Monday, August 12, 2013

BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY: The Fairest of Them All by Carolyn Turgeon

Title: The Fairest of Them All
Author: Carolyn Turgeon
Genre: YA Fairy Tale Retelling
Publisher: Touchstone Publishing
Release Date: August 6/2013
Adquired: Print copy provided by publisher
Goodreads: ADD

What if Rapunzel was Snow White’s evil stepmother? From the author of Godmother and Mermaid, The Fairest of Them All explores what happens when fairy tale heroines grow up and don’t live happily ever after.

Living in an enchanted forest, Rapunzel spends her days tending a mystical garden with her adoptive mother, Mathena. A witch, Mathena was banished from court because of her magic powers, though the women from the kingdom still seek her advice and herbal remedies. She waits, biding her time to exact revenge against those who betrayed her.

One day Rapunzel’s beautiful voice and long golden locks captivate a young prince hunting in the forest nearby. Overcome, he climbs her hair up to her chamber and they fall into each other’s arms. But their afternoon of passion is fleeting, and the prince must return to his kingdom, as he is betrothed to another.

Now king, he marries his intended to bring peace to his kingdom. They have a stunning daughter named Snow White. Yet the king is haunted by his memories of Rapunzel, and after the mysterious death of his wife, realizes he is free to marry the woman he never stopped longing for. In hopes of also replacing the mother of his beloved daughter, the king makes Rapunzel his queen.

But when Mathena’s wedding gift of an ancient mirror begins speaking to her, Rapunzel falls under its evil spell, and the king begins to realize that Rapunzel is not the beautiful, kind woman he dreamed of.


WHOA. Best. Fairytale. Retelling. EVER. I will ask the same thing of myself that I did when I first discovered this book...where has Carolyn Turgeon been hiding this whole time!?! I feel horrendously ashamed to have been oblivious of her work for this long. Dark, and wickedly emotional, The Fairest of Them All is a novel that NEEDS to be read by every single person who grew up on Disney classics-the connections between well known, and well loved characters, were GENIUS, and impossibly possible, and *sigh*...oh man, a whole lot of freaking AMAZING.

Now I remember why I should never write a coherent review so soon after I put down a book, I want to gush ALL SORTS of things ENTIRELY IN CAPSLOCK. I want to fangirl like it's meant to be done. I want to go out on the streets and hand this book out to EVERY passerby. Here is a genuine SQUUEEEEEE!!! for good measure.

I adore the idea of fairytale retellings, love the possibility of new possibilities, love thinking about the beloved characters I grew up with taking a different path than the one I know to be truth. I was never a huge fan of Rapunzel until I saw the movie Tangled, though there was always a mysterious haze surrounding her story. I never read the original tale either, so going into The Fairest of them All, my brain was an open, and willing, organ. I refuse to give away even a single letter that isn't already in the synopsis, so I'll only tell you that the extra paranormal spin of witchery was DELICIOUS, and made the back story of this book one that will be hard to top as I go on to read more retellings. Rapunzel, Snow White's evil stepmother, who would have thought that relation to be a possibility?! Carolyn Turgeon did, and the web of words, and moments, and emotions, she weaved to bring us to that realization was mesmerizing. I believed every word, caught myself believing that THIS was the real tale of these two characters.

This is a much darker retelling, so be prepared to leave your fluffy Disney memories at the first page. I learned this the hard way, as I encountered a deeply disturbing twist, on a well-known moment, at the end of the book. 

Also, that COVER, have you all taken a moment to sit there and STARE? Absolutely beautiful.

I will say no more, because my fingers are ITCHING to spoil this book, and I will NOT. You, yes you! The one reading this review, PLEASE go read this book, you will NOT regret it.

Recommended for Fans of: Disney Classics, Fairytale Retellings, Paranormal, Sci-Fi, Romance, Contemporary...seriously..READ IT!!


Carolyn Turgeon is the author of five novels: Rain Village (2006), Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story (2009), Mermaid (2011), which is being developed for film by Sony Pictures, and The Next Full Moon (2012), her first and only book for middle-grade readers.

Her latest novel, The Fairest of Them All, comes out in August 2013 from Touchstone/Simon & Schuster and is about Rapunzel growing up to be Snow White's stepmother. She lives in Pennsylvania and New York and teaches fiction writing at the University of Alaska at Anchorage's Low-Residency MFA program. She's currently at work on a new novel about Dante's Beatrice, set in thirteenth-century Florence.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank-you to Patricia and Rosario from The Fantastic Flying Book Club for hosting this tour, and to Simon and Schuster for sending me a print copy to review!

CLICK HERE to follow the rest of the tour


  1. Hi Reeka,

    Thank you so much for your lovely review and for being part of this tour =)

    Patri & Rosa
    The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club


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