My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Published: October 10th, 2017
Publisher: Random BFYR
Recommended Age: 8+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Fairytale Retelling, Fantasy, Siblings, Family
Snow and Rose didn’t know they were in a fairy tale. People never do…. Once, they lived in a big house with spectacular gardens and an army of servants. Once, they had a father and mother who loved them more than the sun and moon. But that was before their father disappeared into the woods and their mother disappeared into sorrow. This is the story of two sisters and the enchanted woods that have been waiting for them to break a set of terrible spells.
Now, this book is lovely, alright? It has so very darling illustrations inside that actually illustrate what you want to see, not what’s easiest for the illustrator to illustrate.
Rose & Snow are lovely as well. I wouldn’t mind having them as my two daughters in some alternative fantasy universe. They are different from each other, one more responsible than the other, and yet they are both endearing.
I also liked the fairy tale vibe. Of course, this is a fairy tale retelling, so one would expect such a vibe to be included, but you’d be surprised by the amount of retellings that are extremely dry and sometimes magic-less.
That’s the good part. Now let’s move on to the thumbs down part.
The plot doesn’t make sense. Is there even a plot? IT’S ALL OVER THE PLACE. I know, I know, no need to shout. But what’s the point of having a library that doesn’t lend books? I don’t buy the “a library lends stories, not books’’ thing because I don’t think I’d be happy walking into my local library and be offered an ancient candelabra by the librarian instead of Harry Potter #4.
There are a bunch of under-developed secondary characters. We’re not going to mention the librarian because she serves little to no purpose. But what’s with the dwarf? I mean, he nice-ish one second – the first time the girls meet him – and then the next times he’s acting like his ass was just bit off by a squirrel. I don’t understand his motives. I don’t understand where his aggression is coming from. He is so darn one-dimensional.
I am not satisfied. I feel like this should have been a short story kind of retelling. I can bet the original fairy tale isn’t longer than 15 pages long. BECAUSE THERE IS NOT ENOUGH SUBSTANCE. The only reasons why this managed to be 200 pages long is because 1- there are illustrations inside and 2- the plot goes in 10 different directions that have trouble meeting in the middle.
But to end on a positive note, since this *was* good overall, I do so like the bear and the fact that the girls are not married off to anyone in the end, like they are in the original fairytale, making this a bit more feminist and appropriate.
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