose, and I winced.“You’ll do no such thing, silly girl,” she said. “It’s a masked ball and you’re far more beautiful than you think.”My knees wobbled at the idea. “But I can’t go as my true self, Godmother. If the king sees me—”“It’s been ten years, child. He wouldn’t know you now.”Grimacing, I tried to come up with another argument, but the threat of her wand across my nose again stayed my tongue.“Now then,” she said, rolling her shoulders. “What will it be tonight? The other ladies, did you see any of their gowns before you left?”I considered it. “A few. Plenty of wintery colors there. Silvers and golds, of course, and light blue is very fashionable at the moment. None so bold as to wear red, but I imagine there will be come Yule, as it won’t be seen as an affront to the ruling house of Sericea to wear their colors then.”She paused in her pacing and scrutinized every inch of my figure. She’d done so before, but I was considerably more well-endowed than last she saw me at thirteen years. Fairies give no consideration to humanity’s discomfort with nudity, however, and so I stood there for several minutes, naked as the day I was born while she assessed my appearance.“Though a deep scarlet would suit your coloring well, I think perhaps you’re right about the potential for insult. As such, a nice emerald green will do nicely on you.” She closed her eyes and summoned her magic. Sky blue sprinkles of light rose from the ground and gathered in the air around her. Directing them all with beautiful, graceful motions, they danced in time to the soft tune she hummed under her breath. Fairy magic was unlike anything else in the world. One could not blink or even try to look away from the sight.“The memory of summer… the warmth of life in the sun… the whisper of wind through leaves… stolen kisses from a lover…” Her words were little more than gentle breaths, but echoed from every corner of the clearing.The gathered magic twirled in the air, then shifted, wrapping itself around me as a soft blanket. A stiff wind lifted my hair, spinning and weaving it as only fairy magic could. My skin prickled as it absorbed the remaining illumination.“Open your eyes, child, and see the beauty you are.”I frowned. “I do not wish for beauty, Godmother. I wish for strength.”“Strength comes in many forms. Beauty is but one.”“You’ve been speaking with Delphine, I see,” I said as I opened my eyes. Air stuck in my throat as I beheld myself in the conjured mirror before me. Indeed, I was as beautiful as she said. My plain brown hair was piled in astounding knots and waves, my cheeks flushed with a healthy glow, and my lips red as holly berries. Even my plain brown eyes were painted with swirls of green to match my dress, transforming them into something far more extraordinary.It was all I could do not to cry.I turned from the mirror, not able to bear another second of looking at myself this way. Even though I regularly wore a face not my own, this appearance, this horrifying embodiment of temptation, felt like a greater lie than any glamour I’d ever thought to put on. That reflection was not me.Gentle fingers lifted my chin, forcing me to look into my godmother’s eyes. “Of all the things you could fear, you fear yourself the most. You must not. Others cannot take this from you. Your spirit shines through any spell you weave. Own that. Be proud of it. Your true face is more than how others see you, and those that know your heart will never be fooled by your magic.” She took me by the shoulders and turned me to the mirror once more. “There is power in beauty, but there is greater power in love. That is what you see before you. Never turn away from it.”

~About The Author~

A geek of all trades, Starla Huchton has been crafting stories in various genres since 2007. Her first novel, The Dreamer’s Thread, was released as a full cast audiobook podcast, becoming a double-nominee and finalist for the 2010 Parsec Awards. After releasing short fiction of steampunk, noir fantasy, and other varieties, she released the first three books of the Sci-Fi Romance Endure series in 2013. All three books of the Evolution series, a New Adult Superhero Romance series, were released in 2014, as well as a Steampunk Fantasy novel, Master of Myth (the Antigone’s Wrath series, book 1), which was the first place winner of the Crested Butte Writers’ contest, The Sandy, in 2012. Shadows on Snow, a gender-flipped retelling of Snow White, releases in November 2014.

When not writing, Starla trains three Minions, a black lab, and a military husband whilst designing book covers for independent authors and publishers at DesignedByStarla.com.

~Places To Find Starla~

Amazon Author Page | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | G+ | Website


~Other Works by Starla A.K.A S.A.~

Evolution Series
The Endure Series
Paradigm #4 (WIP)
The Antigone’s Wrath Series
Master of Machines #2 (WIP)
Stand Alones 
Shadows on Snow (Coming this Fall)

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