It’s the 3rd day of the Magic Mirrors blog tour and I’m excited to be reviewing twice, both today and tomorrow!
What are the Magic Mirrors, you ask?
The Magic Mirrors are seven retellings of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by six different authors, each unique in tone, setting, and moral. From the light hearted and twisted to dark reimagining to futuristic mashups to non-magical historical fiction, this collection has something in it for every reader.
And even better, there’s a giveaway for 5 paperbacks from the tour! To see the full tour schedule and enter the giveaway (US only), please visit the tour host, Kendra E. Ardnek or click on the graphic below!
And now for my review!
Blurb: Her destiny is decided — but betrayal breaks even the best-laid plans.
Baili, the princess of the Kingdom of Seven Rivers, has always known what her future holds. Declared the fairest of all by the fabled Dragonglass, she is destined to fulfill an ancient prophecy and unite her homeland with its long-time enemy, the Kingdom of Three Peaks. And in doing so, she may save her country from death and ruin.
In order to fulfill her destiny, Baili must travel to the Kingdom of Three Peaks and marry its prince, Liu Xiang. But all Baili’s plans and expectations are turned upside-down when her servants and soldiers, acting on her stepmother’s orders, turn against her on the road. Baili narrowly escapes with her life, but she’s left alone and adrift among strangers.
Fortunately, Baili finds refuge in the home of seven animal keepers: servants and slaves to the emperor of Three Peaks. Yet time is running out. Her servants’ rebellion was only a small part of a much larger plot. Within weeks, her stepmother plans to unite the two kingdoms, not by contract, but by conquest. Baili must reclaim her rightful place and unite not just two kingdoms but many peoples in order to stop the plan. And if she fails, two kingdoms will be plunged into ruin.
Sure to delight lovers of fantasy and fairy tales, this rich and magical Asian-inspired adventure combines Snow White and The Goose Girl in a way you’ve never seen before.
I never would have guessed that The Goose Girl and Snow White would lend themselves so well to blending but Blood in the Snow by Sarah Pennington did a fantastic job.
The way the magical fantasy aspects were woven to integrate the two original sources was clever. The magical blood gifts those of royal blood bear were fascinating and my favorite part of the story. And the cultures of the various countries represented were interesting and varied. If Pennington chooses to write more fairy-tale mashups set in this world, I’d read them in a heartbeat.
The story leaves you happy and satisfied but I would have wished for just a little bit more. More magic – the dragonglass was under utilized and while I loved the blood gifts, I would have liked to understand them better, especially as they applied to the villain of the story. More romance – it’s sweet but understated. (You can never have enough romance!) And a touch more editing – there were a couple spots that were slightly confusing and the Asian setting never felt permanent – chopsticks, robes, and such were mentioned but the majority of the time, it felt like a traditional fairy tale setting.
But overall this was a fun, unique, clean story recommended for anyone who enjoys fairy tales and mashups!
If you’d like to read the opening chapter, click here to read it at the author’s blog! Check back in tomorrow where I will be sharing about one of my favorite authors (and friends!) Heather LL Fitzgerald and her retelling titled, For Such a Time as This!
Tell me – what fairy tale mashup would you most like to read?
Sarah Pennington has been writing stories since before she actually knew how to write, and she has no intention of stopping anytime soon. She is perpetually in the middle of writing at least one or two novels, most of which are in the fantasy and fairy tale retelling genres. Sarah’s first published work, Blood in the Snow, received a perfect score and Special Unicorn status in Rooglewood Press’s Five Poisoned Apples contest. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys knitting, photography, and trying to conquer her massive to-be-read list.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I voluntarily read an advanced reader copy by the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.