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The Fairest of Them All: A Novel by Carolyn…

The Fairest of Them All: A Novel

by Carolyn Turgeon

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10413116,035 (3.89)2



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Enjoyable read. A little slow in the middle but picked up and got really exciting at the end. I loved the weaving of the story of rapunzel with snow white it was done perfectly. The story was so intriguing throughout the entire book. ( )
  Kr15tina | Feb 29, 2016 |
Wow! This book exceeded my expectations! (And, after following Turgeon’s ‘Mermaid’ blog, I had reasonably high expectations.)
Ignore the teenage-oriented cover art. This story would fit in perfectly with Terri Windling’s ‘Fairy Tale Series,’ legendary for its dark and complex renditions of classic tales by the likes of Kara Dalkey, Charles de Lint, Patricia Wrede, and Tanith Lee, among others.

The tale meshes ‘Rapunzel’ with ‘Snow White,’ adding in other classic elements such as the enchanted stag, &c. But the familiar elements here twist into a more complex tale of bitterness, manipulation, jealousy and revenge – while maintaining the readers’ sympathy and understanding, even though the characters may be driven to horrible things.

Turgeon perfectly grasps the kernels of the stories she’s working with, and remains true to them, even while building up a lovely filigree of literary embellishments around that original gem. Her other novels are going straight to my must-read list.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. Thanks to both NetGalley and Touchstone.
( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
How have I not heard of this yet, considering I love fairy tale retellings?
  pdbkwm | Sep 8, 2014 |
4.5 Stars...

I fell in love with this book from page one. The story of deadly and beautiful magic pulled me in, and the vivid characters had me invested. The Fairest Of Them All is a must-read to all fans of twisted (and I mean twisted) fairytales.

I would also recommend this book to reader's looking for exceptionally stunning and imaginative writing. Carolyn Turgeon weaved her sentences and words into such a lyrical tale. She is one talented writer. The descriptions are lush yet not the drag-on-and-on-and-on kind, and the emotions are painful and real.

Our narrator, Rapunzel and the step-mother of Snow White, is a superbly written character. The readers are rooting for her, even knowing she is just a pawn in a game, and that the game will turn her into a twisted and vain version of her true self. Also, I loved how Snow White is portrayed. You can't help but adore her! She is sweet, beautiful, kind, and sharp.

I also loved the pacing. The book is paced exactly right, and fits to the story. Nothing is rushed, or dragged. Oh yeah! We start with Rapunzel as a young girl and then head through perhaps another 15 years or so. Each part is crucial, from her time hidden amongst the trees up in her tower, to her grand reigning as Queen at the castle. We also get to see Snow White grow, as well as Rapunzel.

Another Key Character is Mathena. Is she good? Evil? What is her story? I found fiery Mathena to be a very interesting and complex character. I think this might even, in part, be her story as well as Rapunzel's.

The plot is also totally awesome and enthralling. And those twists at the end? Oh yeah. If you are a loyal reader you probably know how much I covet the brilliance of an awe-inspiring twist in the story. And, oh boy, did The Fairest Of Them All deliver just that.

Overall, this story was pure genius. I, and I assume many other readers, were emotionally invested into the story from the beginning to the end. Now, Quick! Flynn Rider, Prince Charming, or The Huntsman???
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  Emily_Anne | Mar 16, 2014 |
If you grew up reading fairy tales and often wondered about the other characters then Carolyn Turgeons's interpretation will mesmerize and delight! Fairest of them All, gives us the re-telling story of Rapunzel, her childhood in the forest, raised by a witch and taught how to mix and concoct all the different potions from the garden herbs, earth and bones. We are introduced to the Prince Josef who becomes the King and father of Snow White, how Rapunzel and Snow white are connected and how eating one's heart gives you power! Delightful, light and a quick read! ( )
  booklovers2 | Jan 7, 2014 |
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To my mother, father and sister
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I was the girl with long long hair, trapped in the tower.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Can Rapunzel trade the shadows of the forest for the king's castle and be the innocent beauty her beloved prince remembers?

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