cover image The Magic Mirror and the Seventh Dwarf

The Magic Mirror and the Seventh Dwarf

Tia Nevitt. Harlequin/Carina, $2.99 e-book (250p) ISBN 978-1-4268-9510-4

Nevitt’s second Accidental Enchantments novel (after The Sevenfold Spell) is an ugly duckling take on a favorite princess story. Gretchen is a 27-year-old spinster dwarf in the Grimm-era German countryside. Treated as a joke by her neighbors, she longs for marriage and a place in the world. Then a traveling minstrel tells her of an independent farm run by dwarfs and offers to escort her there. While Gretchen learns to flirt with farmer Lars, she also befriends Ange, the local oppressed princess, whose evil stepmother rules by the words of a magic mirror that will let anyone command Prince Richard, Ange’s crush object. Blunt and insightful, the narrative offers a few more twists and much more humanity than Snow White’s tale ever did. While the romantic elements are low-key, Gretchen’s matter-of-fact willingness to forgo love if she can have security adds an intriguing Austenian note, and Ange is a splendidly active, vivacious heroine who refuses to be trapped in the role of victim. (Feb.)