Six-Gun Snow White takes big swings. It's tiny, untidy, and has all the harsh beauty of a desert flower.
The tale of Snow White is probably as familiar to you as any fairy tale. Its crucial elements include a beautiful, jealous woman bent on vengeance; a kind, lovely young lady who draws her ire; and a plot to dispose of the young woman before she can come into her beauty and usurp the jealous woman's place.
Six-Gun Snow White beautifully weaves these elements into a western setting, grafting on the harshness of frontier life without sacrificing its fairy-tale roots.
This Snow White doesn't earn the huntsman's mercy by being a pretty frame for a dress to hang off of; like anything in the cruel West, Snow has to carve that mercy out for herself.
I'd rather not spoil the story for you, but I will recommend that you track down a copy and experience this journey for yourself.
Valente's prose is close to poetry, and not far from moonshine. It makes you feel a little tipsy to read, like your world is off balance, because Snow's world has gone cockeyed. Chapters come fast, a scattergun approach, that moves the pace across great swaths of the West, while keeping everything so close you'll smell the trail dust.
Valente takes the Snow White story for a ride, coming up with a story that's faithful when it suits her but blazes new trails just as often. It's a fine accomplishment that you should visit.