The first book in the series, Fairest of All, is unsurprisingly about the Wicked Queen from Snow White. It is initially puzzling at first how nice the Queen herself is, actually having a strong mother-daughter bond with the tiny and adorable little child known as Princess Snow White. The Queen was not always royalty, growing up as the daughter of a mirror maker who was famous throughout the land for being the best of his trade, which caught the King’s attention. Upon meeting the Queen, the mirrors weren’t the only thing that took his interest and Valentino actually writes quite a beautiful love story between these two characters.
One of my favourite parts of the book was some of Valentino’s own characters, namely three peculiar sisters that sound as if they have walked straight out of a nightmare. Introduced as the King’s cousins, these odd ladies can be described as living dolls with piled up hair, pale skin, tiny red lips, large black dresses with tiny pointy shoes sticking out underneath. These ‘witches’, as we shall call them, are extremely mean and sadistic, delighting in teasing Snow White with vicious tales and being perhaps the main cause for the Queen’s corruption and ultimate end (that’s not a spoiler, we all know what happens at the end of the movie). Oddly enough, they are an incredibly fascinating edition to the book and I am pleased to say they continue to hover for the rest of the series.
Following on from Fairest of All are The Beast Within (the Beast from Beauty and the Beast), Poor Unfortunate Soul (Ursula from The Little Mermaid), and more recently Mistress of All Evil (Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty). But if you want to see yourself looking at the first Disney tale in an entirely new light (I know myself I can’t look at the Wicked Queen the same way ever again), find yourself a copy of this book and I guarantee you won’t be able to put it down.
Posted by Rhiannon
Catalogue link: Fairest of All