The Fairest of Them All by Carolyn Turgeon
I am completely at fault for not reviewing this earlier even though I’ve had it on my shelf and received it from the publisher for review. To that extent, I would like to apologize to the publisher and the author. I would also like to say that even though I got this book for free, my opinions are my own and in no way are they influenced by anyone involved in the for-profit ventures of this book.
The preface to this book is great and while the idea is not all the original to smash a few different fairytales together, this is one of the only ones which puts two ‘princesses’ into conflict. There are some crazy jumps in reason, but don’t all fairytales have that? For example, Rapunzel follows Mathena and believes everything that Mathena says until Rapunzel falls in love with the prince and suddenly Rapunzel isn’t the obedient daughter anymore, she will go against all that Mathena says. Mathena gives magical herbs to induce magical amnesia is another one that I couldn’t wrap my head around. Lastly, the utter idiocy of Rapunzel in the first few years of her life is just headache inducing.
Despite all these weird starts, the author does an amazing job growing Rapunzel as a character. You could really tell that Rapunzel struggles after marrying the prince, now king. Subtly the book speaks a lot of how society can ruin even the most pure and innocent of hearts when they’re under enough pressure.
This was not a retelling of Rapunzel and Snow White to the tee. That is good! You can tell that the author put a lot of thought into how these two female characters would mesh into each other lives and each others’ fairytales. It may not be the light fairytale that you were hoping for, but it is certainly an intriguing story and one for the adults who have grown up, but still want to revisit all those stories from when they were young.