Review of POISON by SARAH PINBOROUGH
(first in the TALES FROM THE KINGDOMS series)
POISON markets itself as a dark (“wicked”) fairytale retelling, and that it is. Despite the elegant hardcover packaging, this is no sweet story twist for younger readers. Though twisted motivations are hardly new in fairy tales, even the kiddy versions, you’ll find a bit more gore and lust in this one.
POISON retells “Snow White.” The bones of the story feel very familiar: a cruel stepmother queen, a beautiful young princess, seven dwarf friends. However, Snow White has a wild streak and her stepmother’s hatred has an unexpected root cause. There’s a dark happily-ever-after of sorts, but really only for one person and likely not the one you expect.
Despite being such a short book, Pinborough brings a familiar story to life in a new twist with vivid, sensual writing and intriguing, imperfect characters.