I’m sure as adult, and maybe even as kids, many of us have often wondered what happens after the “happily ever after” ending of those children’s classics we loved way back when. I know I have. So when author David Meredith contacted me a few weeks ago requesting an honest review in exchange for a gifted copy of his revamped version of the classical Snow White story, The Reflections of Queen Snow White, I jumped at the chance.
The Reflections of Queen Snow White opens with Snow White grieving the somewhat recent death of her husband and planning the upcoming marriage of her daughter. Needing space, she escapes to the previously closed off region of the castle that belonged to her vicious stepmother, Arglist, for some peace. Here, she discovers Arglist’s infamous magic mirror, which claims to reflect the innermost thoughts and emotions of the individual, rather than their physical appearance. Beginning here, The Reflections of Queen Snow White is told through a series of flashbacks. These depict her struggle in the home of an abusive stepmother and subsequent escape into the wilds, where she is discovered by a group of dwarves who take her in and care for her. The poisoned apple puts her into a comatose state, but instead of being saved by Prince Charming’s kiss, she is saved by his tenderness and care. Once she awakes, they spend time talking and getting to know one another, and decide that getting married and joining their kingdoms would be the best thing for them both. Mainly, it would oust her evil stepmother, Arglist, from the throne she is currently occupying. Upon returning to the castle, Snow White faces fear, pain, treason, deceit, great love and greater loss as she continues on her journey to become a well-respected queen and a loving wife and mother.
What I Liked:
1. I really enjoyed this updated and grown-up version of this classic story. Magic mirror aside, it was much more realistic than the singing dwarves and life-saving kisses of the original.
2. Snow White and Prince Charming are shown to be real people. Snow White, having been treated as less than a peasant well into her teenage years must accept her power and rightful place as queen. She is insecure, scared, and struggles to become the queen her mother once was. Prince Charming is just that, but is also capable of orchestrating severe punishments for traitors and the usurper that was the evil stepmother. Happily ever after actually involves a lot of struggle, and a great deal of vengeance and punishment.
3. While this story has the disclaimer about adult content, the vivid adult content was brief and was clearly not meant to be the focus of the story, merely details to add to it.
What I Didn’t Like:
1. The death bed and love scenes were a little graphic for me. The detailed descriptions of bodily functions and fluids just kind of made me cringe a bit. But they only took up a VERY small portion of the book, so this was a relatively minor annoyance.
2. Other than that, not much!
So, if you’re a fan of fairy tales (who isn’t?), and find original retellings interesting, definitely give this a look. If you’ve never really considered whether you’d like a recreated version of a classic, you should still check it out. It was quick, so if you’ve got beach/lake/vacation plans for the summer, it’d be a great one to bring along.