The peaceful Kingdom of Turia awaits the birth of their king and queen’s first child, but a cruel twist of fate and a demon’s intervention destroys their lives forever. Years later, events orchestrated by Queen Eleanor, Princess Khione’s heartless and jealous mother, takes away her freedom and almost her life. She is forced to flee into a nearby forest inhabited by fae.

Solstice is the partial retelling of Kingdom of Ice, Book 1 of A Dark Faerie Tale Trilogy, told from Khione’s (the Snow White character) POV. It can be read by those who haven't read Kingdom of Ice and for those who have, it adds another dimension to the story. Also included are two additional chapters.

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They say that having a child changes your life, or in my mother’s case, her life— and those around her— changed long before I drew my first breath. I heard it said that Queen Eleanor’s kind and compassionate nature altered so abruptly, her subjects thought illness or madness had overcome her. The respect she had for the people of Turia and her servants vanished, along with her love for my father King Eldwin.

Just like lambs and calves, I was born in springtime, but unlike the love and protection ewes and cows show to their offspring, my mother rejected me like the runt of a litter. Her heart had grown cold. She no longer knew how to love, nor wished for that “sentiment” in return. My father loved me dearly and I him, he more than compensated for the lack of affection shown to me by my mother, we had an unbreakable bond. I rarely saw Mother. She spent her days in her rooms avoiding Father and me. Yet in my innocence, I still loved her unconditionally and I wished she would return my embrace and kisses, even though she relished it no more than a lick on the face from her hunting dogs.

 I have a vivid recollection of one day when I was five years old. She entered her bedchamber and I followed behind her. I longed for Mother to show me some affection and asked her, “Do you love me?”

She paused for a time before giving her answer, “All mothers love their child.”

I searched her face long and hard in the hope of seeing a softening of her features and a sign of affection in her eyes, but I found nothing but her cold, hard grey-eyed gaze. “You do not love me, Mother. Father loves me and says I should love both my parents. I wish you would love me, I will try to make you.” I slid my hand into hers and gave her my best smile.

The queen looked down and stared at my face for a moment, before pushing my hand away. She made for the bedchamber door and left without speaking a word. I am certain that was the day I knew in my heart that she would never return my love and tears fell from my eyes that day, but none so bitter as those I would shed in the two years that followed.

I would often hear my parents raising their voices to one another or arguing. After a particularly vicious argument I witnessed Father leaving Mother’s chambers, as he crossed the threshold, he leaned against the door and gripped the door latch. His face looked ashen as the colour drained from his face. I will never forget the look of pain on his face when he fell to the floor, one hand clutching at his chest. I let out a yell. My stomach lurched as I ran towards him. I sobbed with fear as I clutched at his hands. “Father! Father! Stand up,” I screamed.