Fairest of All by Serena Valentino

Image result for fairest of all book cover

Title: Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen
Author: Serena Valentino
Series: Villains #1
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Fairy tales, Fantasy, Villains
Dates read: 4th – 16th January 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Disney Press
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: Given what Snow has already told us of them, I would advise we keep a close watch on the sisters, for I do not trust them.

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The tale of the young princess Snow White 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 caused the Queen’s obsessive vanity and jealous rage are too numerous to catalogue. 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…


I bought the first three books of this series on a whim because I saw their pretty covers on someone’s Facebook page. Normally I do a little research into a series before I do this. But I mostly just got a little bit too overexcited and just went for it. And I’m really glad that I did! This story takes the original Disney version of Snow White and gives it so many glorious twists and turns that leaves you understanding and sympathising with the villain. One of the scariest villains of my childhood for that matter – the Wicked Queen.

I was expecting a story that justified the Queen’s actions in the well-known Disney version fairy tale. What I wasn’t expecting was for the story to continue on beyond her turning, and to her actual decision making that occurs throughout the entire movie. And even continued on beyond the happily-ever-after. It gave the story a much more intense and intriguing storyline that I just wasn’t expecting.

Although you know that there isn’t really going to be a happily ever after, you still kind of hope for one. Valentino is just that good at inspiring sympathy for a villain. I haven’t had the fortune to read many villain-based tales and I thought that this was a great start into the sub- genre. Especially when considering that this is based on one of the best-known fairy tales. And it uses the Disney version which is the retellings most commonly recognised.

Throughout this story, my heart bled for the Queen. I was so incredibly attached to her and loved that although she turns evil as expected, you could understand more and more why she ended up that way. I can’t wait to pick up The Beast Within and find out how Valentino spins that tale.

 <- The Odd Sisters ReviewThe Beast Within Review ->
Image source: Disney Publishing Worldwide

14 thoughts on “Fairest of All by Serena Valentino

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