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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
A magnificent blend of fairy tale and high adventure, Dennis McKiernan's Once Upon a Winter's Night is based on a Norse tale that the author read as a young child in The Blue Fairy Book. This version is rather longer than the original 11 pages, and McKiernan has done such a wonderful job fleshing out the fundamental story that it is easy to get lost in its pages. If there is a book to read on the beach this summer or under your favorite tree -- this is it.
The story begins "...in days long past, when the mystical yet touched the real." The tale is about Camille, a poor farmer's daughter with long golden hair and a voice like an angel. One winter night, there comes a knock at the door, and a huge bear delivers a marriage proposal from Prince Alain of Summerwood, who has heard her singing in the fields. Alain lives in Faery -- the strange, mystical land bordering the mortal world Camille and her family dwell in. Camille reluctantly accepts, knowing that the prince's generous bride-price and yearly stipend will help her family, especially her frail little brother Giles.
Thus Camille begins her journey, traveling through Springwood, Winterwood, and Autumnwood, finally arriving at Summerwood Castle. What awaits her is not only the promised wealth and riches, but also a darker edge to her new life and a curse only she can lift. It doesn't take Camille long to win the heart of her new prince and fall head over heels herself, but she is not permitted to see him during the day, and only with a mask covering his face after dusk. Somehow, Camille must break this evil spell and free not only her beloved, but an entire kingdom as well. (Corinna Allen)