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Mirror Mirror: A Novelby Gregory Maguire
Maguire's latest retelling of a classic fairy tale is Snow White set in Renaissance Italy and features Lucrezia Borgia as the wicked stepmother. Intriguing, surreal, exotic, and sensual, the author's style is mature, assured, and utterly engaging. This is not your Disney bedtime tale.
"Entertaining as all this is, it's not child's play. In the best sense, Mirror Mirror is a novel for adults that unearths our buried fascination with the primal fears and truths fairy tales contain. Through this forest of wry, sometimes bawdy humor, Maguire leaves a trail of profound reflections on the nature of identity, the persistence of love, the self-destruction of evil. Observing the last unicorn in the forest, the narrator laments, 'There was no place for much mystery in the world anymore,' but Maguire is busy making room for it." Ron Charles, The Christian Science Monitor (read the entire CSM review)
Synopses & Reviews
The year is 1502, and seven-year-old Bianca de Nevada lives perched high above the rolling hills and valleys of Tuscany and Umbria at Montefiore, the farm of her beloved father, Don Vicente. But one day a noble entourage makes its way up the winding slopes to the farm — and the world comes to Montefiore.
In the presence of Cesare Borgia and his sister, the lovely and vain Lucrezia — decadent children of a wicked pope — no one can claim innocence for very long. When Borgia sends Don Vicente on a years-long quest, he leaves Bianca under the care — so to speak — of Lucrezia.
She plots a dire fate for the young girl in the woods below the farm, but in the dark forest salvation can be found as well...
A lyrical work of stunning creative vision, Mirror Mirror gives fresh life to the classic story of Snow White — and has a truth and beauty all its own.
"Wildly inventive...Maguire refreshes his source material capably....Almost everything works, in a pastiche that's a model of the form. Every bit as good as Wicked: wicked good, in fact." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"The telling is sometimes too convoluted, with constantly switching viewpoints. But, like a Renaissance comedy, the wild story effectively captures the transcendent and the vulgar, beauty and beast." Booklist
"Maguire has a lock on clever, elaborate retellings of fairy tales....
"[D]ark and vivid....This is a great addition to the Maguire shelf." School Library Journal
"A brilliant achievement." Boston Herald
"The story may be familiar, but Maguire's telling is rich and strange. Full of colors and scents, gorgeous as an embroidered velvet cloak, his prose is simply beautiful and perfectly suited to its setting and times." Hartford Courant
"Mirror Mirror is probably close in spirit to what fairy tale pioneers like the Grimm brothers originally intended for their works, tales that illustrate, in an instructive and entertaining way, how the world actually behaves, no matter what century one happens to live in." Dallas-Ft. Worth Star Telegram
"It's Maguire's prose style that makes all this so intriguing. His descriptions are potent....Wry, sneaky and always picturesque, Maguire's writing weaves history and legend into a charming and effective pastiche." Seattle Times
From the bestselling author of Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (debuting on Broadway this fall), Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister and Lost comes a master retelling of the Snow White story set in Renaissance Italy.
“A brilliant achievement.”
“Entertaining…profound….A novel for adults that unearths our buried fascination with the primal fears and truths fairy tales contain.”
Gregory Maguire, the acclaimed author who re-imagined a darker, more dangerous Land of Oz in his New York Times bestselling series The Wicked Years, offers a brilliant reinvention of the timeless Snow White fairy tale: Mirror Mirror. Setting his story amid the cultural, political and artistic whirlwind of Renaissance Italy—and casting the notorious Lucrezia Borgia as the Evil Queen—Maguire and Mirror Mirror will enthrall a wide array of book lovers ranging from adult fans of Harry Potter to readers of the sophisticated stories of Angela Carter.
About the Author
Gregory Maguire is the bestselling author of Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, Lost, Son of a Witch, and Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, the basis for the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical of the same name. Maguire has lectured on art and culture at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the DeCordova Museum, as well as at conferences at home and abroad. An occasional reviewer for the New York Times Book Review, he lives with his family in Massachusetts.
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