The Fairest Beauty is a retelling of Snow White and is a very well told tale. Rose's children, from The Healer's Apprentice, are who this story focuses on. The family finds out that the eldest son, Valten, has a betrothed because she did not die at the age of 2 like her stepmother claimed. Well, Valten is stuck in bed with a broken leg so Gabehart, called Gabe, decides to be an adventurer and goes after her himself. Shockingly he falls in love with Sophie and helps her to escape the evil queen. They stay with the dwarves to recover and she finds Sophie and attempts to, but does not, kill her. She then is chased by the dwarves and dies. I'll let you find out how, since you already know the bones of the story :) The ending is pretty neat, so I won't spoil the particulars for you! :)
I really liked this book because there was more emphasis on the time in the Queen's castle. A lot of times the story is told where Snow White escapes because the Queen tells her huntsman to kill the girl and he refuses. In this story we get more of the dynamic between the two, their relationship, and we get to know Sophie a little earlier on in the story. The prince is also much more dynamic. The reader is able to see how Gabe develops his love for Sophie, and that it's not just love at first sight. The men in the cottage are 7 outcasts and they are all very cool! You can completely identify them with their 'original' names and it is fun to do :D
There were a couple things that I did not care for in this story, and one of them was the kissing. Once Gabe and Sophie confessed their love for one another, there was a lot of kissing and it seemed to really contradict how careful Sophie was earlier in the book and the general rules of society that were in place, according to the author. I feel each book has more kissing in it and it's a little odd to me. I also wished that the author used a tragedy from Gabe's past a little more. It was in the book, but I felt it kind of got lost and it was sort of used as a reason for him to leave in the beginning.
I give this book a 9/10 and recommend it to YA readers.