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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Northern Lights, Southern Stars is a work of fiction in the fantasy and fairy tale retelling sub-genres and was penned by author C. S. Johnson. Suitable for all readers from young adult audiences upwards, this fascinating retelling of Snow White contains themes of racial identity, faith and struggles with family ties. Our protagonist is Ebony, the princess of the Southern Colonies, who is forced into royal servitude by the death of her father. Varyes, Queen of Pommier, takes the role of the wicked stepmother, and when her own son tries to help Ebony through her grief, the queen will stop at nothing to target Ebony and further her own power in the process.
Author C. S. Johnson has crafted a truly superb narrative that brings the structure of the Snow White tale right up to date in a truly unique fantasy setting. I really loved the effort that has gone into the worldbuilding of this piece, crafting a land with French and African influences and a solid political structure in which to ground the story. In terms of character development, Ebony is a relatable heroine with strong emotions that we can feel through the well crafted narrative style, but she also represents much larger issues in the modern world. Undergoing her tough coming of age tale amid deception, racial identity and affairs of the heart is a powerful journey that fans of fairytale and modern fantasy alike will be certain to enjoy. Overall, Northern Lights, Southern Stars comes as a highly recommended read.