"I may not know how to fly but I know how to read and that's almost the same thing."-- Gregory Maguire, Out of Oz

"...while finding true love was one of the most splendid things that could happen to you in life, finding a friend was equally splendid." -- Felix J Palma, The Map of the Sky

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Mirror Mirror by Gregory Maguire

Bianca's life in Montefiore is interrupted, when her father is sent on a quest for an ancient relic, abandoning her to the care of Lucrezia Borgia.

Gregory Maguire, as always, has intriguing ideas on how fairy-tales could have gone. But I admit to being disappointed with this story,because the villain does not narrate this tale as with the bulk of his fairy-tale rewrites, instead this story has many narrators. And that is one area where it could have been improved on. While the transitions between 3rd person and first person were seamless enough to not detract from the story too much, the story would have benefited more if 3rd person had been maintained throughout. The switching viewpoints made the story chaotic and it made connecting to the characters harder than it had to be. I found the dwarves to be a bit confusing, although the lack of detail surrounding those characters may have been a convoluted attempt to maintain the mystery around them. I admit to being disappointed that Michelotto was not allowed to kiss Bianca, I didn't really understand the point. For much of this retelling of Snow White, the plot and the characters were mostly unfocused.

That being said, I enjoyed the portrayal of the infamous Borgia family as Bianca’s wicked caregivers… It was probably the only redeeming quality about the book. The slight touches of magic that surround the dwarves lives and Bianca’s ability to sleep away the years were entertaining although it also gets added on to the growing list of things left unexplained. I think Vincente’s storyline also could have been better developed: he was on a quest for an ancient relic, it was the perfect excuse for an adventure, and yet it went nowhere.

Then the ending was too vague considering the whole story was vague. I suppose GM thought it was very clever to leave it up to the readers' imaginations, but I’m greedy enough to wish I could know concretely whether or not Bianca had been reunited with her family at last.

I’m marking this story with three stars because I because it kept me entertained, while acknowledging it was not nearly as fun or thought out as Maguire's other works.

Rating 3/5
Originally posted:
Aug 2, 12

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