When Vincente de Bevada requested some land from Cesare and Lucrezia Borgia, little did he know the price they would demand of him. When they arrived years later at his home of Montefiore, Cesare demanded an almost impossible task: to retrieve a branch from the Tree of Knowledge that still bears three perfect apples. With threats to his home and family, Vicente reluctanly agreed, leaving his daughter Bianca in the care of Lucrezia. As the years passed, Cesare became enchanted with the young Bianca, much to the dismay of his sister, Lucrezia. In a fit of jealousy, she hired a huntsman to take Bianca into the woods to get rid of her so beginning Gregory Maguire's unique spin on the Snow White story. It's filled with all the things that everyone already knows about Snow White: the magic mirror, a poisoned apple, the seven dwarfs (though they aren't the cute ones from the movie). Yet, Maguire has set them in a real place, 16th century Italy, with real historical figures playing major roles, such as Lucrezia Borgia as the great wicked-stepmother-type. She's perfect inthe part, especially with the notorious background of the Borgias. It reads almost as if it were a real chapter in the Borgia history. I found the story incredibly entertaining and didn't want to put the book down once I began. Taking a well-known story and making it new is a difficult task which Maguire handles with ease, much like in his other works. A fine and entertaining book.