Circe by Madeline Miller (♦♦♦♦)

Granddaughter of Oceanus, daughter of Titan Helios and sea nymph Perseid, Circe was different from the start. While her siblings discovered their unique gifts very early on and gained their independence—either by claiming their inheritance, like Perses and Aëstes, or by marriage to a wealthy demigod, like Pasiphäe—, Circe remained among her family in the halls of the gods. Her love for young fisherman Glaucus changed everything. Circe used a potion to transform Glaucus into a worthy suitor. Glaucus, seeing his station changed, fell in love with one Circe’s cousins, a sea nymph named Scylla. Out of jealousy, Circe put a potion on Scylla’s bath and, unintendedly, transformed her into a monster. Circe’s confession forced Helios to go to see Zeus, for witchcraft is something that gods fear can tip the balance of power. Zeus declared an eternal banishment for Circe from the halls of the gods to the island of Aiaia.

Exile was not easy but, as Circe learned, it had its advantages; being away f…

Snow White and The Huntsman (♦♦♦♦)

In a far away kingdom lives a little princess named Snow White with her widower father who is still, a year later, mourning his late wife. All that changes with the advent of war and the rescue of a ravishing, young maid named Ravenna, who on her wedding night, kills the king, overtakes the castle with a dark army, and imprisons the princess for years.

Queen Ravenna is obsessed with staying young forever, and being “the fairest of them all”, but Snow White’s beauty is destined to surpass hers. What to do? Why, send a huntsman to capture her alive so she can eat Snow’s heart, of course! The Huntsman becomes bewitched by Snow White’s beauty, innocence and sense of destiny, which she puts to good use once she comes back from the dead after a true love kiss.

SWATH is epic, with plenty of action and odd occurrences to satisfy odd tastes. It is a gothic tale, as dark as it comes, and I mean Voldemort dark, for Queen Ravenna sucks up the life force of every young maid in the kingdom in her quest for immortality. Ravenna not only savages subjects, but she has a negative effect on vegetation as well, for no plants grow anymore. A land that used to be bountiful is now in ruins. The only beautiful, even pleasant to look at part of the movie happens in the land of the fairies where everything is lush, green and swell, there Snow White gets blessed by a fairy hart.

Chris Hemsworth is very convincing as the Huntsman, in love but not realizing it; Kristen Stewart makes a decent Snow White, though I preferred Lilly Collins in Mirror Mirror. However, the best performance of the movie is Charlize Theron’s as Queen Ravenna, obsessed with beauty, power and immortality. Also star Ian McShane, Toby Jones and Bob Hoskins as three of the seven dwarves.