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Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen Hardcover – August 18, 2009

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Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen + The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty's Prince + The Curse of Maleficent: The Tale of a Sleeping Beauty
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 4 and up
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Disney Press; 1 edition (August 18, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423106296
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423106296
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,977 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Serena Valentino has been weaving tales that combine mythos and guile for the past eight years with her work on the comic book series GloomCookie and Nightmares & Fairy Tales published by SLG Publishing. Her most recent work, Nightmares & Fairy Tales: 1140 Rue Royale has earned her critical acclaim in both the comic and horror domain, where she is known for her unique style of storytelling, bringing her readers into exquisitely frightening worlds filled with terror, beauty and extraordinary female protagonists. She has also written the play The Bride of the Mummy, presently in pre-production in New Orleans. Currently she is writing two new comic book series, Enchanted and Hell's Caf , as well as two short films based on fairytales for the independent film company End of Sky Productions. Fairest of All is her first novel.

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Customer Reviews

I recommend this book to teens with a high vocabulary and adults looking for a good read.
Britt Garman
I think you really have to love Disney movies and fairy tales to enjoy this, otherwise it seems a little like the same-old/same-old.
Kristen M. Harvey
This beautiful retelling of Snow White puts a wonderful new twist on the traditional fairy tale.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 61 people found the following review helpful By J. Whitesell on August 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
A wonderful story about how the wicked queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs became so wicked.
I like to casually browse the Young Adult section at Borders and B&N and I'm very influenced by cover art. Reading the inside flap, I only needed one sentence to sway me. I bought it immediately and started reading once I got home. I have to say that the author caught the Disney version of the characters perfectly and I believe that's the way it should be.
The writing was well written and it moved quickly for me. The end of each chapter made me want to know what would happen next and it provided great imagery for my imagination. I watched the classic Snow White right away with the thought of the Queen's life and it changed the whole movie for me-in a good way!
It even has a nice twist at the end. I definitely recommend this to anyone who appreciates an alternate view on a classic.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Richard Szponder on October 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Classic Disney films were magical for many reasons. Part of what made those films so memorable was the portrayal of the villains. Villains such as Maleficent from "Sleeping Beauty" and Cruella De Vil from "101 Dalmatians" simply do not exist anymore, as political correctness and the dumbing down of children's entertainment now dominate culture.

Fairest Of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen by Serena Valentino is a glimpse into the life of one of Disney's most sinister villains, the Evil Queen from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." Known for her vicious plot to kill Snow White and remove her heart after the Queen's Magic Mirror declares Snow White to be the fairest in the land, fans of this classic film have wondered for decades exactly why the Evil Queen is just so evil. Fairest Of All provides an explanation in the form of a prequel to the original tale.

The daughter of a talented maker of mirrors, the woman who is to become the Evil Queen is a simple person of low self-esteem, suffering the ridicule of her father after he blames her for the death of his beloved wife during childbirth. When the King takes interest in the renowned crafter's mirrors and visits his shop, he meets the mirror maker's daughter and is enchanted with her, ultimately marrying her and welcoming her into his kingdom as the Queen.

Initially, the relationship between the King's daughter, Snow White, and his new bride, The Queen, is exceptional. Although unrelated by blood, the two are as close as any biological mother and daughter would be. These are during times of war, and the King is not one who leads his troops from a distance. He prefers to be on the front line, battling along with his soldiers for protection of his kingdom.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Nelaine Sanchez VINE VOICE on September 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Fairest of All is the Wicked Queen's story... what drove her to become soooo wicked.

Firstly I want to say that the moment I saw this cover - I absolutely had to buy it. It really is spectacular. Secondly, the fact that it is a prequel to Snow White - obviously "had me at Hello".

Ms. Valentino did a wonderful job blending what we already know of Snow White and the Wicked Queen with this new tale. In it we learn of how the Wicked Queen became the bitter and well, evil witch we've known for years. We are taken back to the days where she lived with her father, an artist in crafting mirrors. We also read of her marriage, her dreams, hopes and eventually her downfall. Although I did find her a wee bit whiny at times, I thought she was a very interesting character with lots of emotional turmoil. I really sympathized with her as her life was definitely not an easy one.

This is definitely a YA title - but I would recommend it more for older teens vs. the younger tweens. The content is a bit dark at times. Reading this was like getting inside information on one of my favorite Disney villains. And I really enjoyed the fact that it had a couple of twists thrown in that I didn't see coming. I recommend this to anyone who'd like a new twist to this classic fairytale.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Italygin on November 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I went into Fairest of All a bit skeptical. Gregory Maguire has pretty much set the standard with Wicked in writing stories of the misunderstood villains from beloved fables. I must say I was very pleased! The book is a quick read, but a fairly deep one. The insight given from the Queens POV provides a glimpse of her upbringing and the life that hardened her. I will admit the gorgeous cover drew me in. I'm also a huge Disney buff. Very nice tie in to the animated masterpiece. Highly recommended!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Mead on February 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful classic with a twist that will leave you at the edge of your seat. It leads you to think one way and then it turns out a different way.
It all starts with a beautiful wedding to which the soon to be queen gets married to a handsome prince charming who has a daughter named Snow White. After the wedding the king has to go out and fight for justice for the kingdom. Soon the king comes home to the kingdom just in time for a ball in which the king's family comes. At the ball the king's cousins give the queen who is not evil yet a gift that is thin and tall. Then there is an urgent message that spreads through out the kingdom that people are coming to attack the castle. The cousins have to stay and end up torturing poor Snow White. Then the queen opens the gift and finds a mirror that has a face that can tell anything that the queen wants to know. Soon the queen finds out that the king has died in the fight. This is when the queen gets a book of spells that she can cast. Then Snow White grows up and meets a prince that likes her. But the evil queen did not want her to marry the prince. Will the evil queen win this fight or will Snow White live with the prince of her dreams?

I personally love this book cause of the details that paint galleries of paintings in your mind. Also it is a twist on an original classic. Disney approved this book so it has to be good. The wording makes it happening in real life and its like your in the story. This is now one of my favorite books and it seems to suck you in and then you cannot stop reading.

This is a wonderful book for anyone who has loved any of Disney's classics.
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