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 fiancé, 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.
This book really surprised me, in a good way. Although I read the blurb I didn’t really appreciate that it was going to be a mature book dealing with grief and hope and not just a future continuation of a well known fairy tale. Dealing with grief has a very personal connection to life at the moment and I found Snow’s feelings about her loss very true. The use of the mirror to help her come to terms with this was inspired and I think a very powerful way to explore the process. Throughout the story we relive some of the best and worst moments of Snow’s life and I found the writing particularly beautiful. It wasn’t complex but care has been taken to use the right words to describe both setting and feelings. I was particularly shocked by the end of chapter 7 when the story included a more detailed personal memory than I had expected to read however the writing captured perfectly an experience that was a pleasure to read. The more harsh memories however was also written well so as to capture the pain of the moment without being too gruesome. Of course what is important is how Snow deals with reliving them. In her grief she has lost her hope and strength believing it to have been down to Charming but with the mirrors help she is able to realise that within her there are still these qualities and through her daughter they can keep his memory alive and continue to live happily.
This week the topic from The Broke and The Bookish is our Top Ten New To Me Authors I Read In 2013. I have read quite a few new authors this year, 21 I found out when I sat to compose this list however picking my favourite was actually more complicated. In the end I have just gone for 8 as the others I didn’t really enjoy.
What Great New Authors Have You Discovered This Year?
For me this book starts to become a bit more about Katniss and her feelings for Peeta. Although I agree that this trilogy has never been about the love triangle there is a little more of that in this one. When I first read this trilogy I didn’t have a preferred male till this book and I’m ashamed to admit it was the loss of Peeta and his devotion for Katniss that made my decision for me. Gale in this on the other hand becomes way more vengeful and if I am honest really bothers me. In the larger scheme of things though this time round I found it much easier to understand that Katniss is still in a games. Only now it’s not only Snow manipulating her but also Coin and Plutarch. This is what makes the series interesting. That in some way the rebellion could turn out just as bad for everyone and Katniss can see that. More importantly there are people behind her that will fight with her to try and make the right change knowing she will do as she always has done, be herself.
The first time I read this series this was my favourite of the three and it still is. I had forgotten how much of the book is set in the districts and because I wasn’t lost in the excitement of the first time I could read a bit slower and take it all in. Katniss’ desperation to stop the rebellion is so strong and when she feels shes lost hope convincing Snow she stops being so reserved with Gale. However for me Gale becomes more annoying in this book. His burning need for revenge begins to show through and it just goes downhill from there. The arena in this book is also a lot more interesting than the first and without being morbid I like the mental picture I get of the clock. The relationships also become interesting to read. Katniss interactions with Mags, Finnick and Joanne are so well written and portray different feeling that are great to read about. Of course I would be lying if I didn’t say I also enjoy watching her fall in love with Peeta, however much the end breaks our hearts. The ending of course is great, and although the book is better I love that it has been portrayed so well in the movie.