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Friday, July 01, 2016

The Reflections of Queen Snow White by David Meredith

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Published October 2nd 2013 by David Meredith
Source: I received a copy of this book for review from the author, this however hasn't altered my review in any way.

Synopsis From Goodreads

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 fianc√©, is a fine man from a neighbouring 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.

Review - 2.75 Stars

So 2.75 stars I know that doesn't sound like a lot but I would love for you to stick around and see why because it wasn't all bad. The concept of this story being set after the 'happily ever after' is what drew me to this book, these kinds of fairy tales almost always stop at the marriage to the 'perfect' prince but life's difficulties don't stop  (at least I wouldn't have thought so) when you marry the right guy. When I started to think more about this it reminded me of a quote I vaguely remember reading, about how stories don't start and end with the covers of the book, but start long before the first chapter and continue far beyond the last page. So when I read the synopsis for this book I was all up for reading about the continuation of Snow White's story, however I unfortunately didn't find what I was looking for in this book.  So since this book has both the good and the not so good I shall be sharing my thought via by favourite format of lists:
The Good
The pure emotions that poured of the pages -particularly at the start - was so powerful that I felt as though it could have been my own friend going through such heartbreak. I have no idea how it was so emotional so quickly because we hadn't really seen that much of the characters at this point. Although because Snow White is a fictional character that I grew up with, I all ready had preconceptions about her and I felt as though I all ready knew her as a strong character, and to see her so despondent and hopeless gave me far too many feels.
One of the most fascinating aspect/characters(?) was the mirror, yes that's right, the mirror! To start with it seemed cruel and I thought it was just going to torment Snow just like it's previous owner had (it totally tricked me at points). But after a while it seemed to become more like a supporting friend and maybe even a councillor, in fact the whole 'reflection' section of the book felt a bit like a counselling session.
I have to mention the writing style, it is clear to read and created a wonderful picture of the scenes. Although the first few pages of the book confused me for a moment the writing style painted this vivid image of these two birds.
The Not So Good
Most of the book -as the title suggests- is Snow Whites reflection on the past and we get to read this though little snippets of the past, and it felt like a collection of moments rather than us actually getting the story. Although it was frustrating only getting to know bits and pieces of this version of Snow White, it was okay because I already knew the basic story, and this only brought by rating down to 3.5 stars (an enjoyable book).
The thing that took this book from 3.5 stars down to a 2.75 stars has to be the ending. I felt as through Snow's 'mirror experience' was leading up to the dramatic transformation and I wanted to see more of this reformed Snow White. Unfortunately, I felt as though the ending was just rushed and I would have loved for it to be fleshed out a bit more, with Snow rekindling her relationship with her daughter and getting to know her new son-in-law etc.