cover image The Evil Queen (The Forest of Good and Evil #1)

The Evil Queen (The Forest of Good and Evil #1)

Gena Showalter. Inkyard, $19.99 (544p) ISBN 978-1-335-54224-3

After Everly Morrow, 17, discovers that she can spy on people using mirrors, and her fraternal twin, Hartly, develops the ability to commune with animals, their mother, Aubrey, divulges the truth: they are from Enchantia, where magic is real and fairy tales are prophetic. Aubrey decamped to Oklahoma after King Stephan tried to murder the family and succeeded in killing the girls’ father, Prince Edwin. Now, Stephan has died, and it’s safe to return. However, an Oracle claims that the sisters’ fates are tied to the tale of “Snow White,” and if their newfound talents reflect their respective roles in the fairy tale, tragedy awaits. Upon arriving in Enchantia, Everly falls for Roth Charmaine (aka Prince Charming?) raising questions about good vs. evil and fate vs. free will. Despite a ponderous start, purple prose, and a convoluted premise, Showalter (the Everlife books) delivers an entertaining series opener that condemns prejudice while championing self-determination. Romance—sweet and steamy, gay and straight—features prominently, action and humor abound, and the mystery of how each character figures into the legend imparts intrigue. Ages 13–up. [em]Agent: Deidre Knight, the Knight Agency. (June) [/em]