Format: Trade Paperback
Pub. Date: 9/28/2004
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Type: Fiction, Fantasy ~ Free book
Gregory Maguire has taken the story of Snow White and transplanted it into 16th century Italy. He has changed her name to Bianca de Nevada and made her the daughter of Don Vicente, an expatriate Spanish widower, the roll of the evil queen is played by Lucrezia Borgia, who is lovely and vain. Her brother (and sometimes lover) Cesare sends Don Vicente on a quest, Bianca is left in the care of Lucrezia.
Have you noticed in fairy tales, the good mother dies and the loving father remarries a witch? Then the father is oblivious that his child is being mistreated by her step-mother? For that reason I was glad of how this fairy tale was rewritten. In this account, the father is forced to leave his child in the care of someone he does not trust, from afar he makes an effort to protect his daughter, upon his return he learns he was not successful and goes in search of her. The history of the Borgia’s is both borrowed from and twisted into the mold of the fairy tale, all the elements of the fairy tale are there, the magic mirror, the dwarves, the hunter with the task of killing the beautiful young girl (perceived to be a threat by the evil step- ), and a poisoned apple.
The book jumps around some, not being familiar with Gregory Maguire’s work, I had trouble following it, especially with the very short chapters and changes in narrators. There are still some things I didn’t quite understand, however, I still enjoyed reading this. I’m also not familiar with the history of the Borgia’s and am now interested in reading about them.
This was a diversion from all my books on serial killers and sexual sadists. It was a rather quick read and readers who enjoy fantasy would probably enjoy it.