US novelist Carolyn Turgeon who specialises in reinventing classical fairytales into beautiful works of literature has recently launched a new story – The Fairest of Them All.
Carolyn is best known in mer circles for her adaptation of Hans Christen Andersen's The Little Mermaid into the little treasure Mermaid, which we covered in a previous blog post. She also writes the I Am a Mermaid blog.
The Fairest of Them All fuses the stories of Rapunzel and Snow White... but with a fierce twist emanating from themes of abandonment, betrayal and revenge. Here is a summary taken from the Powell's Books website, which also lists some glowing reviews from the likes of Publishers' Weekly, Library Journal and multiple best selling authors:
What if Rapunzel was Snow White's evil stepmother?
From the author of Godmother and Mermaid, The Fairest of Them All explores what happens when fairy tale heroines grow up and don’t live happily ever after.
Living in an enchanted forest, Rapunzel spends her days tending a mystical garden with her adoptive mother, Mathena. A witch, Mathena was banished from court because of her magic powers, though the women from the kingdom still seek her advice and herbal remedies. She waits, biding her time to exact revenge against those who betrayed her.
One day Rapunzel’s beautiful voice and long golden locks captivate a young prince hunting in the forest nearby. Overcome, he climbs her hair up to her chamber and they fall into each other’s arms. But their afternoon of passion is fleeting, and the prince must return to his kingdom, as he is betrothed to another.
Now king, he marries his intended to bring peace to his kingdom. They have a stunning daughter named Snow White. Yet the king is haunted by his memories of Rapunzel, and after the mysterious death of his wife, realizes he is free to marry the woman he never stopped longing for. In hopes of also replacing the mother of his beloved daughter, the king makes Rapunzel his queen.
But when Mathena’s wedding gift of an ancient mirror begins speaking to her, Rapunzel falls under its evil spell, and the king begins to realize that Rapunzel is not the beautiful, kind woman he dreamed of.Intriguing – yes. Rich realised characters – yes. Passion and betrayal – yes. Carolyn's books have it all and this one is no exception.