Have you ever wondered what happens after “happily ever after”? In The Reflections of Queen Snow White, David Meredith looks at the life of Snow White after her marriage to Prince Charming and the death of her evil stepmother.
(From Goodreads) 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?
The Reflections of Queen Snow White turns the story we’re all familiar with (in some form or another) on it’s head. I don’t remember much from my reading of the original fairy tale, but this book reminded me a lot of some of the darker themes present in most of the Grimm’s Brothers stories. I enjoyed the idea behind this book, and thought the basic plot was pretty original.
There’s a fine line between writing that is noticeably good and writing that overwhelms the story. David Meredith toes that line, but I think he’s successful in keeping his floral prose under control. I tend to be pretty picky about writing (as you might know), and I found the writing in this book to be very enjoyable. It fit the tone of the story well, and the imagery was great. I would definitely read another one of his books!
Though I did enjoy the book overall, I did have a few issues with it. The biggest was that the pacing was just too slow for me. It was a struggle to slog through it at timed. I can’t quite put my finger on why it felt so slow, because there isn’t much downtime in the plot. I also didn’t care for the sex scene, mostly because it was unexpectedly graphic. I love a good sex scene, and have read some books that are borderline erotica, but this one felt so out of place with the rest of the story that I had a hard time enjoying it.
The characters themselves seemed to stay true to the original fairy tale. I would have liked to see them go a bit darker; something about them gave me the impression of good kids trying to hard to be rebels. But I did enjoy the fact that, since this isn’t a retelling, it’s a continuation of the original fairy tale, it was easy to imagine them as the same characters without too much concession.
I enjoyed this book, but it wasn’t a favorite. I think the story itself was interesting. But, for being such a short book, the pacing was at times barely enough to keep me reading. It’s only 155 pages, but it took me months to read, which made me less enthusiastic about it overall. I’d recommend it if you’re a Snow White fanatic or if you’re looking for a story about what happens after the fairy tale ends.
If you’ve read The Reflections of Snow White, let me know what you think in the comments!
This book was kindly provided to me by the author in exchange for my unbiased review.