Book Review: Fairest of All – By Serena Valentino

Fairest of All 4 Stars

Well, the first thing is that I wrote an entire review a few weeks ago and it was deleted. I will now try to re-write that for you all.

I am not concerning myself with spoilers as we all know the story of Snow White.

Anyways, I enjoyed this retelling overall, though it got a bit dark at the end.

The first 70% of the book is back story on the Queen, and only the last 30% is actually the tale of Snow White that we all know.

Basic Plot: The Queen is the daughter of the maker of mirrors, and one day the King comes by and spots her by the well. He then continues to stop by in order to see her and they fall in love, eventually getting married after the death of the Queen’s father. The King goes to war multiple times, and always the Queen worries that he will be killed and she will be left utterly alone. It is during this time that she is given the Magic Mirror.

The King is eventually killed and the Queen is at a loss for what to do; we see a constant battle raging in her as she slowly succumbs to the darkness. It’s really all the Mirror’s fault.

I didn’t like the way that, near the end of the story, as the Queen was battling not to turn completely to evil, she was given a potion to push her over the edge. It seemed like the author was trying to hurry something up.

I loved the Queen’s relationship with her husband and Snow, and their lovely little family. Because of her not-so-great relationship with her father, who would tell her she was ugly, worthless, and hated every day, The Queen was very insecure. That was why she was vain, not just because of jealousy, but because that was where her sense of self-worth came from.

When her father died, however, he wasn’t really gone. That is because the King’s three crazy cousins trapped The Queen’s father’s soul in a mirror, which they then gave to the Queen. This is her Magic Mirror. After her husband’s death, whenever the Queen saw her father’s face tell her that she was the most beautiful in the land, it gave her the strength she needed to get through the day. This became a daily ritual.

I liked this little twist.

The last 50% or so got very dark very quickly. So unless you want to read about the Queen’s rejection of Snow, her descent into madness, and nightmares about bleeding hearts being snatched at by skeletal trees in the forest, I wouldn’t recommend this book.

Snow White is a very dark fairy tale if you think about it. And I didn’t expect this book to be like that, so the last half surprised me. It was a bit disturbing, honestly. I mean, originally the Queen wanted to eat Snow’s heart.

The writing, however, had a lyrical tone to it, with beautiful descriptions that weren’t too long. It kept me engaged, even though it wasn’t full of action and plot twists. The first half was calming in a sad, serene way, and the second half freaked me out.

It was very good, though unless you want to be made to feel unsettled, don’t pick it up. I wasn’t fond of the creepiness of the end.

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