My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
Publication Date: September 9th 2014
POV: 1st person & female
Genres & Themes: YA, Fantasy, Fairy tale retellings. Witches, Magic, Romance, Friendship, Family, Adventure.
Thyra Winther’s seventeen, the Snow Queen, and immortal, but if she can’t reassemble a shattered enchanted mirror by her eighteenth birthday she’s doomed to spend eternity as a wraith. Armed with magic granted by a ruthless wizard, Thyra schemes to survive with her mind and body intact. Unencumbered by kindness, she kidnaps local boy Kai Thorsen, whose mathematical skills rival her own. Two logical minds, Thyra calculates, are better than one. With time rapidly melting away she needs all the help she can steal. A cruel lie ensnares Kai in her plan, but three missing mirror shards and Kai’s childhood friend, Gerda, present more formidable obstacles. Thyra’s willing to do anything – venture into uncharted lands, outwit sorcerers, or battle enchanted beasts — to reconstruct the mirror, yet her most dangerous adversary lies within her breast. Touched by the warmth of a wolf pup’s devotion and the fire of a young man’s desire, the thawing of Thyra’s frozen heart could be her ultimate undoing.
CROWN OF ICE is a YA Fantasy that reinvents Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen” from the perspective of a young woman who discovers that the greatest threat to her survival may be her own humanity.
I had such high hopes for this one. If you’re a lover of fairy tale retellings, the Snow Queen’s original tale or simply the Disney movie Frozen, I bet you’re pretty curious about this one, aren’t you? Sadly, it was a disappointment for me.
The Snow Queen as a main character was pretty entertaining, that’s for sure. She is eerie, cold and cruel sometimes, I admit.
And, yes, she is pitiless and doesn’t know what love means but, between us, how often do we read stories with such main characters? Pretty rarely, in my opinion, so Thyra was, without any doubt, a character I enjoyed reading about because of how original and out of ordinary she felt.
Her love interest, Kai, though, was very banal, predictable, naïf, weak and…boring. Sure, he was cute and nice and kind but I wanted something more from him on top of all that. Something that would make him special and less similar to all those good guys we can encounter in our reads.
The story actually has much potential. There are so many twists and turns we can imagine with such a main character and situation—being cursed. But, no, the author decided to base it on finding pieces of a mirror having the power to grant immortality. Not for her, but for the one who cursed her, a powerful wizard. Voss.
Maybe the problem was that there wasn’t a detailed and exploited world-building because, yes, there were some times when I was captivated by the plotline, like when she went to that ball. But, you see, it didn’t last long and it wasn’t described enough. Most of the time, she meets new characters who can help her find the shattered pieces from the mirror. Or get in her way—those were the most interesting ones.
The pacing was between fast and slow, really depending but overall it wasn’t a long read. Two sittings were in fact what I needed to read it completely. It was an okay read overall and the writing not bad…but not good either. It often felt like the sentences ended on a ‘dry’ or ‘raw’ note. And I don’t believe it’s because of the Snow Queen’s personality since I liked this latter. Although, the author beautifully described elements/settings when she did take time to do so, if we don’t take in consideration the ‘dry’ and ‘raw’ feeling.
Gerda is probably the most developed character in the whole story, even more than our Snow Queen, who had some character development yet not much characterization. There was a lack of that element in this story, but I’m glad I at least find one who did not have that problem.
In general, it was okay, really, just okay. Neither bad nor good. I’m deceived, yet it wasn’t all bad so I can’t say I regret reading this fairy tale.
My review on Goodreads.