Princess Snow Cavell finds herself captured by her evil stepmother and handed over to seven ruthless men known as Shadows—the most feared assassins in the known galaxies. Snow’s link to the Cosmos is a threat, one that can no longer be tolerated if her stepmother intends to win the war and rule the Intergalactic Alliance.
Their orders are clear—either execute her or deposit her on one of the slaver colonies to be sold. But the Shadows have other plans for the beauty, plans that will fracture alliances throughout the galaxies and shift the tide of the Intergalactic War.
No one controls the Shadows. They’d sworn to remain neutral during the War, but all bets are off now that Snow’s life hangs in the balance.
**Author’s Note** This work was originally published in April 2018 as part of the Once Upon a Harem Series.
I have read many adaptations of Snow White but this one is by far my favorite.
Snow is the daughter of a slave and a king. The current Queen, her stepmother, wants her gone, dead in fact. The Shadows of Roteran were not having any of that and helped Snow disguise the fact she can in fact control the energy within the well. Then they claim a boon for their wasted time. Her father came up with the terms. She battles the guards, if she wins, the Shadows get her to use, then kill and send the proof to Queen Vilma.
This is a favorite scene.
I fought the guard as he forced my hand toward the liquid.
No. No. No.
I’d once touched the Summoner’s Well with an index finger the first solar cycle I’d been aboard The Paradox. The fallout had imploded the area and left me knocked out for days. Yora had explained it was because I was part Tezan. My mother’s bloodline was a conduit between the Well and its true commander, the Oracle.
Send the power to me, female. Relax and accept the queen’s will or you will die. Send the power to me.
The voice in my head was deep, husky. Steely like the blade of my sword.
One of the Roteran Shadows. I recalled the history Lazar had offered. When Tezans reigned over the Summoner’s Well, they voiced the Oracle’s Will. Roterans enforced the decisions. Roterans were a noble race who’d chosen to remain neutral in the Intergalactic War. They were fiercely private and feared by all. The purple color denoted the Shadow hierarchy.
Send the power to me, female.
I can’t. It’s too much.
I thought the response, though I was no telepath.
Send the power to me, female.
The psychic push was too much to resist. I succumbed, channeled the power the Well offered, and hurled it toward the voice.
The thick liquid encompassed my hand. My insides burned, my body trembled. Pain coursed through my veins, singed my blood as though my entire body was about to explode.
Send more, female, the second male voice commanded. Too weakened from containing the Well’s power, I obeyed.
The guardsmen’s grip on me slackened. I collapsed beside the column.
“Well, it’s as you suspected. She is a common Tezan whore.” The queen waved her hand. “Do as you wish with her, guardsmen. I tire of her presence.”
The men laughed and jeered as they hauled me away. I punched and kicked. “Touch me and you die.”
I shouted the warning again and again as the men dragged me backward. I knew what guardsmen did with slave whores. I’d heard enough stories, remembered the horrors from my father’s home world.
“I thought you wished her sold at the market.” The stranger’s voice boomed within the room. One of the Shadows stepped forward, his gaze flashing disinterest as he regarded me. “We don’t trade damaged goods, Queen Vilma. You know better than to waste our time.”
“Yes, clearly my information was incorrect. My apologies. I expected the slave to have at least some royal Tezan blood. She’s not worth the effort of hauling to the slave market. My guardsmen will have their fun, then snap her neck. I have no need of your services after all. You shall have another opportunity to prove your loyalty to the new Crunan Skeron Empire.”
“I’m afraid you owe us a boon for traveling here, Queen. I must insist. If you don’t wish to waste credits, give the female to us. I assure you she’ll be taken care of in a manner befitting her station.”
“I’ve heard you Shadows are quite sadistic.” The queen smiled. She raked a long, talon-like nail down the man’s torso. She looked over at my father. “What say you, husband? Do you have a preference for how your slave’s child dies?”
My gut soured. Nausea threatened. I hung between the two guardsmen.
My father’s lip curled. “No, but this bores me. I require entertainment. Choose two of your best guardsmen, my bride. I hear my slave child is trained in weaponry. Let us see what she has learned. If she loses, your guardsmen may have her. If she wins, she will die at the hands of the Shadows.”
“Excellent.” The queen purred the order. “Proceed as my husband commands.”
The two guardsmen released me. Pain rose up my thighs as my knees impacted with the hard cargo deck.
They’d killed Lazar, Evon, and Vellis. And my caregiver Yora. I seethed and molded the anger. The time for a decision was upon me. Truth told, I should be dead already. Had it not been for the Shadows in my head, I would be.
Someone had taken the power I channeled without anyone noticing. How? Why?
Why would Roterans help me?
The questions rolled through my mind.
I took a deep breath and decided to trust my gut instinct.
A wise warrior retreats to fight another day. There is no victory in a certain death.
Lazar always taught me lessons through sayings that were more riddle than anything else. What would he have me do? The answer was swift, the only one.
Warriors did not surrender. They died in battle.
The Shadows. I’d fight to win, align my fate with the seven strangers circling my father and his new bride. Perhaps they’d let me pay for my freedom. I knew so little about the Roterans, but Lazar always portrayed them as a proud, noble species.
Cara Carnes. Snow and the Shadows.Roteran Shadows Book 1. Kindle Locations 152-193. Kindle Edition.
There is far more to the Shadows than anyone knows, and some of that is shown when they honor her fallen guards.
I love the way this story slowly winds it’s twisted tale. The patient way the seven shadows wait for her to realize each piece of them as the attraction builds steadily.
Awesome world building and I loved all the heroes and the couple of heroines. Snow and her Shadows are perfectly matched. I can’t wait to read their next adventure.
5 Contented Purrs for Cara!
Born in small-town Texas, Cara Carnes was a princess, a pirate, fashion model, actress, rock star and Jon Bon Jovi’s wife all before the age of 13. In reality, her fascination for enthralling worlds took seed somewhere amidst a somewhat dull day job and a wonderful life filled with family and friends. When she’s not cemented to her chair, Cara loves traveling, photography and reading.