The Evil Queen
By Gena Showalter
Published June 2019 by Inkyard Press
Far, far away, in the realm of Enchantia, creatures of legend still exist, magic is the norm and fairy tales are real. Except, fairy tales aren’t based on myths and legends of the past—they are prophecies of the future.
Raised in the mortal realm, Everly Morrow has no idea she’s a real life fairy tale princess—until she manifests an ability to commune with mirrors.
Look. See… What will one peek hurt?
Soon, a horrifying truth is revealed. She is fated to be Snow White’s greatest enemy, the Evil Queen.
With powers beyond her imagination or control—and determined to change Fate itself—Everly returns to the land of her birth. There, she meets Roth Charmaine, the supposed Prince Charming. Their attraction is undeniable, but their relationship is doomed.
As bits and pieces of the prophecy unfold, Everly faces one betrayal after another, and giving in to her dark side proves more tempting every day. Can she resist, or will she become the queen—and villain—she was born to be?
Disclaimer: The links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on an item and choose to purchase it, I will make a small commission at no cost to you. To see my full disclosure policy, click here. I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley.
The Evil Queen has some elements I absolutely love, some things that left me wanting more, and some things I didn’t like.
I rated it at 3 stars and it’s a solid 3 stars for me on this read. While overall I enjoyed it, I don’t know that I’d re-read it again.
First of all, the premise of this story is amazing. Set in a magical realm, a group of various women are trying to get pregnant because if they don’t succeed within a year of marriage, their husbands can execute them.
An apple tree exists that, if consumed, the women can become pregnant. But there’s a caveat to these “apple babies” in that they end up in fairy tale retellings and can become evil, may not live long, etc. The women each eat an apple, but one eats two apples.
They each give birth within the year, and the one who ate two apples has twins.
I actually really wanted to know more about these first women and their lives, and more about the apple baby idea. Maybe a prequel could happen? I mean, I’d totally read that.
The book goes quite fast and we go from apple babies, to a scene with Everly, Prince Charming and Snow White and then suddenly we are in present day in the mortal world with Everly as our main character. It was a whirlwind of a couple chapters getting settled into this.
Everly, as a whole, is not easy to connect with. She’s rough around the edges, and everyone keeps making comments that she’s evil or hard to get along with. But really, a lot of her actions were in defense of herself or someone else, primarily her twin.
I think the awkward dialogue and Everly’s super awkward inner monologuing in this story is what made it so hard for me to connect with her. There were a lot of sporadic inner thoughts of hers that were interjected into this story and it just made it….choppy and immature feeling. And I get that Everly is literally a teenager, but she was pretty immature.
One of the things I really loved about this book was that it’s a fairy retelling, but the characters are aware they’re part of it. They know it’s a Snow White retelling, and in fact, some of them have the actual fairy tale reads to study up on.
They spend a lot of time trying to figure out which character they are in the retelling, and it literally could change at any moment based on their decisions. And not only that, but each character’s perspective on who they think is who was also brought into it and I found that entirely fascinating.
And while the characters were guessing which fairy tale character they and others were, I found myself questioning it right alongside them.
This book is long, which I’m fine with because there was a lot to get through, but I also felt like we moved so fast through the story. And it feels weird to say that because the book itself is long as it is.
Overall, I loved the premise of The Evil Queen and the curiosity over the characters’ roles in their retelling they got stuck in is what kept me reading until the end.