Synopses & Reviews
“A brilliant achievement.”
“Entertaining…profound….A novel for adults that unearths our buried fascination with the primal fears and truths fairy tales contain.”
—Christian Science Monitor
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.
"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)
"Maguire has a lock on clever, elaborate retellings of fairy tales....[W]ith his rich, idiosyncratic storytelling, Maguire restores the edge to an oft-told tale and imbues it with a strange, unsettling beauty." Publishers Weekly
"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
"A brilliant achievement." Boston Herald
"[D]ark and vivid....This is a great addition to the Maguire shelf." School Library Journal
"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
A lyrical work of stunning creative vision, Mirror Mirror
is set in Renaissance Italy, where Gregory Maguire draws a connection between the poison apple in the original Snow White story and the Borgia family's well-known appetite for poisoning its foes.
In Mirror Mirror Snow White is called Bianca de Nevada. She is born on a farm in Tuscany in 1495, and when she is seven, her father is ordered by the duplicitous Cesare Borgia to go on a quest to reclaim the relic of the original Tree of Knowledge, a branch bearing three living apples that are thousands of years old. Bianca is left in the care of her father's farm staff and the beautiful—and madly vain—Lucrecia Borgia, Cesare's sister. But Lucrecia becomes jealous of her lecherous brother's interest in the growing child and plots a dire fate for Bianca in the woods below the farm. There Bianca finds herself in the home of seven dwarves—the creators of the magic mirror—who await the return of their brother, the eighth dwarf, long gone on a quest of his own.
In the evocative style of Maguire's earlier novels, Mirror Mirror is a fresh, compelling take on a beloved classic tale.
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.
About the Author
Gregory Maguire received his Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Tufts University. His work as a consultant in creative writing for children takes him to speaking engagements across the United States and abroad. He is a founder and codirector of Children's Literature New England, Incorporated, a non-profit educational charity established in 1987. The author of numerous books for children, Mr. Maguire is also a contributor to Am I Blue?: Coming Out From the Silence, a collection of short stories for gay and lesbian teenagers.