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Mirror Mirror

3.28  ·  Rating details ·  29,522 ratings  ·  1,673 reviews
The world was called Montefiore, as far as she knew, and from her aerie on every side all the world descended.

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. There she spends her days cosseted by Primavera Vecchia, the earthy cook,
...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published October 1st 2004 by Regan Books (first published October 14th 2003)
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Popular Answered Questions
J. Andrew Brantley It's a reinterpretation of the Snow White story.
Abigail "Abby-Rose" Margarida Sparrow Sadly, no. The Lily Collins movie has nothing in common with this aside from the title and the snow white retelling connection.

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.28  · 
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 ·  29,522 ratings  ·  1,673 reviews


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Courtney
May 05, 2008 rated it did not like it
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
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Xaka
Jan 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
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Krissa
Sep 09, 2007 rated it it was ok
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
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Amanda
Mar 26, 2007 rated it did not like it
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 rated it did not like it
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
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Britta
Dec 06, 2007 rated it really liked it
"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
Gloria
Aug 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Charles
Dec 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
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Erin
May 05, 2008 rated it did not like it
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
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Alpha
Jul 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
"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
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Lacey Louwagie
Feb 15, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Elizabeth K.
Apr 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
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Bette
Jan 01, 2009 rated it did not like it
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.
Veronica Morfi
May 26, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
Every
Feb 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
One of the better fairy-tale retellings, Mirror mirror keeps this perfect balance between whimsical and utterly disturbing.
Maguire's style is definitely present in this novel and though I sometimes had trouble with understanding who was talking in which chapter and what the hell those dwarf/rock/goblin/things were on about, I flew through this book and would love to re-read it once upon a time.
Lynda
Oct 02, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sydney (sydneysshelves) West
DNF. Wasn’t for me. I wasn’t enjoying the audio.
Alisa
Jun 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
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Marianne Ruggiero
Feb 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Marythios (AkaSusanne )
This one is based on Snow White and is set in the early 1500s. Bianca (Snow White) has a nice life until her dad is forced to go on a quest to steal a branch from the Tree of Knowledge.

Lucrezia is jealous of Bianca's beauty and arranges to have her killed. Bianca escapes and ends up living with stone men.

You don't get the happy ever after moment at the end of the book as it ends just on the precipice of the characters being reunited.

I do not know why most of the times I like retellings but this
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Doug
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The master of fairy-tale retellings is back at it again, and instead of exploring the world of Oz like he did in Wicked, he is exploring the slightly more grounded world of Renaissance-era Italy. I say slightly, of course, because anyone who has had the pleasure of reading a Gregory Maguire story knows that things will still remain whimsical and magical, even when placed in a historical setting like this one. The end result is what feels like a pleasant mix of historical fiction and magical real ...more
Leah
Nov 15, 2016 rated it liked it
On a spectrum of fairy-tale retellings Mirror Mirror landed firmly as historical fiction inspired by a fairy tale*. The blending of the Borgias with Snow White seemed a tantalizing combination; unfortunately, the two never merged into a story that felt fully realized. At times it bordered on outright manipulation as if I should appreciate the story simply because the author was brilliant enough to think it up.

Frankly, I nearly abandoned the book after Bianca awoke and experienced her first menst
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Katie
Jan 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
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Nina
Nov 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
I liked this book for the most part, but I felt the ending could have been a lot better. The author's writing was too confusing to understand what actually happened in the end, i.e. did she die or not? I also lost interest in all that backstory about the antagonist that he tagged on at the end. My interest was in Bianca, aka Snowwhite and how the story ended for her specifically, not how many times her jealous enemy had affairs and gave birth after Bianca supposedly died. I felt it was unnecessa ...more
Natalie
Dec 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
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 . ...more
Hannah Polley

Gregory Maguire has a great way of using a fairytale as a base for a story and then completing rewriting it. It ends up almost being a different story.

This one is based on Snow White and is set in the early 1500s. Bianca (Snow White) has a nice life until her dad is forced to go on a quest to steal a branch from the Tree of Knowledge.

Lucrezia is jealous of Bianca's beauty and arranges to have her killed. Bianca escapes and ends up living with stone men.

You don't get the happy ever after moment a
...more
✨R   y   e✨
Jul 21, 2020 is currently reading it
Shelves: 2020-dnf-books
I'm sorry once again guys, this book was too slow for me and I am not enjoying it very much. I will try to read it again, but I don't think I'll be able to!!!!😱😢
Thomas Holbrook
Jan 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Ann
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
I found this book to be boring. I only finished it because I kept hoping something interesting would happen. Nope.
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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

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