Tainted Glass by Brian Carufe

Tainted Glass by Brian Carufe
Publisher: Burst Books
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (220 pages)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Cyclamen

When Prince William’s father is murdered before his eyes, he thinks his miseries could never be worse. He’s wrong. Helped by Anna, his queen and love of his life, he struggles with a dark side he always knew existed, made worse with the tragic consequences of his daughter’s birth, the princess Snow White. Through the malice of a spurned love, and the scheming of rivals that covet his throne, William finds himself the victim of a curse that condemns him to live out his remaining days as the magic mirror of lore. With his daughter’s life hanging in the balance, William must save her the only way he can: engaging in a game of wits with the cunning and manipulative woman who imprisoned him behind the glass.
But is Snow White worth saving at all?

If you think you know the story of Snow White, then think again! Brian Carufe has written a dark and very compelling account of this story, the truth that was later made into the Brothers Grimm fairy tale. Carufe’s novel begins when Snow White’s father William is just fifteen years old and as William tells us in the prologue, “To you, I am a mirror; but once, I was a king. My name is William, a common name, though I have an uncommon story to tell. You know my daughter or, at least, of her, but whatever you think you know is merely a shadow of the truth.”

Carufe has retold, or maybe told for the first time, a story of power, evil, and revenge. The story is told from the first person and we get to know William well, becoming entangled in webs of deceit, plots to steal thrones, and a search for revenge that takes over nearly everyone in the tale. This is not a story for children.

Even though the basic plot is known to everyone, I couldn’t put this book down. I knew what was going to happen, but had no idea how it was going to unfold. Carufe has many clever twists in the plot, but my favorite is that it is William who ends up trapped in the mirror and he has to try to save Snow White, the love of his life. The story moves swiftly and without mercy or pause to its surprising conclusion. And as William concludes in his epilogue, “As one story ends, another can begin. The sun rises for the moon to fall again. If there is one thing I have learned in my time in the void, it has been that life is a domino effect: each decision affects the next and every one after that. So it has been done, and it will be done again.”

If you enjoy fantasy and the re-telling of fairy tales, I really recommend Tainted Glass. You will never think of Snow White in the same way ever again!

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