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Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen

Review

Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen

We've heard the tale of Maleficent and how her story came to be misinterpreted by the masses but what about the Evil Queen? Nobody is born evil but everybody can become malicious and The Queen is no exception.

Once upon a time there was a humble young woman that could not bear to live with herself. It was impossible to think she was anything but a wicked girl, after all The Queen’s whole life revolved around the one thing that seems to matter in this world --- beauty. With a father who hated her and a mother she never met it was easy for The Queen to believe she was truly the worst abomination in the entire world. Then one day, a charming King --- the most beautiful man in all of the lands --- took an interest in her and that was when her bliss began. She didn't know it at the time, but this would unlock a wickedness she never knew she possessed.

Fans of Disney princesses will absolutely fall for Valentino’s twist on the age old classic Snow White. Valentino gives the Queen a chance to explain her actions and it works out as perfectly as one could imagine.

"Fans of Disney princesses will absolutely fall for Valentino’s twist on the age old classic Snow White. Valentino gives the Queen a chance to explain her actions and it works out as perfectly as one could imagine."

Bookworms or even occasional readers that enjoyed the Maleficent movie, have to add FAIREST OF ALL to their list of favorites. Similarly, if you love the Lunar Chronicles as much as I do, FAIREST OF ALL will move you to the core. It doesn't explore the modern version of the princesses but it does explore the story of somebody that has always been seen as evil. The Queen’s perspective was told in such a way that it makes one sympathize with her. As evil as she seemed in the original tale, this story is one that cannot go untold. Although it was based on a fairy tale, her emotions are far from being things of fantasy. Everybody has lived with the torment of their vain demons whether they use magic potions to tame them or not. Underneath the royal and magical attributes The Queen is as much a human being as all of us and FAIREST OF ALL sets out to prove it.

The book was simple and straightforward with enough twists to keep one entertained but not so many turns that readers will be lost. It is perfect for anybody who is looking for a fast read or is just venturing into chapter books without pictures. Even so, there is depth in the story if one looks closely enough. An important message in the book is that no matter how strong somebody think they are, weaknesses can reach everybody. The Queen struggles with her self image and desperately seeks approval from the person who scorned her the most. She finds refuge in what haunted her during her age of happiness. This is a situation everybody may find themselves in because of the expectations weighing on them. She had always been beautiful and so similar to her mother according to others but what good was that when it all seemed like lies.

The Queen proves to be capricious as she rapidly goes from being cold and jealous to being warm and guilty. This created occasional holes in the story but they could easily be overlooked. Overall the entire book was heartwarming to the point that it made me feel that it was pity to see The Queen go. Serena Valentino perfectly displays the way in which we can live our entire lives in the dark and only realize the fault in this until the end. The author brilliantly contrasts the two ways a person can honor the memory of a loved one: the first is to drown in the rain of sorrow and misery while the second is to look forward to the rainbow. Even though the saying goes that it is never too late to change, FAIREST OF ALL encourages us to live life to the fullest instead of cutting it short. After all, there is no use in regretting anything when the end is inevitable.

Reviewed by Flor H., Teen Board Member on August 17, 2017

Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen
by Serena Valentino