It shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Sophie had heard the rumors, the whispers. They said she was too kind and foolish to rule — a waste of a princess. A disaster of a future queen. And Sophie believed them. She believed everything she’d heard about herself, the poisonous words people use to keep girls like Sophie from becoming too powerful, too strong . . .
With the help of seven mysterious strangers, Sophie manages to survive. But when she realizes that the jealous queen might not be to blame, Sophie must find the courage to face an even more terrifying enemy, proving that even the darkest magic can’t extinguish the fire burning inside every girl, and that kindness is the ultimate form of strength.
Donnelly does it again, this was almost as close to Stepsister in my enjoyment of it, and it was so different yet just as creative.
Sophie is Snow White but this isn’t the tale of a princess who bakes pies and does chores with animals, though there are baked goods and animals in the tale! She has hidden her heart underneath a cool exterior but there’s no fooling her Stepmother who believes kindness is the ultimate weakness.
Corvas is one of the greater evil forces at work, and it seems only natural that he desires the dark things that he does, and his means of doing so are grim and satisfying to read.
I loved the almost steampunk like solution to Snow White’s problem which I will not spoil, and I adored the seven ‘dwarves’ who help her. Sophie has more help too, there the people and animals she encounters along the way. That was another point for her to get accustomed to, to learn to accept to help, to learn that it’s okay to have help and not a weakness.
Not only the seven dwarves but I loved their cook, Weber, he was probably my favorite character overall. He was such a sweetie! I wouldn’t mind a Weber of my own.
Sophie doesn’t know how to believe in herself but she’s learning in this book, this is a tale of what fear and self-doubt can do and also what power can truly reside in one’s self and in kindness itself. And I think that’s a pretty great message to impart to readers.
Loved this tale so very much and thought the ending was perfection! I can’t wait to own a hardcopy of this great retelling.
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an eARC in exchange for my honest opinion.