|CDs:||7 (9 hours)|
|Format:||audiobook on CD|
This is the same author who wrote Wicked, Son of a Witch, and Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister. In the same vein, this book is a re-telling of the Snow White fairy tale, complete with dwarves. Unlike his other books, though, this one mixes fact with fiction: Cesare and Lucrezia Borgia (Yes, those Borgias) are primary players in this story, with Lucrezia being the wicked queen querying the mirror on the wall. And Bianca de Nevada, not yet even in her teens, becomes an object of hatred not so much for her beauty, but because of Lucrezia's incestuous jealousy of her brother's lecherous appetites. As for the dwarves, these certainly aren't the imaginings of Disney. More primordial than Tolkien's creatures, these dwarves start out as beings only somewhat more animated that the rocks and forest they inhabit. Theirs is a natural magic, allowing them to eat stone, and mold glass like putty with their bare hands. And they only become human-like as their essential influence on nature begins to work on themselves through the imagination of Bianca, while they care for her (and she for them). It was a captivating story.
When I first started listening to audiobooks I thought they would be a mildly entertaining prospect during my work commutes. Now, however, I'm beginning to think of them as an excellent way to experience fiction. Unlike television, my mind's eye is still free to create it's own vision of the characters, and much to my surprise, the narrators are neither dry voices nor overly dramatic. In fact, the more they act out the narration, the more it plays into my imagination. There are now days when my commutes have left me more invigorated and refreshed than a night of deep sleep!