So I actually randomly stumbled upon this book and am so happy that I did. My grandmother had given me a gift card to Half Priced Books and I went there with the intention of buying a couple different books that they unfortunately did not have. So I decided to look around at the YA section to see if I could find anything that struck my fancy and I saw this title. When I pulled it off the shelf, I saw the beautiful cover and knew that I had to get it. I’m not normally one to just buy a book because of it’s cover but in this case, that’s pretty much what sold me, if anything I thought it would be a beautiful addition to my bookcase. But then I read that it was a re-imagining of the Queen’s tale from Snow White and I became even more interested in it because I love re-imaginings! As you can see above the cover itself is actually the Evil Queen’s face when she is beautiful and then when you take off the sleeve, the actual book itself is her face as the wicked witch, but I actually didn’t discover the book’s picture until after I finished reading it and decided to take the sleeve off to see if there was anything on it.
Anyway the book follows the story of the Queen (who is never actually given a name) and it starts before she is the Queen when she is just the Mirror Maker’s daughter. One day the king went to visit the most famous mirror maker in all of the lands when he stumbled upon the man’s beautiful daughter. The king became instantly smitten and promised that he would return one day, which he did after the Mirror maker had passed away. The King and the young woman fell in love and were married and the Queen not only became his wife and queen of all the land but also the stepmother of the King’s beautiful daughter, Snow White. The Queen was so ecstatic to be a mother to the little girl, who she instantly feel in love with and she was so happy to have the family she always dreamed of. But then the King had to go to war and the Queen was devastated. Luckily the King came back but only for a short while and then he had to go back to battle. This continued on for a little while and then one day the King gifts his wife with a mirror that was crafted by her father, and one night when she is alone, she believes she sees a man in the mirror. Terrified she shatters the mirror, but her husband has it repaired, not knowing the discomfort it brings her. The Queen eventually sees the man again, and she realizes it’s her father, and he tells her of the King’s death. She can’t believe it, until one of her maidservants runs into the room and confirms of the King’s death. After that the Queen becomes obsessed with the mirror and it begins to turn her from the sweet woman who was happy to be a wife and mother into the Evil Queen that we know from the fairy tale.
I love this book and the background story that it creates. I love to read stories that tell the “bad guy’s” point of view and I think this book does a great job of creating sympathy for the character, at least until she just kind of becomes completely insane. The story is wonderfully written and I’m so happy to have found it at random. And like I said before, I’m obsessed with the cover art!