Continuing with the Before Happily Ever After Series, Ann T. Bugg brings two girls back to the fairy tale world for another rousing adventure. If you haven't seen my post on the first book in the series, check that out before moving on to this one (else: spoilers)!
Last time, Samantha and Valerie went through the magical mirror to help Snow White find her way. A year has passed, and Sam is back at Val's farm. Both girls are hoping to go back to the fairy tale world, but nothing happens with the mirror. What finally summons their fairy godmother is the plight of Val's horse that is going blind. They need to go to the fairy tale world to chase unicorns and bring back what they need to help the horse. The only hitch is Odette and the other denizens of the magical land can't directly help her -- it must all be in riddles or roundabout.
Sam and Val's adventures lead them to the unicorns, but not before they meet elves and trolls, free Rapunzel from her tower, and rub elbows with more royalty.
Possibly the cutest way to follow Through The Mirror And Into Snow without making things convoluted was what Bugg wrote as Rapunzel's story. Sam and Val came across Rapunzel's tower by accident, but played an active role in freeing her and reuniting her with her family. The good thing about all this is her story "began" and closed in one book -- it's isolated. Though Rapunzel may or may not make future appearances in the Before Happily Ever After Series, her story isn't left open like Snow White's or Briar Rose's.
If I had just one complaint about Into The Forest And Down The Tower, it's that the book felt kind of rushed. It's is kind of short to begin with going just by page numbers, but the story progressed so quickly that by the end I felt slightly overwhelmed. This doesn't make Tower a bad book, though. Not by a long shot.
One change between Snow andTower is the girls, now familiar with the society and technology (or lack thereof) of fairy tale land, are more confident describing their world to their new friends. In Snow, they felt kind of hesitant to divulge too much about their world, or speak too freely around different characters, but in Tower they open up to a few different people right away. Some of their new friends also seemed to share Sam and Val's humor, which helped bridge a gap and get everyone on even footing. Finally, besides the small brush with the dwarves in the first book, this is the first time Sam and Val got to see some real magic performed during their adventures.
Tower is another fun book in a series that started out strongly. As I mentioned in my previous review, I highly recommend it to anyone that loves fantasy and fairy tales -- especially if you have a little princess of your own at home that loves these kind of stories. These are good on their own, but they're better enjoyed by those who are familiar with the characters from their original tales.
Thanks to Ann and her team for providing me with an eBook review copy of this book! Remember to check back on Dec. 6th for both my review of the third entry in the series and my interview with the author.
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