Books, YA

Fairest Of All (Villains #1) by Serena Valentino Book Review

The words wounded deeper than the bruises and the scars from any physical pain he inflicted on me. At least those wounds healed.”

Excerpt from:
Serena Valentino
Fairest of All
Synopsis from Goodreads

The tale of the young princess and her evil stepmother, the Wicked Queen, is widely known. Despite a few variations from telling to telling, the story remains the same—the Queen was jealous of the girl’s beauty, and this jealousy culminated in the Queen’s attempt on the sweet, naive girl’s life.

Another tale far less often spoken of is the one that explains what caused the Queen to become so contemptuously vile. Still, some have attempted to guess at the reason. Perhaps the Queen’s true nature was that of a wicked hag and her beautiful, regal appearance a disguise used to fool the King. Others claim that the Queen might have hated the girl for her resemblance to the King’s first wife. Mostly, the Queen is painted as a morally abhorrent woman who never loved another being during the course of her miserable life.

In fact, the theories about exactly what cause the Queen’s obsessive vanity and jealous rage are too numerous to catalog. This book recounts a version of the story that has remained untold until now. It is a tragic tale of love and loss, and it contains a bit of magic. It is a tale of the Wicked Queen…

Fairy tales are my absolute favorite.. When I was in first grade, I remember seeing a classmate carrying this fairy tale book. Perhaps it was the point at which I began to like reading, since I asked my uncle to get me a fairy tale book, and because he was delighted and pleased that I was asking a book rather than a toy at that time, he purchased a large book of fairy tales that included all of the princess stories. So when I spotted this book, last three years ago, my eyes twinkled. I was desperate to get my hands on this book. It is, in fact, a book collection of stories about fairy tale villains. I’ve owned this book bundle for quite some time, and because I traveled overseas to work and wasn’t able to bring my book collection with me, I simply started reading all of those just now and this came on my radar, and started reading it with a really high expectations.

I’d like to know the backstory behind every fairy tale’s evil queens and characters since I believe that everyone has some good in them and that not all villains started out as monsters. As a result, Serena Valentino’s first fairy tale villain novel chronicles the narrative of the wicked queen in Snow White. This one-day read has a certain allure. The speed with which I consumed this book astonished me. This is a series for Disney lovers like me who are familiar with the stories but may have overlooked a few details. I discovered a lot about the Queen’s history, and it clearly changes the way I think about her. In this work, the author portrays a sensitive and genuine character. I understood that she is not the archetypal wicked stepmother cherished in fairy tales and beyond, but rather a person who struggles with very genuine emotions of sadness and insecurities.

The writing was excellent, and it flowed along swiftly for me. Each chapter’s conclusion piqued my interest and gave excellent imagery for my mind. Though Snow White is my least favorite fairy tale, this narrative of the evil queen piqued my interest. The accents and overall design were wonderful. For me, the scenery was also incredibly vivid. I could truly see the characters. I felt like I was transported back in time to when I was a child, reading those fairy tales but seeing the villains for the first time. I absolutely adored it. My imagination grew so strong that I imagined myself there.

I can say that this slightly darker retelling was a wonderful twist for the adult me who still wanted to love that fairy tale kind of stuff, and as a result, I definitely suggest it to every child at heart out there. You’ll love it just as much as you loved the Disney fairy tales.

My Overall Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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