By the D23 Team
Before she had her magic mirror or poisoned apples, who was the Evil Queen? That is what Fairest of All, the latest title in Serena Valentino’s Villains series, seeks to answer. Are you bewitched by the prospect of exploring her story? From now until April 25, you can download Fairest of All for free here.
Find out more about this enchanting exploration of one of Disney’s most famous villainesses from the author herself. We had the chance to ask Valentino a few questions about the story:
D23: The Official Disney Fan Club: Why is Fairest of All a great story for Disney fans to read?
Serena Valentino (SV): I think Disney fans not familiar with the series will enjoy all the little nods to the original animated film. Everything from how Grimhilde gets her spell books, to how she learns magic, where the boat under the castle leads, to who the man in the mirror is… not to mention how she met Snow White’s father!
D23: What do you like most about exploring the Evil Queen’s backstory?
SV: What I like most about this story is her life before she became Snow’s stepmother and what her relationship with Snow and her father was like before Snow’s father passed away. Fairest of All ties up a lot of loose ends from the original tale, and gives Grimhilde’s character more depth. It never seemed quite right to me that Grimhilde tried to have her stepdaughter killed because she was jealous of her beauty, and in my version it’s much more sinister and heartbreaking, and maybe even a little relatable, if not redeemable.
D23: Why do you enjoy telling the Villains’ backstories?
SV: I love really getting to know these characters and exploring why they did the evil things they did in the original animated films. I love dreaming up the backstories of characters I have loved since I was young, and finding ways to make them feel more real and relatable. Most of the time we find that our villains weren’t born evil, but were made evil. If readers feel bad for a woman who wanted to wear puppy fur, like in my next book, Evil Thing, about Cruella De Vil (coming out July 7), then I have done my job!