Hi, my name is Dragana, and I’m a book-o-holic. My goal in life is to read all the speculative fiction novels in the world. (or at least try) :)
You can also find me on: Bookworm Dreams Blog
I have a weak spot for fairy tale retellings, especially when they promise to add something new to the story. Crown of Ice gives an unique twist to the Snow Queen, fairy tale written by Hans Christian Andersen, because it is told from different point of view. We have an honor to listen to the story from the lips of the Snow Queen herself. You know, I always imagined her like a tall, cold, serious woman. So imagine my surprise when at the beginning of Crown of Ice she starts with:
My name is Thyra Winther, and I am seventeen years old. I have five months to restore the mirror or suffer the fate of my predecessors.
The story is probably familiar to you already. Snow Queen kidnaps a young man called Kai and promises to let him go if he
makes a word ‘eternity’ from a pieces of ice helps her assemble the pieces of magic mirror. Kai’s childhood friend Gerda goes on a quest to get him back and encounters a lot of different people on the way.
All of these questions are left mostly unanswered in Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale. If you ever wondered about them, you should read a Crown of Ice.
How much is Crown of Ice similar to original fairytale? This is a tough question to answer. I wanna say very similar, but the Crown of Ice is also very different because of an unique new perspective to the story and characters. Snow Queen spies on Gerda while Gerda is traveling so we will read about her view of all events that happened to Gerda, but also there is so much more going on here. Vicki L. Weavil really gave life to all characters. While I was only able to connect to Gerda in original story, here I felt close to them all.
Since Disney’s animated movie Frozen in some way deals with Snow Queen theme, some of you might wonder how much is Crown of Ice similar to Frozen? Not much. Of course, Snow Queen has power over snow and ice but that’s where similarities between Elsa and Thyra end.
I would love to say that nothing reminded me of Frozen in Crown of Ice, but there was one detail that bothered me through the whole book. Thyra has a saying /motto she uses often:
One part is always the same. Sound familiar?
Another very important question when book is from a first person point of view is the character of narrator. And I can find only word of praise for Thyra . Aren’t you sick of main characters who whine how they are just plain looking or nothing special? Thyra’s not like that. She’s confident and sure in herself. She knows she is better than any other human out there.
“I’m smart, inventive and willing to save your little friend. Are you coming with me, or do you prefer to cower in the palace?”
How many times did you read a heroine say something like this to a hero/male in young adult novels? Thyra does not cover. She is determined to succeed. But also she is not perfect and sometimes even lies to achieve her goals. Very human and realistic. I liked her even when her thoughts were not good.
I watch Ravn toy with the weapon and consider freezing those long, tapering fingers until they blacken and fall from his hands.
Reading about a person who knows her own worth was so refreshing. I am bored of Mary Sue heroines that are dominating young adult fiction.
I have written so much, but I feel like I only talked about the tip of the iceberg or in this case the tip of theCrown of Ice. There are so many other things I loved in this novel that are worth mentioning:
If I have written ALL of my thoughts about these topics, this review would be so long even I would feel too lazy to read it ever again.
Crown of Ice was great young adult fantasy novel. It offers an interesting and refreshing retelling of Snow Queen fairytale, but also so much more – realistic, confident and a bit bad heroine, magic, cute animals, subtle romance, … I warmly recommend it to all ya fantasy fans.
Looking for something similar? Try Graceling by Kristin Cashore. Why? Because heroine is also confident and kicks ass. Also, similar dynamic between characters and general ‘feel’ of the book.