“You made a choice to change your life. You decided that you would no longer be ruled by your fear.”
Notice: I received an Audible code for this book directly from the author in exchange for a review. This does not affect my opinions of the work.
Notice: this is an adult fantasy retelling with themes of explicit sex and graphic depiction of child abuse and neglect.
What happens when “happily ever after” has come and gone?
On the eve of her only daughter, Princess Raven’s wedding, an aging 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 fiancé, is a fine man from a neighboring 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.
Though it has been quite some time since I’ve listened to an audiobook, my experiences with them have been pleasant this far. So when I received an email requesting an audiobook review, my interest was piqued. That combined with the fact that the book is a Disney princess retelling? I couldn’t have been more thrilled.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The Reflections of Queen Snow White is all about Snow White’s seemingly indestructible grief over the death of her husband Prince Charming. The book opens with her sitting on her throne being briefed by one of her nobles while wistfully gazing at the empty throne beside her.
In a fit of restlessness driven by grief, Snow White wanders her vast castle in search for something to rid her internal pain. That is when she finds herself in her stepmother’s old bedroom where the mirror lies.
That is how this story begins.
This book is narrated by Robin Waters and I truly think she was the perfect compliment to David Meredith’s immersive writing. Robin seamlessly voices separate characters in a way that makes them feel alive, distinct, and present in the room with you. Additionally, David’s vivid descriptions of the setting was beautifully complimented by Robin’s narration. I could picture Snow White’s castle grounds and the atmosphere outside. I could feel the coarseness of her winter clothes and the lightness of spring air.
Robin’s evocative narration eliminated all worries I had going into listening to this book. Particularly, I was concerned that I’d feel as though I wouldn’t know what I had just read by the time the book was done. Worry not if you choose to listen to this book: you will remember it.
With narration praise aside, you may wonder what this book feels like if you choose to read it physically instead of listening. As I mentioned, David’s writing is moving and emotional. One thing to absolutely note about The Reflections of Queen Snow White is that the name is quite telling of the story’s plot: the entire book is Snow White reflecting on her life through her stepmother’s old mirror.
In that sense, this book is very much driven by character introspection and not necessarily a moving storyline. However, the retrospection of it all is a plotline of the past, and an emotional one at that. You witness Snow White’s past including the graphic abuse and neglect she endured from her stepmother. You witness multiple lowest of lows and highest of highs, and by the end of it all, you are brought right back to the present moment.
A retrospective storyline may not be everyone’s ideal narration style. I, however, loved every moment of it. Witnessing Snow White come to multiple revelations and healing was my idea of a perfect retelling to this story.
“If you don’t mind my asking, my queen, and I’m certainly not complaining, what happened?”
“I took a long look in the mirror, my friend.”
Again, thank you so much to David Meredith for sending me an Audible code to listen and review this book! Until next time.