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Mirror Mirror by Gregory Maguire
In Mirror Mirror, Gregory Maguire moves the story of Snow White to 16th-century Italy. Bianca de Nevada lives with her father on an isolated farm near Tuscany when they are visited by the evil and vain Lucrecia Borgia and her lecherous brother, Cesare. Cesare sends Bianca's father on a quest to find a branch from the original Tree of Knowledge, supposedly still bearing three living apples. Cesare then focuses his attention on Bianca, drawing Lucretia's jealous ire. Bianca flees to the woods, where she moves in with the seven dwarves, old as time itself, who had created the magic mirror. They are awaiting the return of the eighth dwarf, when Lucretia puts in place her plans to eliminate Bianca. Mirror Mirror breathes life into an old fairy tale, and has drawn glowing reviews. The Christian Science Monitor says, "Through this forest of wry, sometimes bawdy humor, Maguire leaves a trail of profound reflections on the nature of identity, the persistence of love, the self-destruction of evil."