Reviewed by Georgina Tranter
Published by Atom Books on 1st June 2012
Who will you be when faced with the end?
The end of a kingdom,
The end of good men,
Will you run?
Will you hide?
Or will you hunt down evil with a venomous pride?
Rise to the ashes,
Rise to the winter sky,
Rise to the calling,
Make heard the battle cry.
Let it scream from the mountains
From the forest to the chapel,
Because death is a hungry mouth
And you are the apple.
So who will you be when faced with the end?
When the vultures are circling
And the shadows descend.
Will you cower?
Or will you fight?
Is your heart made of glass?
Or a pure Snow White?
SHE IS DESTINED…EITHER THE QUEEN WILL KILL HER OR THE HUNTSMAN WILL TRANSFORM HER INTO A WARRIOR.
Ten years ago, the stunning and vengeful Queen Ravenna murdered her king the same fateful night she married him. But controlling the now desolate kingdom has begun to take its toll on the evil Queen. To keep her magic and beauty from dying, she must consume a heart that is pure. And the only one that has been under her cruel watch all along belongs to the king’s daughter.
Ravenna calls for the imprisoned Snow White, but the young woman escapes from the castle and seeks refuge in the Dark Forest. Because the forest is enchanted with magical flora and deadly fauna the Queen sends for the only man who has ventured into the woods and survived; a tortured Huntsman called Eric.
With his hope long forsaken, the Huntsman agrees to bring back the girl. But when Eric finds his prey, he hesitates. Will he kill her?
Or will he train her to become the greatest warrior the kingdom has ever known?
I have to admit I leaped at the chance to review this book. This is one of the first films I remember going to see and it still holds a magical quality for me so I was interested to see how the traditional tale was to be re-worked for a modern day audience.
Firstly, it’s not a difficult read. The synopsis has remained much the same - evil Queen wants rid of beautiful step-daughter. Only this time she needs Snow White in order to maintain her strength and beauty forever. Unfortunately for Ravenna, Snow White escapes and heads blindly into the Dark Forest from which no man has returned to tell the tale. Of course, there has to be an exception to this rule and this is where Eric the Huntsman comes into the tale. A drunk, miserable man who has nothing to live for following the death of his beloved wife, he is charged by the Queen to find Snow White and bring her back to the castle alive. When they meet there is an instant dislike of each other, but as the tale progresses, this changes and Eric questions whether he should uphold his promise to the Queen.
With beautiful descriptions and imagery it is not hard to picture how this must appear on the big screen. It truly is a visual novel. I think it would certainly appeal to younger teenagers as it stays clear of strong violence and language but still maintains a tension throughout. Will Snow White defeat the evil Queen and bring happiness back to the kingdom, or will Eric trick her into being returned to the castle in order for him to collect his much desired promise? There’s only one way to find out – read the book!