I love Catherynne M. Valente. I fell in love with her writing and worlds when I first read her Fairyland series. Ever since reading those books, I have set out to buy and collect all of her works. I'm well on my way and now I am the proud owner of more than half her novels. Just three more and I will own all of her novels. Then I shall move on to her poetry and short stories! But for now, I shall tell you how I love Six-Gun Snow White because this review is just going to be more praise for the ever talented Valente.
I picked up this book because I just wanted to try one of Valente's adult works that's similar to her Fairyland series and I was not disappointed. Her writing is just as rich and whimsical as always. I adore how she took the tale of Snow White, as well as other fairy tales, and wove a Western story within to it. It seems so seamless and magical; I felt enraptured by her story. The artwork, done by Charlie Bowater, is incredibly detailed and fits into Valente's prose perfectly. I adored everything about this book.
The characters are all based on figures from fairy tale. There's Snow White, obviously, but there's also Cinderella, Rose Red (which just so happens to be Snow White's gun), and Charming (who just so happens to be her horse). I loved reading and figuring out from which fairy tale Valente took inspiration from and how she was able to form it into her own narrative. Snow White is brave, curious, intelligent, and strong for being able to endure all the abuse her step-mother, and later other characters, displayed toward her. She's not without flaws and she does fall to depression at some point, but it's her comeback that felt so real, so authentic, because we don't always come out of our struggles all the better. Valente did a fantastic job in showcasing what it's like to live a difficult life yet, somehow, finding a way to persevere.
If you love fairy tales, if you love Westerns, if you love reading about characters fighting for their right to live, then I highly recommend this book. If you also love beautiful writing, books set in a whimsical world, then read this book! Valente is a master with her craft and she definitely deserves praise for what she does. Be warn, there is child abuse, attempted sexual assault, and swear words within this novel and if that might bother you, perhaps you might want to skip this one. But I do think it's an amazing read. One you will enjoy greatly if fantasy and fairy tales are your thing~