Book Review: The Reflections of Queen Snow White by David Meredith

18780192.jpgTitle: The Reflections of Queen Snow White
Author: David Meredith
Publisher: David Meredith
Pub Date: October 2, 2013
Format: Kindle eBook
Pages: 155
Source: Review Copy
Genre(s): Fantasy, Romance, Retelling
Rating: ★★★★
Goodreads || Buy on Amazon

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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.

My review:

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influences my opinion of the work.

“You married the prince then hi-ho, happily ever after! No problems ever again?”

Forget your happily ever after! What happens when a loved princess-turned-queen is widowed, middle-aged, and drowning in grief? Real life. I call this realistically-ever-after.

The synopsis tells you everything you need to know, but I suppose I’ll reiterate since I seem to have taken a lot of notes. Charming has been gone for over a year now. Snow White is quite obviously still grieving. Their daughter, Princess Raven, is set to marry someone named Prince Edel, whom she really loves. But it seems Queen Snow is spending too much time alone with her grief, and not enough time with the bride-to-be. In the midst of wedding prep (which she clearly can’t be bothered to partake in) Snow stumbles upon an old mirror that insists it is up to her to reflect on herself. She recalls memories from her childhood up until the present day, some lovely, and some heartbreaking. We learn a lot from her introspection. The title is very fitting, to say the least.

“Your reflection is what your reflection is. Either you will look or you will not. Either you will believe or you will not. I have but shown you a very small piece of yourself, yet it is one that you have tried to hide. It is but one that causes you pain. You are in pain, are you not?”

The writing is very descriptive but easy to digest. In other words, it is well done. I was able to finish it in one sitting so it is by no means a difficult read (in terms of structure). Emotionally, it tackles some very heavy feelings. My favourite parts were the glimpses into Charming and Snow’s whirlwind romance, of course. There are also some surprisingly dark moments that deal with deep depression, despair, and even (attempted) suicide. I just thought I should mention this in case any of you require a trigger warning.

Another thing I like to rate books on is their originality. I love how this story takes place decades after the supposed “happily ever after”. There are many re-tellings out there but I have never read one that takes place so far into the future, let alone one that seems so real that you’d think you were reading about your mother’s friend, Martha. (Not sure if that makes sense or not, but it just popped into my head.)

I’d recommend this to any fan of retellings, but bear in mind my previous words. This is a realistically-ever-after.

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