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The Fairest of Them All

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  1,548 ratings  ·  363 reviews
What if Rapunzel was Snow White’s evil stepmother? From the author of Godmother and Mermaid, The Fairest of Them All explores what happens when fairy tale heroines grow up and don’t live happily ever after.

Living in an enchanted forest, Rapunzel spends her days tending a mystical garden with her adoptive mother, Mathena. A witch, Mathena was banished from court because of
Paperback, 288 pages
Published August 6th 2013 by Touchstone
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Isolde There are implied sex scenes, rape, and talk of baby loss and abortion. I would recommend mature teens, 17 and up.

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3.78  · 
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 ·  1,548 ratings  ·  363 reviews

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Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Rapunzel as the Evil Witch from Snow White?

So many yes words just came from my mouth.

Rapunzel lives in the woods with her 'foster' mother. They gather herbs and help the villages women with their men troubles and grow vegetables. Mathena has told Rapunzel stories from her birth..about how her parents were horrible to her and that she saved her and took her to raise.
Then one day Rapunzel stumbles upon the handsome prince. You would think after hearing all the villages stories about how stupid
Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
"Mirror, mirror, on the wall,” I whispered, in the faint light of the fire, after I’d calmed down and let my rage melt into sorrow. “Who is the fairest of them all?”
I wiped tears from my face, and peered in to see. I blinked and saw my own tear-stained face, my eyes huge and full of pain, fury.
“Rapunzel is the fairest,” the voice said.
I focused all my desire, my pain and rage, my humiliation, down into a point of light, but now there was nowhere to go. What else was there, beyond this?
This is
Cat Russell  (Addicted2Heroines)
* * * 4.5 Stars * * *

Don't be fooled by the gorgeous book cover with its beautiful colors and magical, romantic appeal. Although this novel does feature a stunning woman with luxurious golden hair, it's not a story of heartwarming romance. It's a wicked, twisted tale that brings together two beloved fairy tale characters, Rapunzel and Snow White.

The Fairest of Them All comfortably fits into the category of dark fantasy, the subgenre that I can't get enough of, especially the stories that touch
Kate Forsyth
Jan 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Fairest of Them All - Carolyn Turgeon

I’m in the final stages of a doctorate on Rapunzel, which means I simply must read every book ever inspired by the old fairy tale.

Fairest of Them All is an interesting take on the well-known story, imagining: What if Rapunzel was Snow White’s evil stepmother?

The story begins with a young Rapunzel living in a forest with her foster mother, Mathena, a witch who had been banished from court because of her magical powers. They live an idyllic life, tending the
Dec 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
A different take on Rapunzel and Snow White that turned out really good :). If it hadn't been for work and sleep, I would've read this in one sitting :).

I recognized some elements from the original tales along the way with Miss Turgeon's own twist on them... I loved how she took some things and made them her own :).

You get a sense of doom/foreboding from the prologue, It's not a light story it does have some darker moments... there's a couple sex scenes but nothing explicit.

There's plenty of se
Minni Mouse
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Read This Review & More Like It On Ageless Pages Reviews!

The Fairest of Them All is a fairytale retelling that combines two well-known and often-told stories - that of Rapunzel and that of Snow White - and asks, "what if Rapunzel was Snow White's Evil Stepmother?" It's an intriguing idea and one that lends originality to such famous stories, but one that sadly lacks subtlety and pathos. Carolyn Turgeon does an able job of melding the two separate stories into one cohesive plot, but her char
Aug 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
_The Fairest of Them All_ by Carolyn Turgeon is my choice so far this year for best book of the year. I have a soft spot in my heart for books that incorporate fairy tales. I have an even softer spot for fairy tale retellings that successfully elaborate on and explain details found in the original tales while still remaining true to the basic plotline. Turgeon's book succeeds at the latter, more so than any book I can recall recently reading. The concept of the book is that Rapunzel ends up bein ...more
Emily Anne
Jul 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars...

I fell in love with this book from page one. The story of deadly and beautiful magic pulled me in, and the vivid characters had me invested. The Fairest Of Them All is a must-read to all fans of twisted (and I mean twisted) fairytales.

I would also recommend this book to reader's looking for exceptionally stunning and imaginative writing. Carolyn Turgeon weaved her sentences and words into such a lyrical tale. She is one talented writer. The descriptions are lush yet not the drag-on-a
Mar 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-doc, ebook
3.5 stars
This was a good retelling full of twists to make it its own story. The writing was beautiful and full of expectant hope as we waited for Rapunzel to take her rightful place. That was the only thing marring this book - that there was too much time waiting. Carolyn Turgeon does a good job of making us like Rapunzel, and the transformation from good to evil was well done.
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: retelling
Beautiful retelling, with hints of the familiar tale yet completely new. RTC
Bonnie (A Backwards Story)
Last year when THE NEXT FULL MOON debuted, I was lucky enough to meet Carolyn Turgeon. She whispered secrets about how she was working on a book about Rapunzel that had an unexpected twist: Rapunzel grows up to become Snow White's Stepmother. What a stunner! I immediately wanted to know more, and I'm so excited to share an early review of the book, FAIREST OF THEM ALL, with you now. One thing I love about all of Turgeon's books is the way she mixes fairy tales in new, innovative ways. There's he ...more
Jul 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing

Rapunzel lives in her forest tower with her adoptive mother, Mathena, where women come for cures of broken hearts, female issues, and other needs. Mathena has rescued her from an abusive home and taught her the ways of nature and magic. Once it was accepted that witches and magic were possible but times change and now the craft is unspoken. With her stunning looks and beautiful voice, travelers stop and wonder, write songs about Rapunzel. She dreams of a man to love
Althea Ann
Jan 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wow! This book exceeded my expectations! (And, after following Turgeon’s ‘Mermaid’ blog, I had reasonably high expectations.)
Ignore the teenage-oriented cover art. This story would fit in perfectly with Terri Windling’s ‘Fairy Tale Series,’ legendary for its dark and complex renditions of classic tales by the likes of Kara Dalkey, Charles de Lint, Patricia Wrede, and Tanith Lee, among others.

The tale meshes ‘Rapunzel’ with ‘Snow White,’ adding in other classic elements such as the enchanted sta
Oct 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Warning: this book contains mentions and vague descriptions of rape!

I have very mixed feelings towards this book. I like the idea, the writing is good and the ending was positive; but I didn't give a damn about any of the characters and a lot of stuff in this novel made me feel so uncomfortable. So overall, very confusing and kind of disgusting sometimes but interesting.
Cate (The Professional Fangirl)
Sep 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, 2015-reads
When you hear, "Mirror, Mirror on the wall... who's the fairest of them all?" - what is the first thing that comes to your mind? For a lot of people, including myself, it's Snow White. But what if I tell you that this book, despite of its title, is about Rapunzel. Yup.

If you can't tell by the cover, a girl with long blonde hair, it is a fairytale retelling of Snow White in the point of view of Rapunzel. Wait, what? It sounds complicated but this is one of the most creative books that I've read i
Abby-Rose Margarida Sparrow
The first time I read this, way back in 2015, I honestly didn't care for it at all. I'm actually surprised at, looking back, the level of hatred and disappointment I felt towards this book. I kind of get what four years ago me was thinking, as this book isn't as good or faithful fairytale adaptation (in spirit) as this author's Mermaid was. It doesn't follow the actual plot of Rapunzel (the prince is never blind, she never has twins and in fact loses the one baby she nearly has and is unable to ...more
Jul 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Welcome to a new take on those fairytales we all read when we were kids! Rapunzel, with that long, flowing hair is Snow Whites' wicked stepmother? Who even knew Rapunzel had a mean, narcissistic bone in her body? Who knew she had a magic mirror? For that matter, who knew Snow White could be so nasty to anyone? And Rapunzel's Prince? Not even going there, his all-consuming love for Rapunzel obviously ended when he closed his bedroom door, I mean, can you handle a menage-a-trois in a fiary tale? T ...more
Feb 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Turgeon starts this story so slowly and in such a bland manner, that one can only think this is yet another author who tries to retell a classic fairy tale and fails at bringing anything new to the table. By page 30, i was thinking that no author ever impresses me too much in this genre and maybe fairytales aren't meant to be retold. The story starts out softly, can almost here the fairy music around you and birds chirping in the distance...YAWN!

And then before you know it, you are
Jan 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a retelling of Snow White and Rapunzel in a most original and entertaining way! Rapunzel lives with Mathena, a reputed witch, in the forest and when a dashing prince comes along she allows him to climb her hair into the tower. Their night of passion sets in motion a long laid plan of revenge and leaves everyone involved scared.

I thought this would be just another retelling of a fairytale but Turgeon has added so much depth and emotion to this story. I grew to love and hate Rapunzel and
Jamie (ReadsinTrees) Dacyczyn
Feb 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
2017 reading challenge: a fantasy novel.

Well, this was not what I expected. Judging from the cover and the blurb, I knew it was a Rapunzel/Snow White retelling, but I assumed it was going to be some fluffy happily ever after romance. NOPE. This turned out to be quite dark and intricate, with characters who refused to be labeled as merely good or bad. I'll be adding this one to my collection and looking for more by this author.
Kristin Bateman
Jan 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Combining the tales of Rapunzel and Snow White into one novel? Flawless, brilliant, and magical. I couldn't put it down and would have finished it in one sitting if I hadn't been called away for a few hours.
Aug 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013-reads

Fractured fairy tales are a dime a dozen, and I have read my fair share of amazing and terrible takes on the genre, but Fairest of Them All stands far above the offerings I've imbibed. Not only does it combine the original tales of Rapunzel and Snow White, but it also does so in a very original and adult way, fully fleshing out the story in remarkable ways. See Hollywood, you don't need to set things in space to make them original! Sorry Ci
3~3.5 stars. I'm not entirely sure how to feel about this one. I was reminded of both Tangled and Once Upon a Time as I read, but this was stranger and sometimes darker than either of those. I spent the vast majority of this book really disliking the protagonist, I have to say, and not really having another character to root for (we don't get to know most of the other characters very well). Rapunzel drove me crazy! What with the 'fairest of them all' obsession (seriously, Rapunzel, you could hav ...more
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was really surprised by this book. It was significantly darker then I expected a fairy tale retelling to be. It took two different stories and intertwined them beautifully together and created an ending that you don’t quite expect. It’s like you are on trail and you anticipate it’s turns but it still managed to surprise you. THe point of view was well written and pulled you in while still being a super easy and enjoyable read. Highly recommended for any fan of fairy tales with a twist and who ...more
Jennifer (Bad Bird Reads)

At A Glance
You know the saying, "It's not you, it's me." That pretty much sums up my relationship with The Fairest of Them All. It was a great book, but it wasn't really for me.

The Good
Turgeon weaves together the fairy tales of Snow White and Rapunzel flawlessly. Though this is no Happily Ever After, it is a dark, interesting story that really left an impression on me. I won't soon forget the surprises Turgeon had waiting for us at almost every chapter. E
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. Finally found time to read it and it was hard to put down.
Aug 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the way the story combined Rapunzel and Snow White it made an interesting cast of characters. The setting was also well done but overall I was still a little underwhelmed by the story.
Jun 07, 2019 rated it liked it
The plot was compelling, and it was an interesting take on Rapunzel and Snow White, but the only multi-dimensional character was Rapunzel, who wasn't very likeable. (view spoiler)
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Carolyn Turgeon is the author of five novels—Rain Village, Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story, Mermaid, The Fairest of Them All, and The Next Full Moon, most of them based on old-time fairy tales, dark and glimmering—and, more recently, The Faerie Handbook, which came out from HarperCollins in November 2017 and might be the loveliest book printed this century. This will be followed by the equa ...more