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Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen

(Villains #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  17,937 ratings  ·  2,315 reviews

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 exam

Paperback, 250 pages
Published 2016 by Parragon (first published August 18th 2009)
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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 ·  17,937 ratings  ·  2,315 reviews

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Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
*****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 trap
Dannii Elle
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
J.T. Whitesell
Aug 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
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 q
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
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.
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, yes, please. 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, i
Jamie Dacyczyn
May 09, 2011 marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
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 th
Brittany Batong
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 ...more
Maja  - BibliophiliaDK ✨

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 usu
May 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mariah Roze
Dec 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. Sti
Karen Whittard
Mar 01, 2017 rated it liked it
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 th ...more
Sep 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hollywood, ku
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
Destiny (myhoneyreads)
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.
Sarah Churchill
Jan 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
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
Aqsa (On Hiatus)
Sep 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-stars, favorites
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 throughou
Nadja [BücherRausch]
Loved the perspective of the queen .. didnt knew there was so much more to the story ♡
Sep 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Fizah(Books tales by me)
“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
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 b
Brittany | Healing Happy Lee
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
Feb 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 Quee
Jan 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-fantasy
This book is a quick read. I read this book in one day and it was an alright book. The tale of Snow White and the Wicked Queen is not one of my favorites; however, I love books that delve into the back story of villains and why they become villains. That being said, I don't feel like this book took a deep enough look into why the Wicked Queen became Wicked.

The story begins with the Queen marrying the love of her life and moving to his palace after the death of her father. She becomes like a mot
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 stars!
The Winter Rose
I love Disney, fairy tales and fairy tale retellings. But this did not impress me.

Fairest of All is a retelling of Snow White from the Wicked Queen's point of view. It is very clear that Ms. Valentino (and I somehow strongly suspect that Serena Valentino is a pen name cause I mean... really... a name like that is right up there with Bella Swan *insert eye roll here*) is desperately attempting to do what Wicked did for The Wizard of Oz. But this falls so short of the mark.

First off, one of the ke
Sep 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-stars-2017
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Fiona MacDonald
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a wonderful look into the past of the Wicked Queen from Snow White.
Serena Valentino has taken the story and researched it thoroughly, showing us how normal and kind the Queen was to start with until her obsession with the Mirror turned her life around.
When we find out that the reason the Queen is so fixated on the magic mirror is because her cruel and evil father was the spirit inside of it, we start to understand a little more about her history of being mistreated and mentally
Emerald Sue
“The words wounded deeper than the bruises and the scars from any physical pain he inflicted on me. At least those wounds healed.”
Kira Simion
Not gonna lie. I struggled with the writing on this one. It wasn’t very good at showing, just told everything which isn’t bad, but man I felt like I was reading a much older book. And the fairytale part of it started out good, but dragged on and on and the ending felt forced for the most part since the transition was a different idea, but preceding that, the writing didn’t support as much.
Jammin Jenny
I loved this book and I love this series of fairy tale retellings. This is the story of Snow White, but told from the Queen's perspective. I love seeing into the backstory of the queen, her evil father, the wicked cousins of the King, the love the King shared with both his wife, the queen and his daughter Snow. I also loved the love between the queen and Snow when Snow was a little girl and before the queen was driven to madness. I also loved the ending in this retelling. If you like fairy tales ...more
colleen the convivial curmudgeon
An interesting telling of the Snow White story from the Queen's perspective. Shows her as a loving and lovely young woman and her descent into jealousy, vanity and madness. A decent story - but I expected a bit more depth, I suppose.

I'm a bit torn on the language used. It was very simplistic, like a child's storybook. At first it bothered me, but then I decided it sort of fit the style of the story. I'm also not entirely thrilled with the obsession with beauty - it basically amounts to the notio
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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 protagonist ...more

Other books in the series

Villains (8 books)
  • The Beast Within (Villains, #2)
  • Poor Unfortunate Soul (Villains, #3)
  • Mistress of All Evil (Villains, #4)
  • Mother Knows Best (Villains, #5)
  • The Odd Sisters (Villains, #6)
  • Evil Thing (Villains, #7)
  • Cold Hearted (Villains, #8)

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