My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I grew up frightened of the Snow Queen; the blight of winter she cast in an instant suffocating the world in ice and snow. In the Crown of Ice, I delighted in getting to know the Snow Queen, and she has a name, Thyra Winther. This retelling twisted familiar threads into a compelling and new understanding of Hans Christen Anderson’s Snow Queen.
Losing her parents in a tragic blizzard, at very young age, stolen and imprisoned by the wizard Mael Voss, who gave her supernatural gifts and tethered her to a mirror broken into a puzzle, with missing pieces she’s not meant to ever find. A mirror, Voss wields no power over unless it’s complete.
If she cannot complete the task before her eightieth birthday only months away, Thyra will turn into a wraith, one of the hundreds Voss has stolen over the years for the same task. Those who’ve failed haunt the dark corridors of the ice palace, crying out “with faces frozen into masks of grief” whispering she will be with them soon. Soon. If Thyra can free herself in time she can also free them.
But she can’t do it alone, even with her advanced math skills. The looking glass shards must be replaced exactly how they fell, placed incorrectly the mirror will reject them. Thyra remembers a boy from the village, almost as good with numbers as she. Thyra reaches out to him, now, years later, and not waiting for his consent she carries him away on her sleigh to the ice palace. He has no choice, but neither has she.
Crown of Ice, is a wonderful retelling of one of my favorite fairytales. The writing is vivid, yet economical and often surprising me with new descriptions. The pacing made me ravenous to speed through, and the world building is vivid, frigid, and enchanting.
Thyra is smart in her calculations, and while she struggles to overcome her prison, she soon finds help in unexpected ways, and may have found the best kind of love. The ending is exactly what I’d hoped for her.
Book two, SCEPTER OF FIRE, (The Snow Queen Saga #2) releases in the fall, 2016. Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Ugly Duckling” and “The Steadfast Tin Soldier”, SCEPTER OF FIRE is a companion book to CROWN OF ICE
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