Tuesday, October 15, 2013

[Book Review] The Fairest of Them All by Carolyn Turgeon

The Fairest of Them AllThe Fairest of Them All
Carolyn Turgeon
What if Rapunzel was Snow White’s evil stepmother? From the author of Godmother and MermaidThe Fairest of Them All explores what happens when fairy tale heroines grow up and don’t live happily ever after.

Living in an enchanted forest, Rapunzel spends her days tending a mystical garden with her adoptive mother, Mathena. A witch, Mathena was banished from court because of her magic powers, though the women from the kingdom still seek her advice and herbal remedies. She waits, biding her time to exact revenge against those who betrayed her.

One day Rapunzel’s beautiful voice and long golden locks captivate a young prince hunting in the forest nearby. Overcome, he climbs her hair up to her chamber and they fall into each other’s arms. But their afternoon of passion is fleeting, and the prince must return to his kingdom, as he is betrothed to another.

Now king, he marries his intended to bring peace to his kingdom. They have a stunning daughter named Snow White. Yet the king is haunted by his memories of Rapunzel, and after the mysterious death of his wife, realizes he is free to marry the woman he never stopped longing for. In hopes of also replacing the mother of his beloved daughter, the king makes Rapunzel his queen.

But when Mathena’s wedding gift of an ancient mirror begins speaking to her, Rapunzel falls under its evil spell, and the king begins to realize that Rapunzel is not the beautiful, kind woman he dreamed of.

*ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

An incredible twist on the classic story about Snow White where Rapunzel is her evil step-mother. The story is written from Rapunzel’s point of view and starts as her living with a woman who saved her from mother that completely abandoned her. Mathena was a healer and even though she did not want to be called a witch, her powers helped people get healed from broken hearts and forget their burdens. When Rapunzel discovers that she has her own powers, she make Prince Josef fall in love with her. After spending a night with her, he tells her that he has no choice but to marry a princess from the West to avoid the war between two kingdoms. 

Many years pass and after tragic events that involves magic, Rapunzel finds herself marrying the now King Josef and gets a stepdaughter from his previous marriage – Snow White. Mathena gives Rapunzel a magic mirror which tells her anything that she wants to know. She starts to love Snow White and enjoys her company but one day when she asks the mirror who is the Fairest of them all – she does not receive an answer that she expects and that storms some clouds into her heart. 

I absolutely loved The Fairest of Them All and the twist that it brought to the story. I really hoped that it wasn’t just the story that I know but I was surprised how everything tied together and made complete sense. The writing was beautiful with Rapunzel’s thoughts being projected as someone who just wants to be loved and have a normal family. This was an incredible read that made this story come alive and give a different aspect on Snow White story.

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