Well, this was an odd little book. As per the blurb: An enticing contemporary retelling of the classic story of Snow White. While the the handsome prince, the jealous queen, the beautiful girl and of course the poison all appear, Sarah Pinborough’s charming and provocative spin on the story will captivate fans of the fairy tale all over again.
I was a big fan of Once Upon a Time when it came out, with it’s unique view of fairy tale characters so I thought it might be interesting to see what this author did with it. The copy I picked up was small with a red cover and included illustrations with each chapter; the version I see on Amazon today doesn’t look quite so intriguing. I expected that maybe this version of Snow White would be more sexual – was she involved with the dwarves in an orgy, or did the evil Queen have the hots for her? Either one of those options might have made this more interesting.
It’s still the basic tale that we all know with some other elements pasted in for good measure. The Queen, Lilith, hates Snow White because everyone else loves her and plots to do away with her while the King is off somewhere fighting for what ever reason. She enlists Aladdin to find magical items for her until he irritates her and she locks him in his lamp; she has a magical cupboard that talks to her (not a mirror) and her grandmother is the witch from Hansel and Gretel. We have the huntsman that she seduces to kill Snow White and when he fakes the death, she turns him into a mouse. Oh, and said huntsman also seduces Snow White and takes her virginity before returning to the Queen. You see, Snow White isn’t all that sweet and lovely as her image suggests – she’s more of a tomboy and likes to drink ale, dance with dwarves and ride stallions.
She still ends up sort of dead after taking a bite of the apple and Prince No-Name shows up one day from another kingdom and falls in love with her.
I just don’t know what Ms Pinborough was aiming for with this book. The style of writing is very simplistic which would seem to be more of a YA book (or even younger), and yet you get the sex scenes thrown in there that would rule out the young crowd. None of the characters were that interesting and despite Lilith’s evil ways, she was pretty much one dimensional. Then the ending was completely out of left field and left me shaking my head. I didn’t feel that it was “charming” or “provocative” and it certainly didn’t captivate me. I’ve read better fan fiction than this less than creative effort. There’s two more book in this series, about Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, but it’s just not for me.