Guys, I love fairytale retellings. I love fairytales and all these retellings are just adding that extra bit of depth to them that I so, SO love! And The Fairest of Them All was definitely a lot darker than the original tale!
I love that Carolyn Turgeon is combining two of my favourite fairytales: Snow White and Rapunzel. And seriously, we're told in the summary that Rapunzel turns into Snow White's evil stepmother, but really, I was so rooting for that girl! She had an unconventional upbringing by Mathena Gothel and actually had amazing abilities with also a really cool link to her hair. Mathena teaches her basic herbal treatments and some spells, women mainly visit them looking for a cure to their heartache.
Rapunzel mainly grows up surrounded by women and it pretty naive in spite of her hearing about other women's heartache over men and I could see how she would get carried away when she met the prince. I mean, sure, it all progresses VERY quickly, they forget to actually forge a relationship before falling into bed together. And of course, things can't end well and the prince ends up leaving to marry another girl, leaving Rapunzel heartbroken.
This experience and some of the awful things that happen to her after really shape the rest of Rapunzel's life. And I can understand how she could change into a less kind person. She has to be to get what she wants and she's been hurt herself. The mirror really does urge the jealousy on and Rapunzel gets caught up in it.
And then we have Snow White. Who I LOVED when she first enters the scene as a little girl, but then she changes as well and it's easy to see how Rapunzel, who I felt really wanted to love her, would develop a grudge against her. It's easy to see how things spiral out of control from there and it's a bit scary as well, because it makes the traditional evil queen seem so human.
I love how everything unfolds at the end, I love the dark twists to this beloved fairytales and I love how Carolyn Turgeon made it all come together and that ending! Seriously! That still kinda broke my heart, though it's also filled with a little hope for the future. This is definitely recommended, though keep in mind there is some very mature content.
My rating: 4 stars
Made me crave: rhubarb