Snow White and the Huntsman
A breathtaking new vision of a legendary tale.
Snow White is the only person in the land fairer than the evil queen who is out to destroy her. But in a twist to the fairytale, the Huntsman ordered to take Snow White into the woods to be killed becomes her protector and mentor in a quest to vanquish the Evil Queen.
Based on the film starting Kristen Stewart , Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth.
In a new adaptation of the classic fairytale, Snow White is the true princess of the land, imprisoned by her evil step mother Ravenna. After ten years of captivity, Snow White escapes and fulfils her destiny as Ravenna’s true rival. That’s really all I can say without revealing everything that happens in the book, as it’s so short and pretty rushed.
I was really excited about Snow White and the Huntsman. I love the classic fairytale and seeing as I love Game of Thrones, I was really looking forward to a sword-wielding, no nonsense, ultra feminist interpretation… and in some respects that’s exactly what I received. Snow White, though naive, was strong willed, intelligent and actually a pretty decent role model, you know, if we were living in the 1300s. Even though it’s a clever re-imagining of the story that is known without being told, it is lacking something and here lies my problem.
Though the story and detail was present and accounted for, there was no heart behind the words. Tie-in books always seem to have this problem. A film is made, some anonymous ghost writer is given the task of writing up what happened scene by scene meaning that the book itself takes no more than 90 minutes to read and it just feels a little empty. Ignoring the plot holes and ridiculously unrealistic events, you can’t argue with the fact that the imagery is faultless – you see every puddle, hear every clash of swords, but you can’t help thinking “blimey! That was fast.” With deaths that are detailed and forgotten within half a page and a climax that leaves you empty, you can’t help feeling cheated. That was the issue I had with this book – it was rushed, it didn’t suck me in and everything was over before you could get into it.
On the upside, despite the lack of detail, you do get to know most of the main characters really well. The tragic Huntsman is a pretty three-dimensional character that you become quite attached to and shows the most growth throughout the book. Ravenna, though not quite as detailed as you might hope, is a well rounded and complex villain. These were the bits that made the book worthwhile. It was the fact that new information was given to you and you didn’t resent the adaptation.
I’m not going to say it’s a well written book but it is certainly a book that you can read to relax, and it’s a quick and easy read for children of 12 and up. I don’t know if it’s made me want to see the movie more, or if the fact that I kept trying to imagine Kristen Stewart playing Snow White had an impact on the reading of the book (I just could not imagine it) so I think I will have to look at them as two separate entities and not even think of Chris Hemsworth as a drunken fool.
Thanks to Madeleine at Little Brown for sending me this book to review.