Top critical review
Not his best.
Reviewed in the United States on January 31, 2013
First, I just have to say that I adore Gregory Maguire. I've read the entire "Wicked" series, and am completely enamored with it. It was such a wonderful story, full of detail, and plenty of good writing. He is definitely a master of storytelling. I am a huge fan of Wizard of Oz in general, but I find myself enjoying Maguire's Oz more than the Oz we're all used to.
I read "Confessions of An Ugly Stepsister" after I finished the "Wicked" series. I thought it was a wonderful retelling of "Cinderella" and I just knew that when I picked up "Mirror, Mirror" I'd be captivated from the first page. I was sadly disappointed. I had so much trouble getting through all the description of Montefiore. It seemed that Maguire could go on and on for pages and pages about the landscape and architecture. Beautiful descriptions, don't get me wrong, but there was simply too much of it. Also, Vicente's personality is so drab to me, and I didn't understand why it was necessary to spend so much time describing his moods and behaviors. I also feel as if there was entirely too much back story of the Borgia's. This could be because I've never been a fan of history, especially regarding a family from 1500 Italy. It was just boring, and unnecessary to the plot. I feel Maguire could have compressed their history into less pages, leaving more room for the actual story to develop. Even the hunters history was more lengthy than it needed to be.
I am disappointed that it has taken half the book for the story to really get started. I haven't finished this book yet, and am debating whether I should. I have never had to force myself to read any of Maguire's books and am sad that that's what I've had to do with this one since the first sentence. I can't imagine the story unfolding as it should with only the last half of the book remaining. Seems to me it's going to be a mad dash to the end, which won't end well.