Grade – B+
Hotness Level – Ember
Kink Level – None
Genre – Fairytale
Series – Accidental Enchantments #2
Reviewed by Anne
I have a fondness for fairytale retellings, especially in the romance genre. I’ve always got an eye out for them. I remember reading The Sevenfold Spell in 2011. (Kate’s review of us just went up yesterday.) It was a Sleeping Beauty retelling from a different point of view, and I enjoyed it. So, when I saw Tea Nevitt had written a new story with her twist on Snow White, I was really looking forward to reading it. I wasn’t disappointed!
In this story, we see how the Snow White events unfold as told primarily through the eyes of Richard, the man magically bound to the Evil Stepmother Queen’s mirror, and Gretchen, the seventh dwarf. Richard must answer three questions from the Queen each sunrise and sunset when she calls on him through the mirror. He must answer these questions truthfully. He has taken to wandering through the countryside and staying away from people in order to avoid having knowledge that may get those people in trouble. He hopes to someday find and destroy the mirror enslaving him.
Gretchen is the only dwarf in her small town. Though much loved by her family, she feels like a social outcast. When a traveling minstrel tells the tale of a farm run by dwarves, Gretchen decides she will go there and see if she might have a better life living on the farm. She’s also curious to see if anyone else in the world truly looks like her.
Richard and Gretchen’s storylines run in parallel, only overlapping toward the end of the book. Richard finally finds his way to the city that houses the Queen and the mirror. There he meets Snow White and falls in love, not with her legendary beauty, but the wonderful person she is.
Gretchen meanwhile is very much enjoying life on the farm with the other dwarves and has decided to choose a husband from the four available men. She also becomes friends with Angelika (Snow White).
I really enjoyed the way their stories unfolded and finally intertwined. It’s a really clever retelling of the Snow White story. My favorite part of the book was the way a princess really wakes up from a magically induced sleeping spell. (Hint: it’s not with a stretch and a smile.) The Queen’s handling of Richard was deliciously evil. She would never put him in a prison. She knows he’s most miserable and of most use to her wandering her kingdom.
There were a couple negatives in the story for me. The way Angelika’s aunt and uncle treat her didn’t seem to have a place in the story. I wanted a better (more vengeful, perhaps?) ending for the Queen. I didn’t like Rudolf, one of the dwarves, and felt like the story would have been better without him.
Overall, though, I really enjoyed this twist on Snow White, the two romances in it, the look at inner and outer beauty, and the cleverness of thinking about the enchanted mirror from a different point of view. I enjoyed it enough that I can’t even complain about the lack of on page sex. (There was none! But I’m not complaining, just mentioning.) I recommend this book.