Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Villains #1

Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen

Rate this book

For anyone who’s seen Walt Disney’s Snow White, you’ll know that the Wicked Queen is one evil woman! After all, it’s not everyone who wants to cut out their teenage step-daughter’s heart and have it delivered back in a locked keepsake box. (And even if this sort of thing is a common urge, we don’t know many people who have acted upon it.)

Now, for the first time, we’ll examine the life of the Wicked Queen and find out just what it is that makes her so nasty. Here’s a hint: the creepy-looking man in the magic mirror is not just some random spooky visage—and he just might have something to do with the Queen’s wicked ways!

"Adapted in part from Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"--

250 pages, Paperback

First published August 18, 2009

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Serena Valentino

71 books3,790 followers
Serena Valentino is best known for weaving tales that combine mythos and guile with her work on the comic book series GloomCookie and Nightmares & Fairy Tales, and her best selling Disney Villain Novels which have earned her critical acclaim for her unique style of storytelling, bringing her readers into exquisitely frightening worlds filled with terror, beauty and extraordinary female protagonists.

Her Disney Villain novel series would be best enjoyed if read in this order: Fairest of All: The Story of the Wicked Queen, The Beast Within: The Story of Belle’s Prince, Poor Unfortunate Soul: A Tale of the Sea Witch, Mistress of All Evil: A Tale of the Dark Fairy. Mother Knows Best: A Tale of the Old Witch and The Odd Sisters: A Villains Book to be released in Summer 2019. Book 7 will be out Summer 2020, Book 8 summer of 2021, and Book 9 Summer of 2022.

Serena lives in New Orleans with her dog Gozer, and a very tiny kitty named Momma.

Contact: Serena@serenavalentino.com

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
9,751 (30%)
4 stars
11,042 (34%)
3 stars
8,832 (27%)
2 stars
2,162 (6%)
1 star
526 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,696 reviews
Profile Image for Shelby *trains flying monkeys*.
1,563 reviews5,861 followers
November 8, 2015
*****possible spoilers**********

The Queen (her name never is mentioned) marries the love of her life- (Bleck) becomes stepmommy to little Snow White and is just all peaches and cream. She is almost sugary sweet.

The King gives her a mirror that her late father made before his death. Queen thinks she sees someone in the mirror but everyone just poo-poos her into thinking she imagined it. We then find out that the Queen has had a horrible childhood with an abusive father. (Guess who's soul in trapped in the mirror?)

Alas, as the story goes the King is killed at battle. The Queen begins changing. She is crushed and can't stand any happiness.

She begins with depression bordering on madness and then gets pushed over the edge completely by her lovely mirror and three witch hags.

Even at her worst though she realizes she loves the little twerp Snow White...but a girls gotta be the fairest in the land after all.

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for J.T. Whitesell.
Author 2 books13 followers
August 29, 2009
A wonderful story about how the wicked queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs became so wicked.
I like to casually browse the Young Adult section at Borders and B&N and I'm very influenced by cover art. Reading the inside flap, I only needed one sentence to sway me. I bought it immediately and started reading once I got home. I have to say that the author caught the Disney version of the characters perfectly and I believe that's the way it should be.
The writing was well written and it moved quickly for me. The end of each chapter made me want to know what would happen next and it provided great imagery for my imagination. I watched the classic Snow White right away with the thought of the Queen's life and it changed the whole movie for me-in a good way!
It even has a nice twist at the end. I definitely recommend this to anyone who appreciates an alternate view on a classic.
Profile Image for Dannii Elle.
2,010 reviews1,400 followers
December 1, 2017
This is the first instalment in the Villains series, which rework the original tales from the initial villain's perspective.

This book had big boots to fill, given the renown of the similarly themed and big-hit movie, Maleficent. I think it did so extraordinarily well. Despite the difference in Disney villain chosen, there were many similarities that linked he two, yet I liked it no less for that.

This traditional villain is given a backstory that belies her following evil and, instead, exposes a vulnerable and authentic character. She is not the stereotypical evil step-mother, so beloved in fairy tales and lore, but is an individual who suffers from the very real feelings of unworthiness and insecurity. The author deftly recreated the way her character is viewed and brings to the fore deeper questions, concerning societal expectations and gender inequality, missing from the Disney adaptation of this story.
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,468 reviews9,345 followers
January 9, 2023
Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen is the first book in Disney's Villains series.

I love villains and all things villainous, so after seeing this cover, I couldn't resist picking up a copy for myself.

I really enjoyed the overall concept and the story moved at a nice pace. Although at times quite lovely, there were a few things about the writing that annoyed me.

The most prevalent being, how frequently the word, Queen, was used. Oh my goodness!!

If I never hear that again, it will be too soon. Firstly, the Wicked Queen is never called her real name, Grimhilde.

Granted, it's not the most whimsical of names, but good grief.

This being said, I guess I can admit that some of the overall vocabulary used in this was a little too whimsical in nature.

It almost took away from the plot by adding a very elementary feel to what could be a solid YA story.

For the most part, I did enjoy what the author was trying to create here and will probably check out the other books in this series.
Profile Image for Jessy MelodyofBooks.
224 reviews1,573 followers
October 29, 2020
3,5 Sterne.
Ein tolles zusatzbuch für alle Disney Fans. Man erfährt viel über die Beweggründe der Handlungen der Königin. Sodass man schier Mitleid mit ihr bekommt und erschrickt, was schlechter Einfluss und Schicksalsschläge in Kombination alles bewirken können. Für alle, die nicht genug von den Film aus dem Disney Universum bekommen ein absolutes Must have!
Profile Image for Maja  - BibliophiliaDK ✨.
1,062 reviews612 followers
May 6, 2020

Honestly, I don't even know where to start. This was just 250 pages of disappointment upon disappointment. I was under the impression that this would be some sort of redemption story, something that would explain the behaviour of the Wicked Queen and perhaps even make me see her in a different light. But no. It's just bad.


Childish: Yes, Disney is for children and yes, this is aimed a younger audience. But usually I don't mind reading children's books. I quite like it, even. This, however, just felt childish and lacking. The world building was poor. The dialogue was stilted. Nothing felt right.

The Queen: First of all, she is never given a name. Not a great place to start a redemption story. Further more, her arc is confusing and irrational. I didn't see how she became the wicked queen. I didn't understand her reasoning or her actions. I didn't get her drive to become the wicked queen. And really, that should have been TOP priority with this book. It failed miserably.

Twists: I hated the twists because there were none. Not a single one that made me think 'oh, that's an interesting take on this story' or 'so that's the reason!'. Again, miserable fail.

What happened?: Yeah, I can't even recollect what happened during this book because nothing really seemed to happen. Nothing exciting anyway. Nothing surprising. Nothing.
Profile Image for Katie.dorny.
966 reviews494 followers
April 18, 2020
This book hurt my heart a little bit. The queen was so much more complicated and hurt and loving and..human..then I ever expected her to be portrayed.

She deserved more. She deserved better. She needed help and she rejected it and I'm so glad I stumbled upon this book. I loved it.
Profile Image for Jamie Dacyczyn.
1,579 reviews88 followers
Shelved as 'did-not-finish'
January 25, 2022
Did not finish. Literally made it about five or six pages before quitting. It read like amateurish fanfiction.

The book starts out with the main character briefly introduced as she gets ready in front of her mirror...and then does a lot of thinking and info dumping/reminiscing right away. No no no...either just go ahead and GIVE us the history of the story (like a prologue perhaps), or have something happen in the NOW and give us the history gradually. Don't have literally nothing happening in the now (she's looking at herself in the mirror) while dumping all of the history on us all at once. Especially don't have said person "break away from her reverie" to refocus on the present briefly before going off on another daydream down memory lane...while continuing to stare at the mirror. It's tedious. There were also random page breaks (punctuated by an extra large capital letter beginning the new paragraph) that were completely unnecessary.

Also, purple prose. I noticed that right away on the first page. TOO MANY WORDS. The example that popped right out at me (on page 1) was, "One hundred attendants, fitted in the finest garments of deep blue edged in silver trim...". That right there: "deep blue edged in silver trim". Just say either "deep blue edged in silver" or "deep blue with silver trim". Edged and trim are literally the same thing in this instance, so eliminate one word or the other. Gah. The first description of Snow White was also awful. "She was a lovely creature of three or four with a joyous bounce in her step and an inextinguishable sparkle of happiness twinkling in her eyes." First, she's the royal princess, so the new queen damn well knows whether or not Snow White is three or four, don't pretend otherwise. And again, sparkle and twinkle basically mean the same thing in this example, so just pick ONE. An inextinguishable sparkle in her eye. Done.
Profile Image for Brittany Batong.
Author 3 books9 followers
February 15, 2011
This was one of those books that I really wanted to like, because I had such high hopes for it. It starts off well enough, chronicling the early years of Snow White and "the Queen", as she is simply called (I actually read somewhere that during development of the 1937 film the Queen was called by the name Grimhilde). I particulary enjoyed the warmth of the relationship between the two, laying down a nice contrast between past and present. Unfortunately, the book was oftentimes laden with awkward and simply juvenile phrasing. I really have to be picky about this, because strong authors like J.K. Rowling have taught us that juvenile writing does not have to be dumbed down to be universally appealing. Also, because my 6-year old son has a major obsession with the original film, and I have watched it soooo many times, I found myself somewhat disappointed in the weak explanations (or lack thereof) for events that occur in the film, during the final third of the novel. Who was that skeleton that the queen kicks once she has assumed her old crone disguise? Where the heck is the Prince all this time (Disney animators had developed an intriguing premise for his capture that did not make it to the original film)? While I don't expect most folks to think of these things while watching the original movie, I did and I am surprised and disappointed that someone writing a counterpoint to such popular source material did not. I'm disappointed that Disney would license something that left so many holes and so much to be desired.
Profile Image for jaymiej.
132 reviews
September 29, 2022
2.5/5 ⭐
0/5 🌶️

The original story is a tale of obsessive vanity but this is a story of neglect, abuse and insanity. This was one of those books that I really wanted to like, because I had such high hopes for it. I like a good villain, but am not a big fan of this retelling classic fairy tales. This was disappointing.

“You are beautiful, my dear, truly. Do not ever forget that, even if I am not here to remind you.”

“I think it was because no one loved her.” “Why?” asked the child. “Because she didn’t love herself. She feared rejection because she was so unlike anyone she’d ever known. She was so full of fear that she sequestered herself away.”

Profile Image for Red_Queen_Lover.
164 reviews42 followers
May 26, 2018
Re-telling of Snow White!!!

This was very beautiful. I enjoyed Snow White in a way I've never have. I look forward to continue reading more books in this series! Highly recommend tho anyone who loves re-telling and fantasy.
Profile Image for Mariah Roze.
1,015 reviews920 followers
December 5, 2019
I have been wanting to read these books forever and this one did not disappoint!

"The tale of the young princess and her evil stepmother, the Wicked Queen, is widely known. Despite a few variations from telling to telling, the story remains the same—the Queen was jealous of the girl’s beauty, and this jealousy culminated in the Queen’s attempt on the sweet, naive girl’s life.
Another tale far less often spoken of is the one that explains what caused the Queen to become so contemptuously vile. Still, some have attempted to guess at the reason. Perhaps the Queen’s true nature was that of a wicked hag and her beautiful, regal appearance a disguise used to fool the King. Others claim that the Queen might have hated the girl for her resemblance to the King’s first wife. Mostly, the Queen is painted as a morally abhorrent woman who never loved another being during the course of her miserable life.
In fact, the theories about exactly what cause the Queen’s obsessive vanity and jealous rage are too numerous to catalog. This book recounts a version of the story that has remained untold until now. It is a tragic tale of love and loss, and it contains a bit of magic. It is a tale of the Wicked Queen…"
Profile Image for Justkeepreading.
1,789 reviews70 followers
March 1, 2017
I have a little bug bear. Just a little one that I need to get off my chest before I continue with without this bug bear would be a glowing review. This series of books are published by Disney Enterprises. Which to me means that they should vet the books before they go out. But it doesn't seem like they have. I was disgruntled reading the beast wishing because they kept calling Prince Adam, The Prince and not by his name which is a little annoying. Then I read this book and instead of calling the Queen by her name Grimhildie. They keep calling her the Queen. Which gets rather annoying after a while. I mean The Queen and The Prince are just their titles. Everyone has a name. Perhaps it's the fact that I'm a big Disney nerd that I know the names of the characters. Seeing as they aren't actually named in the films. But when you are creating lots of different characters with lots of different names. It's really not that hard to use the name of the Prince/the Queen as it was intended to be. They could even put a little note in it to say the name of the character. Grrrr

Other than that little bug bear. I am enjoying this series of books. I am enjoying finding out more insight into what happens before they get enchanted/turn evil. It lets you see more of a perspective. In these days of Disney movies being remastered such as Meleficent. It's good to see the other part of the story.

In this book we are looking at The Evil Queen /snow whites evil step mother. But it's not as simple as that. Grimhildie was once a lovely person. A kind and gentle soul. Whose mother dies when she is a baby and whose father always blames her for her mother's death.

Grimhildie's parents were rather rich and they made mirrors. Not knowing her mother Grimhildie has always wanted the love of her father but never got it. So when she marries into the White household. Grimhildie is determined to show Snow all the love she deserves.

Sadly when snows dad dies Grimhildie turns into a mean and nasty lady. Her heart is full of blackness. When presented with a magic mirror that speaks to her and is her father. Grimhildie seeking love and seeking to heal her broken heart. Turns even more wicked and unkind. Which links into the Snow White and the seven dwarfs story we know today.

It was good to see a different more kinder and compassionate side of Grimhildie at the start of the book. It is easy to feel compassion for her when her husband dies. You still think she's an evil witch thou when she tries to kill Snow.

All in all a pretty good book. I just wish they would use the characters name and not just their title.

Let me know what you think of the book.

Happy reading everyone
Profile Image for Leslie.
2,710 reviews2 followers
September 8, 2017
This is not a book for the kiddies. This is a rather very depressing story. We are introduced to 'the Queen', Step mother of Snow White, commoner married to the king. The King met her when she was working at her father's mirror shop. Her father is the greatest mirror craftsman in the Kingdom and the King is overwhelmed by her beauty.

Alas 'the Queen's' birth lead to the death of her mother and her father cursed her every day for killing the woman he loved. He tells her she is ugly, he belittles her, when she attracts the King he calls he a witch. She suffers endless abuse at his hands; when he dies the King comes and marries her. But her self-esteem is no existent and she is easily manipulated by black magicians. Since she has nothing of her self and only the parts reflected by the King's admiration she falls into depression when he leaves on his frequent quests. (Hey King did you want a wife or a nanny?)

His death leaves her with only the words of her father and her father in a mirror.. She descends further into madness. She turns to the black arts and isolates herself further. She turns away Snow's suitors and forces Snow to act as a servant. (I would look into the rules of succession for kingdom I don't see how a non royal King's wife gets to keep ruling). Her madness grows and grows and we all know how the story ends.

The original story is a tale of obsessive vanity but this is a story of neglect, abuse and insanity.
Profile Image for Readandfit Jannik.
70 reviews103 followers
March 2, 2021
Ihr wolltet schon immer mal wissen wieso Schneewittchens Stiefmutter böse geworden ist?
In diesem Buch erfahrt ihr es.
Als Disney Fan wird euch das Buch super gut gefallen.

Euer Readandfit
Profile Image for Sarah Churchill.
470 reviews1,174 followers
February 10, 2017
I like the twist on the Evil Queen's backstory, but this one didn't really do it for me. Disjointed, the pacing was way off, and it just didn't make much sense a lot of the time. Years passed without mention, then a month, then a few more years. It felt like she had to try to fit it to the timescale of Snow White growing up, and so just did that by saying the Queen got a bit more mad during that time.

I really liked the first few chapters, with the Queen being young and how she met the king. But after that it felt mostly like filler, and nothing really happened outside of the story we already know.

Compares to Poor Unfortunate Soul which had so much more to it, I'm disappointed in Fairest of All.
Profile Image for Alaina.
6,084 reviews215 followers
March 6, 2021
My love for retellings will continue to grow no matter my age. Plus diving into the villains side? Well, shit - I just have to read the book. I just think getting a different perspective on the villains, and the princesses/princes, sort of makes you fall in love with what you grew up with as a child. Or maybe that's just me?

Heck even when Disney creates a movie from the Villain side I get giddy with excitement. So it was interesting for me to think back on certain movies, animated or not, and be like - huh, okay this part reminds me from this scene in this movie. Or show. Definitely made the book that more entertaining for me this time around.

I did feel about the mirror though. In the beginning, it hurt the Queen to see her dad in it. Mostly because he was a horrible human being. Then to have the ending with her in it? Hot damn - I would love to see a movie that had this ending in it.

In the end, definitely excited to dive into the next book of this series!
“I cannot live in fear of losing him, for fear of not living my life at all.”

I absolutely love fairy tale retellings from different perspectives.

Plus, I feel like I've been on such a villain kick and again, I love it.

It's such a good story and I loved every minute of it.
Profile Image for Destiny (myhoneyreads).
173 reviews21 followers
April 30, 2018
Actual rating: 2.7

I thought it was nice to hear from the Queen’s perspective, and everything actually made sense. With that being said, I didn’t care for the changing perspectives mid chapter, the odd language (that tried to sound old and fairy tale like but failed), the added characters, or the almost word for word overlap of the Disney movie.

The ending was, okay. Overall, it was an enjoyable story with its fair share of problems.
Profile Image for Suhailah.
162 reviews23 followers
November 19, 2022
"And what would the King think of his Queen now? She sometimes imagined that he was looking upon her from wherever he was, judging her for what had become her wicked ways. She felt that something else within her was taking over, and that she no longer had any ability to control her own actions."

As a lifelong villain supporter, this series caught my eye immediately and I longed to own them at first sight! This series is the revelation of all the secrets of the villains we've grown up with and learned to hate/love. I loved jumping into the Disney world of tales and losing myself completely. I've always helplessly wandered ever since I was a child what led to the creation of a villain, and I've always believed that no one is born a villain but can easily become one! I'm so excited for the potential this series has to offer.

The Tale of the Wicked Queen: Fairest of All - the flip tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

My thoughts:

*What I'm left wondering about 🤔is the Odd Sisters and their mysterious appearances in relation to the villains and their actions.

*I LOVED the twist at the end and the ending!

*I may have got into QUEEN mode myself a time or two in my real life while reading this book.

*This was a quick and satisfying read. I just savored every moment.

*Adored the catchy chapter titles. Very captivating!

*Can't wait to rewatch the original Disney movie having this new perspective logged into my mind. I'm also very interested in watching Snow White and the Huntsman since I've never seen it!

*Yummy poisoned apples and magic mirrors!

It was inspiring to learn how the Evil Queen was created. Unearthing her dark past actually made me feel differently about her. It was kind of heart breaking. Grief, loss, and emotional abuse can really shape a person’s future forever.
Profile Image for Meeko.
152 reviews13 followers
June 26, 2022
I am an adult, but I did enjoy!
I like it, but not I love it.
I could see precious beautiful Queen changed to evil wicked Queen.
I wish I could read more her evil part. It's little weaker than I expected.
Very easy reads.
Profile Image for Aqsa.
291 reviews298 followers
September 27, 2018
4.5 :)

This was my first retelling of Snow White. I loved the Queen and the King and got to know them way better than Snow. I was hoping for something in the end which didn't seem to eventually happen and immensely disappointed me but immediately confused me too. Was it happy? The end? She did say I love you unlike her what her father said. I need a baby sequel to tell me what happened!

It was the sweetest book and never did I think I'd ever love to come the wicked Queen and hope for her throughout the book. Never thought I'd cry for her too. The story of Snow White never had such an effect on me before.

I highly recommend it! A short lovely and heart-rending read.

Profile Image for Stefan Garland.
Author 1 book71 followers
April 2, 2021
''Magic Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?''

Prvi deo serijala o tome kako su čuveni Dizni zlikovci postali zli i koji govori o neimenovanoj Zloj kraljici iz Snežane bio je zanimljiv, ali na momente repetativan, pa i nekako razvučen. Sve vreme sam imao utisak da je Valentinova mogla još više da pusti mašti na volju, ali su mi se mnogo svidele Odd Sisters, koje upravljaju svim koncima iz senke, i koje se pojavljuju i u nastavcima.

Sve u svemu, drago mi je da sam napokon uzeo ovaj serijal u ruke, i baš se radujem priči o Ursuli i zasebnoj knjizi o Odd Sisters.
Profile Image for Sammy.
305 reviews1 follower
September 6, 2020
Oh my days! I really enjoyed this book! I mean to be honest I love anything Snow White anyway. So to get this new point of view from the Evil Queen was really interesting! I’m starting the second volume now! If anyone’s a Disney I truly recommend!
Highly recommend 5/5
Profile Image for Fizah(Books tales by me).
626 reviews53 followers
May 8, 2020
“Magic Mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?”

Who doesn’t love Anti-hero stories?. A perfect Villain with a solid background is what I love more than a simple righteous main lead. We all are too familiar with our Disney princess, but not get to read perspective of their Villains.

I was eyeing on this series for so long, finally I took a step forward and decided to read it.

“The words wounded deeper than the bruises and the scars from any physical pain he inflicted on me. At least those wounds healed.”

This book focused on a simple poor girl, who was abused by her father for her whole life, turned into a queen. I loved how her character was developed, everything made perfect sense. The way she loved her husband and his daughter, how she relate snow white’s life to her and wanted to shield her. We always knew mirror was there in story, but the concept in the book about mirror, from where it came and why Evil queen was so obssessed to it, was really intriguing.

“I cannot live in fear of losing him, for fear of not living my life at all.”

So what was the problem?

Un even pace of the story and writing style. Why authors think It is alright to drag the story as much as they want. Why a story can’t be precise and beautiful?

The ending felt so rushed and incomplete, where author put a lot of time to build evil queen’s character she should have given her a proper closure.
Profile Image for Brittany Lee.
Author 1 book110 followers
August 31, 2020
Morbidly appealing-- The dark Disney aesthetic is so kick-ass.

Have you ever wondered what past hurts have caused villains to be the way they are? Why they act the way they do?

This is a darker retelling of Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and it is one of my favorite books from beginning to end. There are not many books giving complete empathy to villains, plus Disney elements, like come on, this is just glorious! Let me rave about one of my favorite books for you because the book blurb does not do it justice, and honestly contained a few words I didn't even know the meaning to... embarrassing!

I was delighted with how many original elements were included in this retelling. I loved all the rhyming, spells, and incantations!

"Magic mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?"

The details and general set up were so adorable. The scenery was also very vivid for me. I really could envision the characters, landscape, decor, and even the food! Mmmm! The characters were my favorite part. They were so rich and lively! I absolutely loved watching them develop and change. I wish I could expand upon all my favorite ones but I don't like to give away those spoilers, but I will leave a favorite quote of mine from the text:

"You mentioned the battlefield earlier. You were correct, it does change you. It turns you into something more than a man...and at the same time something less."

I sat and thought about this quote for a long time.

If you like villains and root for them, chances are you will adore Serena Valentino's Villain Series. I just got the first three for Christmas and couldn't be more delighted. I highly enjoyed Disney as a child and this slightly darker retelling was a nice spin for the adult me still wanting to love that type of thing.

For children who want to root for villains, I would recommend each parent deciding for themselves what age is best, if wanting to read this. I honestly can't say an appropriate age I would recommend, but what I can say is there is death, war, blood, and magic. And I loved every bit of it.

The cover is so clever, I absolutely loved the cover reveal when the jacket is taken off. Hint- there is a little surprise! I am a total fangirl over the covers and feels (in all ways) of these books! They feel so soft and velvety! As I said earlier, the dark Disney aesthetic couldn't be more different, more loveable. Villains deserve to have their story told too and I'm so glad an author has been so successful with her unique storytelling. I cannot wait to own and read the rest of the collection!
Profile Image for Amber J.
868 reviews54 followers
June 19, 2022
I can honestly say that I didn't go into this book with high expectations, but I was pleasantly surprised. It wasn't everything I wanted it to be. But I really enjoyed it. It was super short and I ended it feeling a bit sad, but still. It was worth the read and I will be continuing the series.
Profile Image for Aaron.
1,684 reviews45 followers
February 23, 2011
Sometimes it can be really interesting to look at things from a different perspective. In this instance, Valentino presents the story of Snow White from the perspective of the Queen, her step-mother. The tale starts shortly after the Queen has married Snow White's father. They seem to have formed a very happy family. The Queen is an adoring mother figure for poor Snow White, whose mother died years before.

Things start to change when the King must join his men on the battlefield, leaving the Queen and Snow White alone in the castle. It is then that the Queen starts to remember the insecurities she developed at the harsh words of her own father while she was growing up. Her doubts about her appearance take on a greater role as she misses her husband more and more.

This is made none the easier, when the King's three sisters come to stay at the castle. They are very clearly dark witches who are unhappy with the Queen and Snow White. They taunt the poor girl, forcing the Queen to come to her rescue, but doing so only brings about their ire, setting fate in motion.

Thanks to their influence, the Queen finds herself drawn to one of her marriage gifts from her husband, a beautiful mirror made by her father for her own mother. She soon learns that it is enchanted, and it (along with her own obsession with her beauty) on the path that we have all come to know thanks to the Brothers Grimm and Walt Disney.

This interesting insight into the Queen's mind really makes the reader feel a lot of compassion. While her actions can never be forgiven, it is hard to dismiss how her own life experiences and the harsh treatment by the sisters influenced her actions. There is even a bit of hope for her soul in the concluding moments of the story.

I have always been a big fan of retold fairy tales, and this one does a really good job of capturing the essence of the story (at least, the Disney version) with a new twist. It is fun. I actually started it this morning and read it in a single day before work and on my lunch and dinner breaks. I definitely didn't want to put it down!
Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,696 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.