Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Book Review of The Reflections of Queen Snow White by David Meredith

Goodreads Summary: What happens when "happily ever after" has come and gone?
On the eve of her only daughter, Princess Raven's wedding, an aging Snow White finds it impossible to share in the joyous spirit of the occasion. The ceremony itself promises to be the most glamorous social event of the decade. Snow White’s castle has been meticulously scrubbed, polished and opulently decorated for the celebration. It is already nearly bursting with jubilant guests and merry well-wishers. Prince Edel, Raven's fiancĂ©, is a fine man from a neighboring kingdom and Snow White's own domain is prosperous and at peace. Things could not be better, in fact, except for one thing:

The king is dead.

The queen has been in a moribund state of hopeless depression for over a year with no end in sight. It is only when, in a fit of bitter despair, she seeks solitude in the vastness of her own sprawling castle and climbs a long disused and forgotten tower stair that she comes face to face with herself in the very same magic mirror used by her stepmother of old.

It promises her respite in its shimmering depths, but can Snow White trust a device that was so precious to a woman who sought to cause her such irreparable harm? Can she confront the demons of her own difficult past to discover a better future for herself and her family? And finally, can she release her soul-crushing grief and suffocating loneliness to once again discover what "happily ever after" really means?

Only time will tell as she wrestles with her past and is forced to confront The Reflections of Queen Snow White.
Goodreads Rating: 3.94 stars with just over 200 ratings
Genre Listing: Fantasy, Romance, Retellings, Fairy Tales, Fiction, Adventure,
Get the Book: Amazon
Book Challenge: Pop Sugar's 2016 Challenge, Book Based on a Fairy Tale  Book 4 out of 40

Edited 12/1/2016

First things first, big thanks to David Meredith for sending me a copy of his book in exchange for a review! I greatly appreciate it!

If you like fairy tales and retellings of classic fairy tales, I highly recommend David Meredith's The Reflections of Queen Snow White. It's a very short read at 155 pages. It moves along quickly but gives a very complete and emotional story. When I say emotional, I mean it. I cried at least twice while reading it. I'm a giant sap.

The thing I love the most about this story is that it's not an ordinary retelling. I feel like most retellings take us back to the character's prime and just tells the already known events in a different light. In The Reflections of Queen Snow White, however, we're taking well past the events of her youth. We see an older Snow White in her late 30s or early 40s mourning the death of her beloved Charming and preparing for her own daughter's wedding. She's extremely depressed and trying to find herself, which incidentally happens in front of the magic mirror.

I love the approach taken in this story. Instead of seeing a character fighting monsters and evil, we see Snow White mostly fighting herself. She has to reflect on her life and who she is to pull herself out of her depression.  I found this interesting, because as readers we still visit the main events of the Snow White tale, but instead of seeing them as they happen we get to see how they shaped her to become Queen.

I felt that David's version of Snow White was a very strong lead character. It's amazing to me that I was able to feel so much for a character in just a few short pages. That to me is a huge accomplishment. I can't imagine it's easy to tell a great story in a long novel, let alone a short one like this. I enjoyed the opening scene and how it's not from Snow's point of view, but two hawks that were soaring high. In hindsight of reading it, I sort of feel like the hawks represents Snow White and Charming. I don't know if that was intentional or not, but that is my take on it.

I can't say enough good things about this book. It started well, kept me hooked throughout, and ended beautifully. I highly recommend this one to anyone who wants a short read or likes fairy tales. I think it took me 3 or 4 hours to read, which was nice because I was reading it during a 6-hour car ride.

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