Friday, August 25, 2017

Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen by Serena Valentino

Image result for fairest of all serenaStar Rating : 5 out of 5
Content Rating : MILD

Inside Cover:
The tale of the young princess Snow White and her evil stepmother the Wicked Queen is widely known. Despite a few variations from telling to telling, the story remains the same - the Queen was jealous of the girl's beauty, and this jealousy culminated in the Queen's attempt on the sweet, naive girl's life.
Another tale far less often spoken of is the one that explaines what caused the Queen to become so contemptuously vile. Still, some have attempted to guess at the reason. Perhaps the Queen's true nature was that of a wicked hag and her beautiful regal appearnce a disguies used to fool the King. Others claim that the Queen might have hated the girl for her resemblance to the King's first wife. Mostly, the Queen is painted as a morally abhorrent woman who never loved another being during the course of her miserable life.
In fact, the theories about exactly what caused the Queen's obsessive vanity and jealous rage are too numerous to catalog. This book recounts a version of the story that has remained untold until now. It is a tragic tale of love and loss, and it contains a bit of magic. It is a tale of the Wicked Queen....

My Thoughts:
Technically, this is the first book in the series; however, I did not know it was a series when I read The Beast Within. However, it is not necessarily necessary that you read them in order but it does help with timeline events to make a little more sense. Just as my review of The Beast Within, I LOVED this book too. I may have had a little less love for the Wicked Queen, but I have always loved the Beast so my opinion is a little biased as to which book I loved more. I absolutely enjoyed getting to know the Wicked Queen and that she had such normal and humble roots; just as a baby is not born a killer, neither are our favorite villains born villains. So I love getting to even understand why the villains made the decisions that we have all seen in the Disney movies that we grew up with.

I gave this a rating of MILD. Between Fairest of  All and The Beast Within, I do believe this one is somewhere in the middle of mild and moderate (at least based on the age group that the books are intended for ages 10+). Compared to The Beast Within, this book has stronger and harsher themes throughout the story such as addiction, death and plots for murder versus just vanity and pride with some violence. Personally, I would set the age group of this book closer to 12 years old rather than the 10 years old suggested.

What I liked:
  • Backstory - Yes, the whole book is essentially like a backstory because the author is telling you how the Wicked Queen went from a queen to a "wicked" queen. So, as I go through the series, I will probably sound like a broken record because I just love getting to know how the villains came to be. 
  • Retribution - Since I do not want to spoil the ending, I will say this. I was not expecting the ending but adored the way it had ended based on the character of the Wicked Queen that I fell in love with in the beginning of the book. Also, I will say that the ending in the book is continued in the third book, Poor Unfortunate Soul, (only in a side comment by a character recalling the event) which made the ending that much more satisfying based on the new information in the third book. 

What I didn’t like:
  • Jumped progression - I will say that there is one instance, not even a page out of the whole book, that lacked a little more thought. In one chapter, when it is being seen that the queen is conforming to, what we know as, her wicked ways that it skipped some progression of that conforming. This is an exaggerated example (not a spoiler example) to understand what I mean so think that one day you are the happiest you could ever be and loving life then you wake up the next morning and decide to kill your husband.
I do realize my likes and dislikes are relatively short for this series, but I am trying not to sound too much like a broken record since there is currently three books (soon to be four, I'm beyond excited for that one that I pre-ordered it!) in the series and the books themselves are a little shorter than the average book.

Other Thoughts:
For anyone who's seen Walt Disney's Snow White, you'll know that the Wicked Queen is one evil woman! After all, it's not everyone who wants to cut out their teenage step-daughter's heart and have it delivered back in a locked keepsake box. (And even if this sort of thing is a common urge, we don't know many people who have acted upon it.)

Now, for the first time, we'll examine the life of the Wicked Queen and find out just what it is that makes her so nasty. Here's a hint: the creepy-looking man in the magic mirror is not just some random spooky visage-and he just might have something to do with the Queen's wicked ways!” -

Reviewed by Jennifer Snow

Pick up your copy at Amazon or Barnes and Noble

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