I’ve read many fairytale retellings over the course of the past few months and, really, over the course of my life. But I give K.M. Shea the credit for roping me in and making me fall in love with in the genre this time around. Her Snow Queen books are truly a joy to read from start to finish. I’ve only dipped my pinkie toe into her Timeless Fairytale series, but so far, those are great as well! I’ll write more on them later.

But for now…The Snow Queen. A story for a post-Frozen world.

The series is split into two — Heart of Ice and Sacrifice.

They are two complete stories — not a serial but a series — following the main character Rakel as she goes from an ice-castle shut-in to dominating the world (or her small part of it anyway).

What I like

All of Rakel’s actions make sense within the story and I *felt* for her at every turn. The book was full of humor and drama, romance and friendships, and magic.

I love this part of K.M.’s world. The magic system in the Snow Queen books is really well developed, more like the detailed world of a fantasy novel rather than the broad strokes of a fairytale. At the same time, it’s not too complex, so you’re not scratching your head as you’re reading.

Also, I haven’t read many books set in a world covered in snow and ice. Through Rakel’s eyes (mostly), you can see it, feel it. Here are just a few quotes that I highlighted as I read:

  • “Previously, she had only known a cold world filled with the purest hues of white and blue. The greedy orange of the all-consuming fires and the metallic scent of crimson blood were not welcome changes but a brutal assault.”
  • “Rakel rubbed the tips of her fingers together, igniting the cold spark of her magic. Snow began to swirl in the middle of the road that ambled through the village. Ice grew up from the ground, forming and shaping under Rakel’s magic. Glancing at the invaders, she molded the sculpture until it grew into a life-sized replica of an invader—perfectly detailed, down to the insignias on their uniforms.”
  • “She extended her arms—her fingers spread—and ice began to spiral out and away from her, crawling across the ground in precise patterns. The ice formed a giant snow flake, with her at the center. A push from her magic, and it began to rotate, gliding across the ground. It was for appearance’s sake—part of the show Phile had mentioned—but judging by the panicked shouts of the soldiers, they hadn’t figured that out”


My Verdict

5/5 stars. If you haven’t read this series and like fairytales, fantasy, or Frozen — drop what you’re doing and read it now. You won’t regret it. Were there things I didn’t like? Sure. I found one of the secondary characters, Phile, a bit irritating, but not even close to the point where I wanted to stop reading the books. K.M. hit all the emotional notes right and in the end I was smiling. Highly enjoyable and highly recommended.

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