Title: The Reflections of Queen Snow White
Author: David Meredith
Published: 2nd October 2013
“You chose the difficult road. You chose the path of greatest risk and uncertainty, but it was also the path that led you to happiness.”
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.
First of all, thanks so much to the author for providing an ebook copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review.
The first half of this book, I really enjoyed. I felt that the slow pace really worked with the story. And I thought that the author really captured the emotions of pain and grief that Snow White was experiencing after the death of her beloved husband. It was so heartbreaking to read, and the emotion just shone through the book beautifully. I was also enjoying the ‘reflections’ and reading about the classic Snow White tale. And I loved that this retelling wasn’t really a retelling, but was more of a sequel.
The writing was also very beautiful!
“The cavernous chamber appeared a bleak island of melancholy set adrift upon a sunny, celebratory sea.”
Overall, the first half of this book was very strong.
But the second half was just not as enjoyable for me, when I realised that the story was pretty much all back-story. I know there are many books like this, and that many people may enjoy them, but I am not one for the back-story. I like it in small doses, and for a significant point or message that connects to, or helps explain, the current storyline. But I didn’t feel that this book’s current storyline was especially gripping, and I felt, as such, a bit disconnected from it.
I also didn’t really like this character of Snow White. While at the beginning, the glimpses of the ‘current story’ Snow White were brilliant at conveying the emotional trauma, and the early back-story was engaging and interesting, she began to irritate me a little in the second half. She kept making very unnecessarily dramatic decisions, relied on other characters for what to do a lot, and didn’t really seem to develop. She was just not a very strong character to me, and I felt that even when the ‘reflections’ were trying to make the point that she was strong on her own, in each example she still relied on being rescued or advised by another character. I also felt that her emotional turn-around was far too quick at the end – it fits with the fairytale story, but wasn’t completely satisfying.
Overall, it was a good book, and had it continued in the thread of the first half, would have been a great book. It was still an enjoyable and quick read (it’s only just a little over 100 pages), and definitely a nice way to spend an afternoon reading.