something hideous or frightful
Now, as she stared at the
monstrosity looming high on the hilltop, she felt her breath catch in her throat.
any of various rough thorny shrubs or vines
“We should hurry,” Anne said as she slashed at the
brambles to make her own path, which would lead them right to the village outside the castle without being seen.
a building where birds are kept
aviary was brimming with the songs of birds.
intending or showing kindness
When King Georg and Queen Katherine had sat upon the throne, they had looked
benevolently upon their province.
support and strengthen
She’d lived without love in that castle for so long, with little laughter or company to
bolster her spirits.
the trait of remaining calm and seeming not to care
Queen Ingrid’s popularity had never been strong, but in the last few years, the kingdom had gone from
indifference to downright terror.
shaped to fit by altering the contours of a pliable mass
A declaration had been nailed to a
wrought iron post.
disturb the composure of
Being drawn out for a rare celebration—if that’s what it really was—had to be
cover with roofing material made of plant stalks
The small wood homes with
thatched straw roofs that lined the road were closed up tight.
The monastery’s bell
tolled solemnly to mark the time as noon, but there was no one around to hear it.
compete or struggle for an advantage or a position
She watched villagers anxiously
jockey for position, trying to get a better look.
a roll of hair worn at the nape of the neck
Her mother had kind eyes the color of chestnuts and ebony hair, which, today, was pulled back in a loose
a party of guests wearing costumes and masks
Her mother had to get ready for the castle’s annual
place an order for
The two-story wrought iron dome looked like a giant birdcage. It was her mother’s pride and joy and the first thing she had
commissioned when she became queen.
one who lives in solitude
Her aunt had become all but a
recluse, letting very few into her inner circle.
stress or single out as important
Snow couldn’t recall the last time she’d seen her aunt’s hair (she couldn’t even remember the color) because Ingrid always covered her head with a tight-fitting headdress
accentuated by her crown.
the front of a building
She could only imagine how the
facade looked outside the castle gates.
having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
vain woman, Queen Ingrid couldn’t do without her personal tailor, Margaret; the ever-present guards; or a small group of cooks; but she certainly didn’t hire anyone to care for Snow.
carry on a discussion
For just a few moments a day, it meant she had someone to
“She is always watching, girl. Always! Enough
griping. Whatever the queen doesn’t want today, you put with the rest of the waste we leave behind.”
found in the ordinary course of events
She had accepted her
mundane, solitary life and made the best of it...but she couldn’t help wishing there was someone to share her days with.
showing intellectual penetration or emotional depth
“I wish for love,” Snow announced, the statement simple and
profound at the same time.
crested North American songbird having bright red plumage
As though further proof was needed, a
cardinal landed on Snow’s shoulder and tweeted happily.
sturdy and strong in form, constitution, or construction
“Your kingdom is known for its diamonds and good farming, and ours is known for raising sheep. We’ve always had a
robust trade between the two kingdoms that we both benefited from,” Henri explained.
decorate with, or as if with, gold leaf or liquid gold
Its frame—made of ebony and intricately
gilded—was magnificent enough, but it was the snakelike gold rope wrapped around the frame that had first drawn her eye when she’d found the mirror hidden in her master’s shop.
having no fixed course
The rope lay smooth on the lower half of the mirror, but became more
erratic and vine-like near the mirror’s top, where it seemed to breathe out of two serpents’ mouths like tongues.
highly offensive; arousing aversion or disgust
The first time she had seen the bodiless man in the mirror, she had thought him
marked by excessive complacency or self-satisfaction
There was also a
smug satisfaction that came from knowing the mirror still bowed to her every whim.
an enclosure that is set back or indented
Somewhere in the
recesses of her mind, the presence of a boy—much like the boy who had once captivated her sister’s heart—always made her worry.
rough and stiff in texture
Her hair had always been unusually thin, unlike her sister’s or Snow’s. She hated how
wiry it was and how it wouldn’t curl like theirs.
a girl or young woman
“To succeed, you must keep him from the
light from nonthermal sources
No matter how hard she had tried to keep the girl hidden away and keep her from the finer things a princess should be afforded, the girl’s beauty and nature shone through. No rags, no dirt could hide Snow’s
Georg, the fool that he was, had kept the same old,
unassuming design as his father had before him.
rich and superior in quality
But her favorite part of the
opulent chair was the peacock feathers that fanned out behind her head, wreathing her in a sea of greens and black.
He looked taken
aback. “But Your Majesty! She’s the princess!”