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


Continuing on with my Disney books series, I picked up Fairest of All; the backstory of the Wicked Queen from Snow White. It launches straight into her story, she was admired by the King who asked for her hand in marriage and she accepted not only to be his wife and Queen but to be a second mother to Snow White. The Queen is left alone for long periods of time while her husband is away at battle and after receiving a beautiful mirror as a wedding gift made by her late father; she starts to notice all is not right.

I was particularly excited to get my hands on this book as I am a fan of the TV show Once Upon A Time that introduces our favourite heroes and villains into the real world and the Evil Queen is one of my favourite characters. I am not necessarily a huge fan of the Snow White movie but seeing the wicked queen in a new light brings more of an understanding to why she was motivated to kill Snow White. It makes her more human compared to the evil witch with no morals and conscience that we all know and recognise.

One trait that flowed from reading The Beast Within is that the writing is smooth and the pace compliments the plot. Each chapter flows into the next easily and the book is very hard to put down. There is a constant curiosity and tension from page to page that keeps you moving through the plot. Despite knowing the original stories these characters stemmed from there is little overlap and it’s interesting the see from the point of view of the villainous character especially in the renowned and tense moments. In this instance when Snow White is given a red shiny apple to try leading to her eternal sleep.

The characters in this book are very well written and likeable, it’s hard not to feel sorry for the Queen from what she has been through and for what happens after. Her lack of self-confidence and her father’s treatment created in her a fearful and negative image of herself which continued to fester over time. As for Snow White she is portrayed as the sweet and loving character we know from the movies and more. It was interesting to watch their relationship develop from a loving mother and child to one riddled with fear and cracks.

I found this book consistent with The Beast Within, it was fast paced, easy to read and I actually finished it in one sitting. There are no boring points to the plot and it’s non-stop from the first page. I gave it a 5 out of 5 stars on goodreads because it was everything I could have hoped for and more. I am really enjoying this look at the Disney ‘villains’ so to speak and humanising their actions and past. I have one more book to read in this collection so far which is all about Ursula, it took so long to arrive in the post that I am so happy it is finally here. It was released in summer last year so I’m hoping they will continue with this series and release another this year.


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