Friday, June 01, 2007

Snow White and Rose Red

Snow White and Rose Red

Patricia Wrede

Date: July, 1990   —   Book

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Fiction, Fantasy

This is one of Terri Windling's Fairy Tale series, where a writer takes a traditional fairy tale and adapts it into a full novel. Snow White and Rose Red is one that I was unfamiliar with before this novel, and I have to admit that this is one of my least favorite in the series, perhaps because it is the most traditional retelling.

Wrede puts the setting in Elizabethan England, and tells the tale in a very traditional manner, pseudo-Elizabethan diction and all. It's a very solid tale, and very well done, but I found it hard to properly connect with the characters, as they put distance between us with their language and their concerns. Worse still, it's too serious; Wrede has proven elsewhere, as in her Dealing With Dragons series, that she is most masterly when dealing with sly humor and the baffling of expectations. Snow White and Rose Red is a little too tame to show her writing to its best advantage.

It's not a bad novel, when all is considered, but I find it hard to get very enthusiastic about. Try the other books in the series, or one of Robin McKinley's retellings of Beauty and the Beast.

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