Sunday, August 11, 2013

Blog Tour Review: Fairest of Them All

Thank you to the awesome ladies at The Fantastic Flying Book Club for hosting this tour. This book was a gem :) 


Fairest Of Them All
Author: Carolyn Turgeon
288 pages
Publisher: Touchstone 
What if Rapunzel was Snow White’s evil stepmother? From the author of Godmother and MermaidThe 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.

Published on 6th August 2013.

A unique spin on the original tales of Rapunzel and Snow White, Fairest of Them All breathes life into two otherwise old school stories that are so well-known that we can hardly expect to be surprised.

The front part of the story touches on Rapunzel's initial encounter with the Prince and gives a new facet to this iconic fairytale protagonist-- she has magical powers, making her either a witch or euphemistically speaking, a herb healer. Even though we are warned from the very first page that she is going to end up as one of fairytale's most timeless villains-- Snow White's stepmother, the evil queen-- over the first part of the book, we come to care for her. A lot. 

Rapunzel begins as a innocent young woman and from the moment she meets the young prince who would later become king, the wheels of fate starts to turn, propelling her onto the path leading to her eventual rise and downfall as an antagonist. We can fully understand her motivations as she begins to value the influence of beauty and is slowly changed by the fickleness of love and the corrupting nature of wealth and power.

However, though several of the main plot-lines in the original Snow White tale do unfold, Rapunzel does not disappoint us faithful readers who are rooting for her, redeeming herself near the end of the book, in a resolution that was wholly unexpected but delightfully satisfying.

This book was one of the most creative retellings that I've read, taking liberties with the crossover storyline but also staying true to the magic and romance that comes with every fairytale. Wonderfully rendered, this book has a protagonist which has much more finesse and character than the original Rapunzel.

Source: From Touchstone (Publisher) for the blog tour
Via Netgalley. 


Drew Barrymore as Rapunzel

Eric Bana as Josef

Lily Collins as Snow White (of course)

A younger-looking Meryl Steep as Mathena


Carolyn Turgeon is the author of five novels: Rain Village (2006), Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story (2009), Mermaid (2011), which is being developed for film by Sony Pictures, and The Next Full Moon (2012), her first and only book for middle-grade readers. Her latest novel, The Fairest of Them All, comes out in August 2013 from Touchstone/Simon & Schuster and is about Rapunzel growing up to be Snow White's stepmother. She lives in Pennsylvania and New York and teaches fiction writing at the University of Alaska at Anchorage's Low-Residency MFA program. She's currently at work on a new novel about Dante's Beatrice, set in thirteenth-century Florence.

Visit Carolyn's website at
Visit Carolyn's mermaid blog at

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  1. Hi Sel,

    Thank you so much for your lovely review and for being part of this tour.

    We love your dream cast choice.

    Thanks again! =)

    Patri & Rosa

    1. Hi Patri, hi Rosa *waves*

      Thank you for your amazing tour :) I had lots of fun!

      Keep on rockin', sweeties!

  2. This looks like an interesting and unconventional twist to classic fantasy novels! It certainly is one to look out for, and I'm glad you enjoyed it :) Great review Sel!
    Emily @ FlutterealFlight

    1. Thanks, Emily :D Totally unconventional and very very satisfying!

  3. SOUNDS SO AMAZING. * ^ * THAT SYNOPSIS IS SO MIND-BLOWNINGLY TWISTED. I was just WAHH NOO RAPUNZEL DON'T GO TO THE DARK! God, your review is also so amazing. You never fail to make me want to read another one of the books you have reviewed. ;D

    1. Thank YOU, Delaney! :D I was pretty much chanting that in my mind "DON'T GO OVER TO THE DARK SIDE, PRINCESS", but you know what, when she finally did go over to the "dark side"-- which really wasn't even a dark side, to be honest-- I didn't really mind :)

  4. Wowww that sounds like quite a twist!! Will definitely be adding this to be wishlist. This is definitely the most original fairytale retelling I've ever seen!

    Laura @ What's Hot?

    1. You got that right! Definitely a very very interesting twist ;) You won't be disappointed, Laura :D


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Wishing you lots of good books to come along your way!

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