I love fairy tales. I loved them as a child, I loved them growing up and I love them even more as an adult and a student of literature. What I have also grown to love is a twist on the traditional fairy tale, which is exactly what David Meredith’s The Reflections of Snow White is.
The book actually begins with Queen Snow White mourning the death of Prince Charming one year after his passing. We are years beyond the happily ever after and the Queen is far from the young princess we recognise in the original fairy tale. She has lived a long and happy life with her husband but is struggling to deal with her loss of him, despite her daughter’s upcoming nuptials.
However, upon finding her stepmother’s magic mirror Snow White is transported back to relive her memories and discover the true strength within her. We see her suffering at the hands of the wicked Lady Arglist, we share her terrified journey into the dark forest, and we experience the joy and relief as Prince Charming cures her of her poisoned state.
The narrative jumps back and forth in time without being jarring. I did start to feel less than a little patient with Snow White as she continued to ignore the mirror’s advice, but just as my patience ran out she made the final realisation that resulted in her moment of true reflection (pun intended). The Snow White that was at the end of the book was much more what I expected than the morose lump we first meet.
My biggest problem with the book was the names. The likes of Arglist and Garion have an air of the unfamiliar we come to expect in fairy tales. However, I was soon confronted with the likes of Erfreut, Gewissenhoft and, my favourite of them all, Prince Charming Von Gerechtigkeit Von Freide Von Gnadenbrot, Crowned Prince of Geschictia. Thankfully, this one appeared only once but the impossible to pronounce place names kept appearing and only really caused to break the flow of the story and irritate me.
All in all, this book is a lot of fun and gives an interesting slant on what happens after the happily ever after. There is love, politics, and a strong princess who loses her way. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it highly.
The Reflections of Queen Snow White by David Meredith is available for Kindle download from Amazon.