The Fairest of Them All


Library Journal review:
“Turgeon (Godmother; Mermaid) is known for putting her own spin on traditional fairy tales and here posits the question: What if Rapunzel was Snow White’s wicked stepmother? Most of the elements of both stories remain intact, but certain details are twisted just so, creating this entirely new take on the oft-told tales. Rapunzel’s hair is her magic, allowing her to feel the emotions of anyone it touches, and her first-person point of view allows readers to experience all the love and longing she holds for Josef, the prince. Her desperation to be with him at any cost sets off a chain of events that will seem, to the enlightened, orchestrated. Her early acceptance and love for Josef’s daughter, Snow White, goes through a slow, unfolding erosion. The refrain to Rapunzel’s magic mirror-“Who’s the fairest?”-along with her suspicion of her adopted mother, Mathena, adds to the creeping horror that permeates the story from the beginning.

VERDICT As in Godmother, Turgeon incorporates a sense of melancholy that adds an enormous amount of depth and sympathy for what would otherwise be unsympathetic characters. Rapunzel’s growing affection for Gilles (here the king’s falconer, taking the traditional role of huntsman) and her absolute devastation at a shocking discovery both ring true, adding a layer of realism to the magic-sparked tale. Lovers of fairy tales will enjoy Turgeon’s fresh take on classic stories.-Charli Osborne, Oxford P.L., MI.”

Publishers Weekly review:
“In Turgeon’s mash-up of “Rapunzel” and “Snow White,” the longhaired maiden isn’t quite so fair and innocent as in the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm. After a few hours of passion with the prince from the nearby kingdom in her bedroom tower, Rapunzel finds that she’s pregnant with his child. The only problem? The prince is engaged to another. The witch Mathena, determined to prevent her adopted daughter from becoming a mistress to the most powerful man in the land, casts a spell to keep the prince from finding Rapunzel again. Seven years later, when his wife dies under questionable circumstances, the prince, now king, finds Rapunzel and makes her his new queen. But his legitimate daughter, the beautiful Snow White—along with the rest of the kingdom—is weary of a witch’s daughter assuming the throne. And not without good reason. For, when Rapunzel learns from her magic mirror that she’s no longer the fairest of them all—that, in fact, Snow White is “a thousand times more fair”—she turns downright ugly. Turgeon (The Next Full Moon) imaginatively combines murder, revenge, sex, magic, and other genre tropes into a dark and twisted fairy tale. Agent: Elaine Markson, Markson Thoma. (Aug.)”

“I loved this unexpected spin on the story of Rapunzel, a strong-willed devourer of hearts. Be careful, she just might take a bite of yours.”
—Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

“Intricate, inventive, and charged with magic. Carolyn Turgeon masterfully clears the mists of fairy tale and legend to reveal the complex humanity that lies beneath the stories of Rapunzel and Snow White.”
—Eleanor Brown, New York Times, national and international bestselling author of The Weird Sisters

“Magical, mythical and totally original, Turgeon’s haunting story of Rapunzel and Snow White unfolds like a waking dream, with prose that shimmers like cut diamonds. About love, longing, and loss, it turns the fairy tale into something as provocative as it is profound.”
—Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You and Is It Tomorrow

“There are fairy tale princesses like Rapunzel, who are lovely and compassionate and kind. And there are fairy tale villainesses like Snow White’s stepmother, who are ambitious and clever and wicked. In Carolyn Turgeon’s brilliant retelling, however, good and evil are combined to create a fairy tale anti-heroine who could break your heart – and then eat it.”
—Alisa Kwitney/Sheckley, author of Token, Flirting in Cars and Moonburn

“To call Carolyn Turgeon’s The Fairest of Them All a retelling doesn’t seem quite accurate.  This story of Rapunzel and Snow White may feel as familiar as it is thoroughly innovative, but it reads like an original—like the real story.  Turgeon has managed to peel back centuries of dressing and sweetness and lace that have been heaped upon these characters.  She has plucked them from their perfumed clouds, and returned them to their primal form, to the unique women they were once, before their fairy tales diluted them.  In gratitude, they sing from the pages, all full of suffering and longing and ferocious intellect.  This is the Rapunzel I have always wanted to know.”
—Jeanine Cummins, bestselling author of A Rip in Heaven, The Outside Boy, and The Crooked Branch

The Fairest of Them All possesses the spirit of all great fairy tales—filled with brave hearts, twists of fate, and incredible transformations. Carolyn Turgeon honors the traditional stories of Rapunzel and Snow White yet intertwines their lives in a way that gives the tales, as well as both women, new dimensions. The dark, sensual magic at work in this book will allure readers right to the shocking, beautiful end.”
—Ronlyn Domingue, author of The Mapmaker’s War

“How very lucky we grown ups are to have Carolyn Turgeon’s fairy tale to captivate us. What a joy to be delighted again by witches, princesses and kings—now all fleshed out and psychologically complex and compelling. Under Turgeon’s deft hand, Rapunzel’s and Snow White’s tale is as beautiful as it terrifying. Enter into this enchanted forest and be enthralled!”
—M.J. Rose, International Bestseller

“Turgeon reimagines two fairy tales to produce a lush, dark yarn. Her steadfast vision reveals the shadow and light battling in each of the characters’ hearts.”
—Margaret O’Brien Dilloway, bestselling author of How to Be an American Housewife and The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns

“Forget everything you know about fairy tales filled with glamorous princesses and happy endings. In Carolyn Turgeon’s skilled hands, characters that have long been the bedrock of literature come to life, revealing their all too human desires, and a mesmerizing, hidden darkness. Her body of work is already substantial and growing, which is good news for readers everywhere. Fairest of Them All will move her into a larger sphere, world wide. I loved this book from start to finish.”
—Jo-Ann Mapson, author of Solomon’s Oak and Finding Casey