Poison, A Wicked Snow White Tale by Sarah Pinborough is another wickedly good tale from a mistress of wicked tales, which includes her other offerings, Beauty and Charm. Pinborough takes liberties with the classic fairy tale, as does the huntsman, who kills a white stag, with the wicked queen and Snow White, before he is turned into a mouse. He becomes a field mouse because he tries to fool the wicked queen with the heart of a deer instead of the heart of Snow White, for which he was hired to acquire. The wicked queen’s grandmother, an old crone, sees the deception, and helps the wicked queen by turning the huntsman into a field mouse. Once her work is done, the grandmother returns home to greet a young boy and girl following her breadcrumbs to her hovel.
The dwarves aren’t your father’s dwarves: Dreamy, Grouchy, Bolshy, Feisty, Stumpy, Breezy, and Belcher. Snow White isn’t the shy diminutive princess we thought we knew. She dresses like a man rather than like a princess, rides a horse like a man, and dominates in the bed. The question to be asked, is the prince the real prince since he doesn’t wake her with a kiss? He just happens to be at the right place at the right time and does nothing princely to prove he is the right man. In fact he does everything to show he is the wrong prince. The prince, finds his experienced new bride too much to handle, too hot to handle. He finds a way to dominate her and keep his male pride. There are so many unanswered questions and this story does not end as most fairy tales do when everyone lives happily ever after. Be warned as you enter the beautifully twisted and wicked world of Pinborough as she rewrites and projects another view on love.