Published by Disney Hyperion on August 18th 2009
The tale of the young princess and her evil stepmother, the Wicked Queen, is widely known. Despite a few variations from telling to telling, the story remains the same--the Queen was jealous of the girl's beauty, and this jealousy culminated in the Queen's attempt on the sweet, naive girl's life.
Another tale far less often spoken of is the one that explains what caused the Queen to become so contemptuously vile. Still, some have attempted to guess at the reason. Perhaps the Queen's true nature was that of a wicked hag and her beautiful, regal appearance a disguise used to fool the King. Others claim that the Queen might have hated the girl for her resemblance to the King's first wife. Mostly, the Queen is painted as a morally abhorrent woman who never loved another being during the course of her miserable life.
In fact, the theories about exactly what cause the Queen's obsessive vanity and jealous rage are too numerous to catalog. This book recounts a version of the story that has remained untold until now. It is a tragic tale of love and loss, and it contains a bit of magic. It is a tale of the Wicked Queen...
I bought this a while back because I absolutely love Serena Valentino, who writes the amazing graphic novels called Gloomcookie. When I saw she had written a novel, I had to get it.
I really thought this was a bit unique. It used a lot of imagery from the movie as opposed to some of the original stories. Also, you saw the actual decline of the evil stepmother and why she became the monster she did. It's amazing to think what a bit of insecurity can really do to a person when put and prodded into a situation. It was a quick read and an entertaining one. I think you really have to love Disney movies and fairy tales to enjoy this, otherwise it seems a little like the same-old/same-old. I, for one, can't get enough of the same fairy tales.
I love that this is from the viewpoint of the Stepmother and you really get this glimpse into the person she was and could have continued to be and what she turned into. There are some other sinister characters that really gave me the willies, and I really quite enjoyed that.
Final Verdict: For those that love fairy tales and Disney retellings, especially those that want to delve deeper into the stories.