‘True strength is when you have a lot to cry about, but you choose to smile and take another step forward.’
David Meredith was kind enough to gift me a free copy of his book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions stated in this review are my own.
The first problem I faced with The Reflections of Queen Snow White came after I finished reading the book. If you did not know, last year I did an ‘Academy Book Awards’ where I basically awarded certain books with certain prizes based on those of the Academy Awards. I will be doing one again this year, as well as a favourite books post. However, I ended up forgetting about books last year and in order to prevent that from happening at the end of the year, I am doing at as I go. One of the awards a book can get is the best book in it’s target audience range (middle grade, YA, new adult, adult). I was trying to place this book for that purpose and couldn’t decide whether to go with New Adult of Adult. My problem here arose from the fact that a large portion of this book is told in flashbacks to when Queen Snow White was younger… but not all of it. In the end I decided to go with NA just because I read more adult than new adult and then I would have a book there. But in conclusion, I don’t really know where to place this.
The Reflections of Queen Snow White is a fantasy novel. It is not a straight retelling of Snow White. Instead, it is told from a middle-aged Snow White’s perspective after her husband has died. David Meredith, as there were a lot of flashbacks throughout the book, did technically retell Snow White, but this story comes partially after the events of Snow White. I am quite obviously horrible at summaries, but basically… Queen Snow White is going through a tough time and she stumbles across the mirror of her evil stepmother. In this story it isn’t evil and instead shows the truth that one already knows but can’t face/see. A large portion of this book is Snow White talking to the mirror and experiencing her memories through it and learning about herself. The rest of the book is about Snow White learning from those memories. The book is set over a couple of days or so and is very short, but also quite powerful in message.
I often hesitate when a book has a lot of dreams or flashbacks in it as I tend to get annoyed and want to just get on with the story. However, I am glad I took the chance with this book as I ended up really appreciating both the flashbacks and the other storyline. The flashbacks were engaging and interesting, rather than stale or boring and the main storyline supported the flashbacks, rather than drawing my attention away from them. The beginning and end of the story, where there was quite a bit of description as well as symbolism was both eloquently described and beautifully worded. The rest of the book, whilst still well written was somewhat more casual and less formal, which worked with the progression of the tone and voice of the narrator.
I really appreciated how David Meredith made Snow White a stronger character than she typically was in the original story, but still made her vulnerable and wove the two different ideas of Snow White together in a way that made for a flawed, yet realistic character. The character development throughout this book was exceptionally written, not overbearing or too quick and definitely inspiring and thought-provoking.
In conclusion, this was a wonderfully written and intriguing book. As a warning, there is one sexually explicit scene in one of the flashbacks, but it was, in my opinion, not uneccessary. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an alternate version of a fairytale retelling. I gave this book 4.5 stars.