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Monday, June 2, 2014

4 stars: The Reflections of Queen Snow White by @DMeredith2013 #review



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The Reflections of Queen Snow White

Written by David Meredith

Genre: Fantasy, Fairy Tale




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.






Dave Macelroy 's Review


Of all the fairytale retellings I've read, this one began and ended with the most beautiful prose. The story begins with picturesque imagery of hawks flying in a mating dance while preparations are made for a wedding below. The impending royal wedding is for the daughter of Queen Snow White.

Snow White is older now. She is bereaved of Prince Charming, and goes on about her pain in missing him to the point of seeming emo. I did feel this part was belabored a little on the heavy side. She's not in the mood to see visiting nobles, so she ducks down a corridor and finds herself in the old part of the castle and the stair to her wicked stepmother's tower, where, of course, she will find the infamous magic mirror that caused so much trouble in her childhood.

Much of the early story was very true to original and well written so that it gave the feeling of being there. Snow White had very human emotions and reactions. I could feel genuine sympathy for her in her grief and in her memories of what was undeniably an abusive childhood.

The mirror had some interesting surprises for me. I soon learned that things are not always what they seem when you're dealing with dark magic. Through a series of flashbacks, the reader is shown much of the early life of Snow White, both before she met Prince Charming and after she married him and regained her kingdom. Much of it was strong on psychological analysis, which took me out of the story a little.

Sensitive readers should be warned that in places the story is a little overly graphic on abuse, violence and the side effects of choking on the apple. The Evil Queen in still strong in Snow White's memory and still provides a powerful nemesis for the story.

I also felt that the story goes on about God a bit much and could have done with less realistic biological processes in some instances. I have to admit that I found Snow White's wedding night more explicit than I might have expected. While I have no objection to erotic versions of fairytales, the bulk of the story was not erotica so I found it odd that the author would be so graphic in just a couple of scenes, making the story unsuitable for young readers and cutting the potential audience in half. I felt it was unnecessary to go into that much detail for the purposes of this story, which might have appealed to a much wider age demographic otherwise.

Through the mirror's flashbacks, we get a good look at the real problems of running a court and the intrigues that beset the rulers of fairytale kingdoms very much as they did in real historic kingdoms. Overall, I felt the story was very well done and the conclusions that were reached balanced out the intent of the story nicely.

I would give it an easy 4 out of 5 stars, with a proviso that it could do with a final copy edit and maybe cutting out the more graphic sexual descriptions so that under 18's could enjoy it too.

Review Disclaimer: Book provided in exchange for an honest review.

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