I have just a few thoughts on this book. It was more enjoyable than I expected it to be, and it was less complex than I expected it to be. (That is not to say it didn't get me thinking!) I know the reason for these expectations--a dark, complicated, depressing novel--are due solely to my reading of other Maguire works--Wicked, Son of a Witch, and A Lion Among Men. This trilogy, dubbed The Wicked Years, is nothing if not dark, twisted, and endlessly labyrinthine. I did enjoy reading those books. It is just that after reading them, one expects the author to be ruthless, leaving no chance for a satisfying, traditionally "happy" ending.
There was enough of a twist at the end of Confessions that I was surprised, but overall this retelling of the classic fairy tale remained true to what a fairy tale must be--the pretty girl marries the prince, the mean stepmother is thwarted in the end. However, the themes throughout the book were compelling and thought-provoking: What IS beauty? Does physical beauty always translate to spiritual beauty? Does physical imperfection always translate to an evil heart--jealousy, rage, and scorn? When a work of art is perfect, does the artist regret creating it?