Book Review: Snow White with the Red Hair

Hey everyone! I’m back with a special book review! This is not one of my monthly reading books, but a different one which I got for my birthday and read. It’s a manga called Snow White with the Red Hair by Sorata Akiduki, and I wanted to do this book review because when I was looking into this book, I couldn’t find too much information on a review of the content of the book, much less a Christian review. So I want to do a Christian review on this manga, Snow White with the Red Hair. There are spoilers below, so read at your own risk.

Taken from Goodreads

The Synopsis (Taken from Goodreads)

A romantic retelling of a classic fairy tale about a beautiful herbalist and a lovestruck prince.

Shirayuki is an herbalist famous for her naturally bright-red hair, and the prince of Tanbarun wants her all to himself! Unwilling to become the prince’s possession, she seeks shelter in the woods of the neighboring kingdom, where she gains an unlikely ally—the prince of that kingdom! He rescues her from her plight, and thus begins the love story between a lovestruck prince and an unusual herbalist.

Content Review:

Postive Messages: The positive messages in this book are mostly embodied in the two main characters, Shirayuki (the “Snow White” character) and Zen, the prince who rescues her.

Shirayuki is a strong female lead, but not feministic. She respects herself enough to refuse the “honor” the prince of her kingdom wishes to bestow upon her because of her red-hair, and defies him to do the right thing and retain her dignity and freedom. That causes her to meet Zen and his friends in the woods of the neighboring kingdom, Clarines.

The prince of her kingdom, Raj, somehow tracks her and sends a basket of apples to them. When Zen eats one in order to make sure they’re not poisoned, then gets poisoned himself, Shirayuki is willing to give herself over to Raj in order to obtain the medicine which Raj has to heal Zen. Thankfully, Zen has been working on building up an immunity to different poisons and is not as badly affected by the poison as he could have been, and rescues Shirayuki from the situation.

Afterwards, Shirayuki decides she wants to thank Zen somehow for helping her, and determines to become an herbalist in the palace where he lives. She works hard, is brave when faced with difficult situations, and is also witty, escaping from a building a kidnapper had thrown her in. She’s loyal to her friends, and also wants to truly earn her position as an herbalist through hard work and dedication, not take advantage of her friendship with Zen, who could easily get her a position with one order.

In all of that, however, she’s not without her weaknesses. There are several times Zen has to come to her rescue, though she is hardly a damsel in distress, and she is genuinely grateful to him for his help. They look at each other’s strengths and weaknesses and both help each other to excel in the areas where they’re weak.

For Zen, he’s also a very strong character. He gets angry when he hears of Raj’s treatment of Shirayuki, and when someone jokes about the apples Raj sent to her being poisoned, he takes a bite of one first, to ensure her safety. Her response in running away from Raj instead of accepting his position of “honor” earn her his respect, and he shows that throughout the book. He allows her to go her own path, but always looks after her and lends her aid when she needs it, whether it be with his sword, title as prince, or helping her with her herbs.

When the chief herbalist talks to Shirayuki and Zen about the tryouts for being an herbalist in the palace, she says that Zen could just order that Shirayuki become a court herbalist, and it would be done. Zen, however, says he would never do that. He knows Shirayuki wouldn’t like that and respects her wishes, leaving it up to the chief herbalist to decide it fair and square.

There are also other characters who show positive character traits. A marquis, for example, though wrongly prejudiced against Shirayuki because of her position as a commoner, seems to care for Zen and wishes to do what’s best for him. Also, Zen’s friends are always looking out for him, and the chief herbalist herself is kind to both Shirayuki and Zen.

Rating: 4.5/5

Spiritual Content: I honestly didn’t see any spiritual content in this story.

Rating: N/A

Romantic Content: For this being a “Snow White” fairy tale retelling, there really isn’t a lot of romance in it. Since it’s a series, I think it’s probably going to be more of a slow romance, so we’ll see.

The prince of Shirayuki’s hometown, Raj, wants her as his newest concubine because of her red hair. Thankfully, Shirayuki has a healthy self-image and realizes that, even though it might be an “honor”, she respects herself too much to allow that to happen to her, so she runs away into the woods of the next kingdom, Clarines.

There she meets Zen, the second prince of the Clarines Kingdom. Throughout the rest of the story, you can tell they have an attraction to one another, but it doesn’t go further than friendship in this book.

Rating: 4/5

Violent Content: There are a couple scenes where Shirayuki is kidnapped or threatened. A couple people hurt their hands. Someone is poisoned by an apple and passes out, but doesn’t die.

Rating: 4/5

Language Content: There are two cuss words in this book. One use of the d-word, and one ba-word.

Rating: 3/5

Other Negative Content: The only other “negative” thing about the book is more of a style thing. It’s a very slow going book, some little action but not like a major overarching plot.

About the middle of the book, the whole “Snow White” plot retelling kinda gets wrapped up with Shirayuki escaping the prince of Tanbarun and it gets a little slow after that, focusing on Shirayuki trying out for an herbalist position in the castle that Zen lives in.

So it is a more drama-like book, such as Tom Sawyer or Anne of Green Gables rather than an action-packed, edge of your seat book. So if those aren’t your cup of tea, this may not be the book for you.

It’s also a manga, which means it’s like a comic you read right to left, not left to right like a normal book. So if this is something you’d not be able to get used to, it’s also not the best book for you.

Rating: 4.5/5

Total Content Rating: 4/5 Stars

Personal Review:

I really enjoyed this manga story, and will be trying the next book. The art was pretty, and the story was good! A couple times I found myself slightly confused and had to re-read a part for clarification, and two characters in the story were drawn super similarly that I got them confused until the very end where I saw the list of characters in the back and realized they were different, but besides that, the story and art flowed well!

I will say the most negative thing about the story in my eyes were the two curse words. It would have been so easy for the author to just leave them out, and it wouldn’t have hurt the book at all. For that, and the confusion mentioned above, I ding it a star.

There is also another little short story at the end of the book, called “Colorful Seasons of August“. There is really no negative content in it, and it’s about a girl who helps a colorblind boy understand what different colors “look” like. You can tell there’s a little attraction between them, but there really isn’t any romantic content, there’s no language, or violence.

Personal Rating: 4/5 Stars

Thank you for reading my book review! Have you read this book? Are you going to read this book? Let me know in the comments below! God bless! ~ Kay Leigh

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