Poison by Sarah Pinborough

March 24, 2015 Reviews 1 ★★★★½

Poison by Sarah PinboroughPoison (Tales from the Kingdoms #1) by Sarah Pinborough
Published: April 18th 2013 by Gollancz
Format: Hardcover, 203 pages
Genres: Fairytale Retelling
Source: Purchased
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4.5 Stars

It's Snow White, but not as you know her ...

Take a wicked queen, a handsome prince, a beautiful princess, and a poisoned apple ...

... and now read the true story of Snow White, told the way it always should have been ...

“A wicked, delicious, sexy Snow White fairytale”

That basically sums Poison! No need to elaborate …

Ha, I kid. Poison is a scrumptious retelling of a classic tale that re-imagines the world and the circumstances of our beloved characters. Pinborough’s evil queen is more sympathetic than expected and her Snow White is adventurous and sassy.

This world has a number of kingdoms in it, some allied to each other and some at war. Snow White is the princess of one such kingdom, the only daughter of a good king and his first queen, step-daughter to his second wife who is only a few years older than her. Snow White’s step-mother was married to the king in a political alliance and there is little or no love between them. Snow White is her people’s beloved princess, who always has a smile on her face and is ready to help every one in need. She is particularly fond of the dwarves who work in the mines, producing the materials that her nation sells in the form of weapons to kingdoms at war. The tension between the queen and the princess are understandable, and although it’s a stretch to say that the queen is likeable, she’s certainly sympathetic.

Added to this mix are the prince and the huntsman, who are running away from some unknown horror and become embroiled in the queen’s plans. I liked them both, although since the huntsman is a lot more useful than the prince, I couldn’t help but like him more! The prince is a romantic, falling in love quickly and believing in true love’s first kiss being the cure to all evils.

Pinborough has painted this world beautifully, and I loved getting to explore it. A lot of thought has gone into the setting, where politics and magic intertwine to weave wonderful stories.

Poison is the first book in this series of fairytale retellings, and I think it’s set everything up wonderfully. I’m eager to follow up with Charm (a Cinderella re-imagining) to see how everything unfolds.

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