To read or not to read- Once upon a time...

To read or not to read...that is the question! This is an appropriately dark re- telling of a classic fairy tale, originally made into a movie. Yes,it does still end happily ever after...but this ending is achieved in a most unexpected way.

Read the opening paragraphs of this book and you decide whether to read or not to read the rest of this book!

Once upon a time...
It was the coldest winter the kingdom had ever known. Frost covered the gravestones. The rose-bushes in the castle garden were nearly bare, their leaves shriveled and brown. King Magnus stood on the edge of the forest with Duke Hammond, waiting for the other army to arrive. The king could see his own breath. The slow steadyclouds expanded in front of his face, then disappeared into the cold morning air. His hands were numb. He didn't feel the weight of the armor on his back, or the way the chain mail pressed against his neck with metal so cold it stung his skin.He didn't worry about the enemies on the other side of the battlefield and he wasn't afraid.
Inside he was already dead.
Yet his army stood behind him. One of the horses whinnied through the fog. It has been nearly a year, he thought. She died almost a year ago. He had held her head in his hands, watched as the light left her eyes. What was he to do? Who was he without her? He sat in his chambers, his young daughter perched on his knee, but the cloud of grief was too thick. He couldn't hear a word she uttered. "Yes, Snow White," he'd say, his mind somewhere else as she peppered him with questions. "Right my darling, I know."
Far across the field, he could see the enemy army. They were shadow warriors, a dark clan gathered by some inexplicable, magical force. They stood in the morning mist as ghostly silhouettes-nameless and faceless. Their armor was dull and black. At times it was hard to tell where the forest ended and they began.
Duke Hammond turned to him, his brows knitted together in worry. "From what hell comes this army?" he asked.
King Magnus set his jaw. He shook his head, trying to pull himself out of the stupor that had lingered for months.
He had a kingdom to protect, now and always.
" A hell they'll soon revisit!" he yelled. Then he raised his sword leading his troops to charge.
They raced towards the enemy army, their swords aimed at the figures throats. Soon the shadows were upon them. The warriors armor was similar to theirs, but beneath it were black shadows that shifted and swirled like smoke. A faceless warrior ran towards King Magnus, his weapon drawn. The king swung his sword, and the figure shattered like glass, thousands of black shards flying out in every direction. The king looked up stunned.

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