Saturday, May 30, 2009

Rating : 4.0/5
Number of Pages : 280
Format : Fairy Tale/Fantasy Novel
Reason for Reading : 999 Challenge

This is an adult re-telling of Snow White. Set in Montefiore, Bianca de Nevada is 7 at the beginning of the tale living as an only child with her father after her mother died. Keeping her company are a potty mouthed cook Primavera Vecchia and not so holy Priest Far Ludovico. One day a noble couple come to visit, brother and sister Cesare Borgia and Lucrezia. There has been much speculation that Lucrezia had an inapprioriate relationship with their father, the Pope, and she has definitely had/is having one with her brother despite them both being married.

Cesare sends Bianca's father off to retrieve a sacred branch from the original Tree of Knowledge said to have 3 apples still growing upon it. They will make sure Bianca is ok while he is gone. He has no choice but to leave her behind and is followed unbeknownst to him by a dwarf. Lucrezia finds a beautiful mirror that Bianca's father found and uses it to see other people and places. She is upset with Cesar makes a pass at Bianca and feels her looks are fading, so sends Primavera's son out to the woods to kill Bianca and bring back her heart. He lets her go and she wakes up years later in a cave surrounded by dwarves.

This was a great tale. The dwarves were my favourites, they were so inhuman and well described. Definitely not the Disney versions with the more appealing names, these have names like Bitter, Nextday and Heartless. Like I said, it's definitely not intended for children. There was a really interesting section at the very end where Maguire talks about some of the history of the real Cesar and Lucrezia and where he got his ideas from which was fascinatinb. Definitely recommended.


katrina said...

This sounds great, I had heard some negative reviews so had steered clear, think I may see if I can bookmooch this now.
Have a good week

Kailana said...

Maguire is rather hit or miss with me. I might give this one a try, though

Alice said...

This one sounds great!

Ladytink_534 said...

I know I read this but I don't remember much about it. I don't think I liked it a whole lot but I could be thinking about one of his other books.

Ana S. said...

Definitely one I'll have to read. Fairy tales and Maguire, how can it not be awesome?