Angela's Reviews > Mirror Mirror

Mirror Mirror by Gregory Maguire
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Jun 13, 2011

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Read in August, 2007

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 relic. While her father is gone, Bianca develops into a lovely young woman, attracting Cesare's attention. Seeing this, Lucrezia orders her killed and sends a young hunter into the woods with the familiar instructions. Adding much historical flavor and returning to the edgy eroticism of the fairy tale, Maguire invests the journeys of the Borgias, Bianca, and Vicente with a compelling urgency. (School Library Journal blurb)

While I'm glad I read it, I didn't enjoy Mirror nearly as much as the other Maguire novels I've read (yes, I loved Wicked and thoroughly enjoyed Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister). Once Bianca was taken to the woods, the story got choppy and disconnected -- rather like Bianca's existence, I suppose -- anyway, it was difficult to stay "in" the story when the author hopped from this point of view to that with little connection between the POVs. Awkward awkward awkward transitions.

Still, I loved Maguire's concept of the Seven (or was it Eight?) dwarves, and was disappointed by their limited appearances. I wanted more dwarves, dammit!
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message 1: by Antof9 (new)

Antof9 ooh -- I haven't read this one! ... and I'd forgotten about Stepsister. I remember when we were talking about these in book club (maybe we read stepsister after Wicked and not Son of a? I can't remember), we talked about how this is a great idea, but at some point I wonder if the author can write a book with an original idea. Sort of like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was pretty funny and brilliant, but Sense and Sensibility and Seamonsters was totally lame and he should have stopped with the zombies. I guess a gimmick can be fun and clever once, but if you use it every time, it becomes lame.


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