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The Mirror’s Tale
by P.W. Catanese
The fourth Further Tales adventure picks up the classic tale of Snow White over a century later. Among the lovely heroines descendants are twin brothers Bertram and William one of them (no one is sure which) destined to become a baron someday always in trouble, one leading and the other following and finally, too much trouble for their parents to deal with any longer. Bert is packed off to an unfriendly uncles gloomy castle on the borders of the feared and hated Dwergh. Will is given lessons in warfare and personal combat. And a forgotten evil that turns love into hatred, that poisons minds and destroys lives, awakens.
As he did in his previous Further Tales based on Jack and the Beanstalk, Hansel and Gretel, and the Brave Little Tailor, author Catanese imagines a whole world into existence around the sketchy framework of an old legend and then re-imagines the legend. Cataneses unorthodox theory of what really happened in Snow Whites tale drives this story to a surprising pitch of suspense, dread, action, and spookiness. Plus, it explores the nature of evil, the possibility of true courage, the importance of brotherly love, and the possibility of peace in spite of different ways of seeing the world.
I feel very fortunate to be on Paul Cataneses list to receive Advance Review Copies of his latest books. It was a hoot to be able to read all the typos that you wont be able to see when you buy the published version (including a gaffe on the back cover which referred to one of the twins as Albert). Its a collectors item! But its also a story that I would enjoy reading again if possible, aloud, to a nephew or a friends kids who are as close as I may get to having children of my own. Their bedtime stories could be very different from the ones I heard as a child…yet it is fascinating how much these Further Tales share of the spirit of the original tales.
So, for a pure adventure filled with thrills, generous with its characters, and guaranteed to have you rooting for the good guys (even when the goodness is being drained out of them), you need to look…er…no further!