Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Mirror Mirror” as Want to Read:
Mirror Mirror
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Mirror Mirror

3.26  ·  Rating Details  ·  26,041 Ratings  ·  1,456 Reviews
The year is 1502, and seven-year-old Bianca de Nevada lives perched high above the rolling hills and valleys of Tuscany and Umbria at Montefiore, the farm of her beloved father, Don Vicente. But one day a noble entourage makes its way up the winding slopes to the farm — and the world comes to Montefiore.

In the presence of Cesare Borgia and his sister, the lovely and vain L
...more
Paperback, 331 pages
Published 2009 by Headline Review (first published October 14th 2003)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Courtney
May 08, 2008 Courtney rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Italian history freaks, people that enjoy nails on chalkboards
This book would have entertained me better if it had been on fire.
I rarely ever put a book down before I have finished it, no matter how bad it is... but I not only put this book down, I gave it away. The cafe I was reading it at had a collection bin of books to send to the needy in Africa. After forcing myself to read it for several days, I walked right over and tossed it in. Sorry to whoever receives the book, perhaps it will be better than reading nothing, though I doubt it.

Overall the book
...more
Xaka
Jan 11, 2008 Xaka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm a little surprised to see so many dismal/mediocre reviews of this story here. I found myself to be just as fixated by this story as I was by Wicked (I can't say that about another of his popular novels, The Ugly Stepsister).

I appreciated the position Gregory took in this re-telling of Snow White. I found the inclusion of an actual historical family (the Borgias) intriguing, although I'm not going to research them. I absolutely adored his description of the "dwarves" and I think that's where
...more
Krissa
Sep 09, 2007 Krissa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Okay, well. Shana and I were at the Used Book Sale at St. Agnes yesterday and she chided me for buying this when I said I'd probably dislike it.

I said I would because I'm not sure anything Maguire does will compare with the freshness, the intrigue and the delight I found in Wicked. Or the quiet painterly tension in Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, which I liked almost as much.

The gimmick, of course, is getting old. In Mirror, he takes Snow White into the viper's nest of the Borgia family in 1
...more
Amanda
Mar 26, 2007 Amanda rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ?
This is by far the least appealing and satisfying of the Maguire fairy tales I've read. I'm not really sure where to begin! I was all set to devour this retelling of Snow White, set within a beautiful Italian landscape and with the wicked "stepmother" cast as an untraditional outcast of royalty. (Maguire does possess a gift for understanding the prevalence of politics these stories imply.) However, the rest was slow going. Unfortunately, I will have to re-read it to give more specific reasons fo ...more
Lindsey
Jan 12, 2009 Lindsey rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really hated this book. It was like Snow White on acid. Very fragmented and choppy. Even the book cover was creepy. I love retold fairy tales, but I thought this one was a bit of a stretch, and just...weird. I couldn't tell where it was try to go; was it a horror story, a murder mystery, a complete mistake? All in all, it was trying too hard to be too edgy, in my humble opinion. Mirror Mirror didn't recapture the magic that all of Maguire's other novels held. I was really disappointed.

In fact
...more
Britta
Apr 15, 2008 Britta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The eye is always caught by light, but shadows have more to say."

"What child does not feel itself perched at the center of creation?... Small children know the truth that their own existense has caused the world to bloom into being."

"Speaking uses us up, speeds us up. Without prayer, that act of confession for merely existing, one might live forever and not know it."

"Faith is a floor. If you don't work at making it for yourself, you have nothing to walk on."

"Silence can be tactical. Even God us
...more
Erin
May 05, 2008 Erin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes roman history
Erin Gort
Ms. Houseman
H World Lit
5 May 2008

Gregory Maguire
Mirror Mirror
New York: Harper Collins, 2004
280 pp. $16.00
978-0-06-098865-4

The novel “Mirror Mirror” was an immense letdown after reading “Wicked” and “Son of a Witch.” Gregory Maguire is noted for recreating or retelling previously created tales of fantasy. “Mirror Mirror” is the reinvented story of Snow White. Placed in the fantasy tale are Cesare and Lucrezia Borgia, the famous children of Pope. They plan the demise of Bianca De Nevada,
...more
Bette
Jan 01, 2009 Bette rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
I thought that this was a very disappointing book. After reading Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, which I loved, and Wicked, which I liked, I expected Mirror, Mirror to be a fun read at the very least. It was not. I love the idea of playing with fairy tales; but in my view, Maguire did not succeed in transforming Snow White into a compelling contemporary re-telling.
Charles
Stuff I Read - Mirror Mirror by Gregory Maguire Review

I was surprised how much I liked this book. I probably shouldn't have been, because I liked Wiked, but in some ways I was disappointed with Wicked as well, with how it dealt with the Dorothy aspects of the story, and I am much more a fan of the Oz books than I am with anything Snow White related. Of course, that's possibly why I liked this one more, because I was less invested in the setting. Also, I'm a sucker for historical fantasies and th
...more
Lynda
Aug 28, 2015 Lynda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gloria
Aug 25, 2012 Gloria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At first I was a little surprised by all the negative reviews of this book. I think it's one of his best. In fact, I ended up liking it better than Wicked. The first time I read the book, I didn't really "get it." The second time though, I was floored. It strikes me as a psychological and metaphorical novel. Whereas Wicked and it's sequels are pretty much straight-up exciting storytelling rife with action and politics, Mirror Mirror has extended sections that in first reading are confusing. But ...more
Lacey Louwagie
This book was sort of like a double retelling -- one of Snow White, and one of the Italian Borgias family. I really liked the use of historical events and people as the backdrop of this fairy tale, particularly the use of Lucrezia Borgia as the "evil stepmother." It made me wish I knew more about the family's actual history because I think I would have enjoyed it more. But as much as I liked that aspect, the rootedness of the story in history and politics made some of the more fantastical elemen ...more
Hannah
This retelling of Snow White & the Borgias has a stronger fantasy element than Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, but it's still rooted in history.

A minor noble retainer for Cesare and Lucrezia Borgia leaves his daughter in the Italian countryside, where she may or may not have discovered a magic mirror and its dwarven craftsmen.

As with pretty much anything by Gregory Maguire, the writing is a highlight.
Veronica Morfi
Jul 07, 2011 Veronica Morfi rated it did not like it
I didn't manage to read it all, there are still 50 pages waiting for me but I don't think I'll ever get back to it. It was tiring and really not what I expected. The ideas behind the story might have been good but the story itself was dissapointing! I was forcing myself to read through for a few days now but I realized I was just wasting my time.
Joey
May 30, 2016 Joey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
Beautifully written story. Barely a resemblance to the fairytale version we all know (The Disney one). I can't understand why all the low ratings. Is it because the story is too beautiful? Is it because it's too poetic? Is it because too many people don't like human on unicorn sexual encounters? Easy 5 star.
Elizabeth K.
May 31, 2010 Elizabeth K. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Elizabeth by: Vince
Shelves: 2010-new-reads
You know, I liked Wicked a LOT, but I had this weird feeling after reading it that I wasn't too interested in Maguire's other work because the endless "alterna-tales" shtick seemed tiresome ... which doesn't make a lot of sense now that I think about it, because I never sat around and thought things like "oh Dorothy Sayers, if she's just going to keep writing books about Peter Wimsey solving murders, then why even bother?" But regardless, I was reluctant.

I ended up loving this. He's not a perfec
...more
Alpha
Oct 14, 2011 Alpha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Out of all the novels by Gregory Maguire, this one is my favorite one. True Wicked was more popular, there was something about this novel that touched my imagination in a way that I cannot really explain. I can say that the novel itself is a mix of both fairy tale and historical events. Also, I can tell you that the tale takes place in Tuscany, Italy which in my opinion is a fine setting for such a book.

I have to say that giving Snow White a more exotic and foreign name of Bianca de Nevada was
...more
Katie
Jan 16, 2008 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I believe that this just may be my favorite Gregory Maguire book to date. My reading this book just so happened to coincide with a history channel series having to do with medieval Italian History, which made the fact that this book was thoroughly sprinkled with this subject matter even more delicious that it would have otherwise.
I literally could not out this book down and finished it in about 12 hours with few breaks. When I finished the book I gave myself about 48 hours and then read it again
...more
Natalie
I love this author's work produced as audio books - maguire's turn of phrase & the unique way he invokes narrative voice reward the actors - lots of fun, beautiful and humorous all at once - a treat ! I finished it up on kindle and love reading it too - the illustrations and verse at the start of the chapters are like little treats .
Marianne Ruggiero
I loved this book. I find Gregory Maguire's style of writing and use of language different, very compelling. It reminded me of "Wicked," in that the beginning was kind of difficult due to the unusual type of narration. When I got used to that, I got gradually drawn into the tale and couldn't put it down. I loved the inclusion of short poems at the beginning of each chapter, some had the feel of ancient chants. And the woodcut illustrations are lovely, they really complement the text. For a tale ...more
Taryn
Mar 07, 2015 Taryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gryffindor-mmp
I've read Wicked and The Confessions of Ugly Stepsisters also by Maguire, but neither book gave me the appropriate mix of historical fiction and magical realism that this book provided. I sort of read it on a whim: it fit some of my reading challenges, I've had it in my library for years, and I've always wanted to give Maguire another chance now that I'm older. Although the evil characters were much more developed than, say, the main character (Bianca), the dwarves were the best part of the enti ...more
Alisa
May 27, 2014 Alisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am giving this a higher rsting than any of my friends in part because I listened to this novel. In listening to it, I better understood how this retelling of Snow White reflects the fables compiled by the Brothers Grimm, giving far more detail than is easy to read physically. If I'd read this, I would have either given up or skipped or slid through portions.

Despite some Borgia fatigue (from cable television, BBC,and historical fiction), this fabulistic treatment does little to portray with th
...more
Laura J
Dec 19, 2009 Laura J rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is another one of Maguire's twist-on-the-classics novels. I absolutely love the idea and Maguire does it so well. However, "Mirror, Mirror" is not quite as well done as "Wicked" or "Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister". The characters in this one were a bit harder to get familiar with and I didn't have a clear picture of the settings, events, or some of the characters.

On the other hand, the writing was well done and the plot interesting enough. It sort of continues with Maguire's theme on not
...more
Jessica
Nov 09, 2008 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I could not get in to this book. Maybe I was hoping for too much at the start, thinking it'd be as good as Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, or even as entertaining as Wicked...but, no. Not even close.

I didn't like Lucrezia, which is to be expected, but I didn't like Bianca, either! She's supposed to be Snow White! She's supposed to be lovely and wonderful and charming and altogether likable! Instead I found her to be boring and tedious and hardly ever there. I was hoping for more of a fabricat
...more
Nikki
Apr 16, 2010 Nikki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like any historical fiction, especially if it has to do with the Borgia’s. While this wasn’t totally centered around them, they were in it, which made me happy. Besides that, the book was still good. The take on the dwarves was very interesting, really entering a magical, fantastical element into something that he could have turned into just a more historical retelling of a Snow White story that sounded more true. Which, actually, I probably would have enjoyed more, but what he did with it was ...more
Dan
Feb 24, 2008 Dan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Yikes... I read this aloud with my boyfriend after piling on compliments about how much I love McGuire's other novels. A few bedtimes and two long plane rides later and we both hated this book...

Part of the problem was in the fact that I did make this a read aloud. McGuire interspersed his text with a lot of Italian words and when you add that to his sometimes eclectic vocabulary, I was tripping over sentences left and right. Stumbling over the pronunciation of half of the words was surely not h
...more
Angela
Jun 13, 2011 Angela rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A dark and vivid retelling of Snow White transposed to the Italy of the Borgias. Lucrezia is the evil stepmother and five-year-old Bianca de Nevada grows into the role of Snow White. Vicente, a minor landlord beholden to Lucrezia and her brother/lover Cesare, unwillingly leaves his motherless daughter to go on a seemingly futile errand for Cesare. Journeying to Greece to seek out a branch of the holy Tree of Knowledge, Vicente languishes for years in the dungeon of the very monks who possess the ...more
Thomas Holbrook
Jan 17, 2014 Thomas Holbrook rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The ability to take a moment in History, add a fairytale and create a story that sheds light on both takes a mind that is rich in imagination, a broad grasp of History and a deep understanding of the Genre of Myth. Gregory Maguire has proven his ability to retell a familiar tale in such a way so as to cause a tale to never be heard with “the same ears” again. In this retelling of “Snow White” and “Sleeping Beauty,” he drafts Lucrezia Borgia into the role of the “Evil Step Mother/Witch” and make ...more
Joana Marta
Not so exciting as I was expecting. Mirror Mirror is a retelling of the traditional story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

It’s very odd and darker, something I already expected, but it wasn’t as great as I found out Wicked to be. Maybe because I knew all the flow of this story, it wasn’t surprising, even with the inclusion of the Borgia family. It needed something more to change the story to something really great. Only bad stuff happens in this book, I felt depressed most of the time with i
...more
msdanconia
Jun 08, 2016 msdanconia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to be impressed by this book, but simply wasn't. My review contains spoilers, but you probably still want to read it even if you haven't read the book.

The design of the story was definitely clever - using Lucrezia Borgia as the evil stepmother, the Tree of Knowledge as the source of the apples which kill Bianca/Snow White, and little minor details along the way. However, the execution was just not that great. Frankly, not a lot happens in this book that you wouldn't get from the origina
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Please... the squid. 1 7 Mar 19, 2015 11:11AM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: Mirror Mirror by Gregory Maguire - Starting August 5th 2014 20 28 Aug 11, 2014 06:01PM  
The unicorn? 3 51 Jul 12, 2012 02:32PM  
  • White as Snow
  • Black Swan, White Raven
  • Mrs. Beast: A Novel
  • Snow in Summer
  • Spirited
  • Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story
  • The Black Swan (Fairy Tales, #2)
  • Crazy Jack
  • The Wild Swans (Faerie Tale)
  • Mira, Mirror
  • Winter's Child (Once Upon A Time Fairytales)
  • Fitcher's Brides
  • Snow White And Rose Red
  • Black as Night (A Fairy Tale Retold #2)
  • The Monkey's Wedding and Other Stories
  • The Rose and the Beast: Fairy Tales Retold
7025
Gregory Maguire is an American author, whose novels are revisionist retellings of children's stories (such as L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz into Wicked). He received his Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Tufts University, and his B.A. from the State University of New York at Albany. He was a professor and co-director at the Simmons College Center for the Study of Children' ...more
More about Gregory Maguire...

Share This Book



“The eye is always caught by light, but shadows have more to say.” 195 likes
“If you're ever in doubt, throw a pepper in the air. If it fails to come down, you have gone mad, so don't trust in anything.” 49 likes
More quotes…