Book Review: Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen (Villains #1) by Serena Valentino

Second time reading this, and to no surprise I am still in love with this. I read this book last year in like… November and I was so sad I never took notes on it or reviewed it, so I decided to break my no re-read rule and re-read this. Now that I went ahead and did that, I am now reading all of the books in the series so far. Further investigation, there’s a confirmed total of 9 books….. 🙂 so, we will see how far I get in the series.

Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen

Title: Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen (Villains #1)

Author: Serena Valentino

Series Number: 1

Pages: 250

Format: paperback

Genre(s): YA Fantasy Re-tellings

Publication Date: August 18, 2009

The tale of the young princess and her evil stepmother, the Wicked Queen, is widely known. Despite a few variations from telling to telling, the story remains the same—the Queen was jealous of the girl’s beauty, and this jealousy culminated in the Queen’s attempt on the sweet, naive girl’s life.

Another tale far less often spoken of is the one that explains what caused the Queen to become so contemptuously vile. Still, some have attempted to guess at the reason. Perhaps the Queen’s true nature was that of a wicked hag and her beautiful, regal appearance a disguise used to fool the King. Others claim that the Queen might have hated the girl for her resemblance to the King’s first wife. Mostly, the Queen is painted as a morally abhorrent woman who never loved another being during the course of her miserable life.

In fact, the theories about exactly what cause the Queen’s obsessive vanity and jealous rage are too numerous to catalog. This book recounts a version of the story that has remained untold until now. It is a tragic tale of love and loss, and it contains a bit of magic. It is a tale of the Wicked Queen…

  • The story – I loved this story when I read it last year, and I still love it. There is just something really unique about it. I love hearing the back story behind The Queen because it makes me start to look at her a little differently.
  • The writing – Valentino might be one of my new favorite authors because the writing was just…. wow. So easy to read and follow along with, and with fantasy fairy-taleish books you don’t find that too often. I loved how things just started to click in the story towards the end and everything just started to make sense. Definitely want to continue on with this series.
  • The Queen – What an amazing, well-written villain. Honestly, I love The Queen and her personality, the amount of love she is able to hold in her heart even when her entire young life/childhood was a complete and utter mess. How can you truly not like her just from that? The way she loves Snow, it’s not a typical step-mother jealousy type of style fairy-tale. No, it is something far, far deeper.
  • Verona – I loved the addition of Verona in here. It made the original story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs seem not enough. Not enough of a story without Verona. I don’t think there can be one person in this world who reads this book and then decides they don’t care for Verona.
  • The emotion behind it – A lot of emotions, and love and heartbreak and sadness and grief. Trust me, when I tell you this book does damage to your heart… it does A LOT of it.
  • The Queen’s original name is unknown – I really don’t like this in books. I would have love to known the name of The Queen in this book, and I remember the first time I read it, I was also kind of bothered by this. At least in this book it sort of wasn’t as noticeable, you just kind of rolled with it.


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