Poison: A Wicked Snow White Tale is now your typical fairy tale. Growing up with the famous story, you may know of all the wonderful aspects of Snow White. However, the only time one really pays attention to her step-mother it’s to label her a wicked thing. In Poison, the beautiful blonde queen is only a couple years older than Snow White herself. Forced into a marriage with a corpulent King, the step-mother is delighted when her husband goes to war. She is finally able to take control of the kingdom. However, Snow White’s consistent refusal to behave like a princess or follow rules causes her step-mother great anguish and frustration. Assisted by her mother, Lilith of the Ginger Bread House in the woods, Snow White’s step-mother begins to create an elaborate trap. What she doesn’t expect is the sexual wiles of Snow White and the Huntsman. She manages to enact her revenge on the Huntsman easily, but it take a bit longer for her to get her revenge elsewhere.
Sarah Pinsborough’s take is a deliciously wicked look at the Snow White tale. The Handsome Prince is hardly romantic, and his expectations of what a proper wife should be are horrifying as are his expectations that Snow White should marry him immediately after she wakes up from a magic induced coma. Snow White’s step-mother suffers under the hatred of her subjects and her unrelieved feminine wiles. Snow White, however, is more free sexually than we’ve seen in a Snow White tale before. I don’t recommend reading this book in church or aloud to children.
Reading Poison feels like getting away with something. I devoured this book, although the red ribbon attached to the hardcover makes this book one easy to save your place in the debauchery. Nothing is quite like we read as children and there’s something wickedly delicious about that.
Sarah Pinborough’s Poison: A Wicked Snow White Tale is now available from Titan Books.