Friday, 6 May 2016

Book Review - The Reflections of Queen Snow White

Book Review - The Reflections of Queen Snow White
By David Meredith

'What happens when "happily ever after" has come and gone?
On the eve of her only daughter, Princess Raven's wedding, an ageing Snow White finds it impossible to share in the joyous spirit of the occasion. The ceremony itself promises to be the most glamorous social event of the decade. Snow White’s castle has been meticulously scrubbed, polished and opulently decorated for the celebration. It is already nearly bursting with jubilant guests and merry well-wishers. Prince Edel, Raven's fianc√©, is a fine man from a neighbouring kingdom and Snow White's own domain is prosperous and at peace. Things could not be better, in fact, except for one thing:
The king is dead.
The queen has been in a moribund state of hopeless depression for over a year with no end in sight. It is only when, in a fit of bitter despair, she seeks solitude in the vastness of her own sprawling castle and climbs a long disused and forgotten tower stair that she comes face to face with herself in the very same magic mirror used by her stepmother of old.
It promises her respite in its shimmering depths, but can Snow White trust a device that was so precious to a woman who sought to cause her such irreparable harm? Can she confront the demons of her own difficult past to discover a better future for herself and her family? And finally, can she release her soul-crushing grief and suffocating loneliness to once again discover what "happily ever after" really means?
Only time will tell as she wrestles with her past and is forced to confront The Reflections of Queen Snow White.'

This book was kindly sent to me by the author, David Meredith, who requested that I write a review, so after much enjoyment, here it is.

The Writing - David's writing is very good, the story moves forwards at a reasonable pace without sounding rushed and he utilises a wide and descriptive vocabulary through the work. The story is written in third person from the perspective of Snow White herself which makes for easy reading and opens the door for a lot of character insight. Occasionally David switches to another character's perspective which can help to paint a larger picture of the emotions throughout the story. Due to the nature of the story it is very emotional, following Snow White on a journey of self discovery, the likes of which many of us have to face at some point or other but would probably rather not tell others about. The emotionality of the book, however, I think is a big plus. David goes into detail describing not just the obvious emotions one would feel in a given situation but also the range of emotions and the flashes of contradicting emotions that often cause such confusion in troubled times. This can make for hefty reading at times but I think is very true to how people often feel in reality.
There were some areas of dialogue that I felt were unnecessarily long and repetitive and there were areas of text that were, in places, grammatically incorrect, or which featured several spelling mistakes, but overall I felt that the story was told well. 

The Plot - As I have previously mentioned this story followed the emotional journey of Queen Snow White as she looks inwards to discover her own strength in moving forwards after the death of her husband. I think this is a wonderful concept, proving that strength is there if only you look for it. The storyline of this work is slightly different, although it still flows from start to finish, in a lot of the book find Snow White in the same setting but looking back into her memories. This is a very interesting way of telling a story and a very honest and revealing way of diving into the character. I think David has expertly crafted the events throughout Snow White's life that have lead to her present self and her current predicament. He has lead on beautifully from what we already know from the classic fairytale and has reshaped her life in a way that both follows the original story and shines a new light on to it. As you read through the book and discover the events throughout her life you really feel that you get to know Snow White in a very personal way, sharing in both her joys and her hardships. At the end of the story we see Snow White reclaiming her strength and becoming a mother to her daughter once again which is a lovely heart-warming ending.

The Characters - Most of the story was told through the eyes of Snow White as she reflected back over her life and the events that lead her to where she is now. Through this I felt as if I was really getting to know the character in a very personal way, sharing in her joys, her worry and her sadness, and gaining a deeper understanding on what lead to her current state of unending grief. Seeing her finding her strength again at the end of the story was lovely. I thought that the other characters in the book were also well written and interesting. Erfreut especially was a favourite of mine, having a dual personality (one as the Queen's advisor and one as her friend) which was at times quite amusing. The character of Prince Charming was also written very well. Following the traditional fairytale idea of Prince Charming he was kind, just, affectionate and loyal to the core. Other non-central characters were interspersed well and I thought had the correct effect on the story at the time.
The character I found most interesting was that of the mirror, for it was most definitely a character, yet one that could only reflect what was in front of it. I found myself developing a liking for the mirror as it persevered in showing Snow White what she often did not want to see and I thought that David gave it a very strong voice when asking it was asking Snow White well crafted questions. 

Overall I found this to be a very good read. Due to the level of description I felt that I could connect with Snow White as a character and I very much enjoyed a fresh take on a well-known fairytale.

The book is available as a kindle edition from Amazon Here.

Rach x

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