Book: Mirror Mirror

Mirror Mirror is probably the most elusive book Of Gregory Maguire. I had such a hard time finding it in the library. As the title suggests, this time he retells the tale of Snow White and the seven dwarfs, with a dose of The Borgia. Who are they you ask? My question exactly. I had to go look them up, but through the book you do learn a good deal about their family and all the sordid details. It’s quite scandalous.

Mirror mirror

I absolutely adore this cover. It’s really pretty and the colour just makes me tingle.

The retelling is interesting. I love how it’s set in Italy (seeing how I just went there). The inclusion of The Borgia make the story much more entertaining. The plot follows the original to a large degree, but the devil is in the details. I think that there was too much going on in the book. There were so many characters to keep track of, there were even more elements that made the story unfamiliar. This is not uncommon for Maguire, but there was already the addition of Borgia, then the quest for the holy relic, the ambiguity of the dwarfs and all the conspiracies that came with the Borgia. It was too much to take in and detracted from the main story.

Most of Maguire’s books are character driven. Like how Wicked focused on Elphaba and Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister was from Iris’s point of view. This book was all over the place. It switched from “Snow White” – Bianca, to her father, to the evil witch  – “Lucrezia Borgia”. It made it less compelling and there was no time for an attachment to form. I couldn’t care less about Bianca, I was too busy trying to figure what was happening.

Still, I’m glad I’ve read this book. It’s been on my to read list, for far too long. And although it’s not my favourite book of Maguire’s, it was an interesting retelling. Personally I wouldn’t recommend this book, unless you really like the original as well as the Borgia family and if you’re a fan of Maguire’s work.


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