Fairy tale reinvented

April 21, 2015


By Dani Dawson


Ever since the success of Wicked, the re-imagining of classic tales has become serious business.


The newfound genre has taken over television with shows like “Grimm,” “Once Upon a Time” and “Penny Dreadful.” They can be found at the box office as well. 


Who didn’t love Angelina Jolie as the all powerful Maleficent?




Courtesy Barnes and Noble

Poison, Sarah Pinborough's is an alternate look at Snow White. 




It’s a method of storytelling that I never grow tired of: a pinch of nostalgia and a dash of the unknown. 

This is what drew me to Sarah Pinborough’s Poison.


That, and the fact that it had a ribbon bookmark.


This particular iteration of Snow White is most assuredly not for children. 


Here you will not find a charming tale filled with warm, lighthearted musical numbers and stamped with a “G” rating.


The first indication of that would be that Pinborough labels her books “Wicked Tales.”


Your second clue would be the “Game of Thrones” style opening.


Though not entirely an erotic novel, the author certainly doesn’t hold back when painting a picture.


Poison is equal parts fairy tale and steamy short story.


Luckily, neither detracts from the other. When I say short story, I mean it. At 178 pages, this would be perfect for in between classes.


The characters are described vividly, but only the evil Queen gets a good fleshing out.


And why shouldn’t she?


She’s the reason for the whole story. 


The author doesn’t really bang on about all the dwarves like Disney did.


You’ll meet a few but not the whole entourage.


As ever, Snow White is still a much-loved princess in this version. More rough around the edges (think Snow from Once Upon a Time) but the original character most of us know is still there.


Lillith, the misunderstood Queen, is trying to gain power in her new kingdom by any means necessary.


The King is away, her magic is gaining potential and the only thing she doesn’t have is love, something that Snow White has in spades. 


She has the admiration of the realm while her stepmother is only feared or hated.  


Her jealousy guides her on a path that there is no coming back.


The book may be short but contains numerous well-placed twists.


You’ll also find cameos from other fairy tales scattered throughout the pages. 


The aforementioned raunchy bits will sneak up on you and may be obtrusive to some. 


All told, I enjoyed the adventure and would rate Poison 3 out of 5 stars. 

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