My rating: 3 of 5 stars
(I received a free copy of this book, in exchange for a fair review.)
So what happens after “happily ever after”? That’s the question that this book tries to answer. It’s been decades since Prince Charming rescued Snow White and defeated her evil stepmother. Now, Queen Snow White is in mourning after having been widowed, and her daughter is planning her own wedding. The last remaining brother of the dwarves who took in Snow during her exile is now her personal adviser and confidant. Was Snow White’s life pure bliss from the moment the wedding bells stopped until the present moment? Of course not. Marriage is hard. Marriage to a Prince, and all that entails is even harder. The political machinations of two kingdoms uniting due to the marriage of Charming and Snow White create further complications, backstabbing, and occasionally violence.
Snow White, now alone has fallen into despair following the death of her husband. The fairy tale story is always told as if the man, the Prince, holds all of the cards. He is the strongest character, the one who protects the weak Princess, who fights for her and keeps her safe. Now that he’s gone, Snow White feels vulnerable. Except, is that really the case? Did Snow White not have any strength of her own to fall back on? Did she not have to make decisions for herself that affected both her family and her Kingdom?
Whilst wandering the castle, Snow White locates the old magic mirror. Through a series of memories brought to the fore, Snow is forced to re-learn her own history and the consequences of her actions. From laying down the law when her subjects commit high treason, to learning the truth about love and commitment, sex and family matters, and her responsibility to her daughter now that she’s grown.
As an introspective to a fantasy character’s mind, it’s an interesting take. Where some scenes are quite shocking, others seem to shy away from the detail which might have provided greater depth to the story, but instead gives it a little inconsistency in tone. Generally an enjoyable read with a message intending to promote feminine strength, but whilst simultaneously highlighting all of the times that Snow White had to rely on the men in her life to rescue her. But by picking herself up, and learning her many lessons, Snow White grows up and grows wiser.