A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. All opinions are my own.
Published by Month 9 Books on September 9th 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Adaptations, Fantasy & Magic
Snow Queen Thyra Winther is 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. Touched by the warmth of a wolf pup's devotion and the fire of a young man's love, the thawing of Thyra's frozen heart could prove her ultimate undoing
Crown of Ice is the first book in The Mirror of Immortality series by Vicki L. Weavil. The first thing that drew me to read this book was the cover. I’m drawn to dark covers and the contrast between light and dark fascinated me. Second, I love fairytales and as this is a retelling of Hans Christian Anderson’s, The Snow Queen, I knew I wanted to read this book.
Before I tell you what was wrong with this book, I want to outline what I liked.
- A smart heroine. Brains vs. Beauty. I get so tired of the same ole beautiful characters that are as dumb as rocks. I loved that Thyra is just as smart as Kai. Yes, she needed his help but I truly think she was smart enough to figure things out for herself.
- I loved that math and science had a part in this book for reasons outlined above (See more on this below)
- Themes of redemption. Despite being a realist in real life, I’m a bit of an idealist when it comes to literature.
- View Spoiler »In the end, Thyra doesn’t dismiss love but decides that education should come first. « Hide Spoiler
Now, on to what I disliked.
- As I said, Thyra and Kai are smart. Both possess a mind that understands complex mathematics and scientific equations. However, I felt that the need for equations, science, and math was inadequately explained.
- Redemption is always possible but I felt that Kai forgave Thyra entirely too fast. She didn’t work through her angst in a manner that felt real and human. It’s as if one moment her heart is literally encased in ice and the next she’s working to save people she herself had set out to destroy.
The pop culture references were entirely too much. I seriously broke out in song a few times. On more than one occasion my girls looked at me and wondered why in the world I’d broken out into, “Let it go.” I think I even shouted, “The cold never bothered me anyway,” on more than one occasion. I also felt as if elements borrowed from Lord of the Rings. One quote, in particular, sounded eerily similar to Galadriel’s when she was tempted by the ring.
“In the place of a Dark Lord you would have a Queen!
Not dark but beautiful and terrible as the Morn!
Treacherous as the Seas! Stronger than the foundations of the Earth!”
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings
“I am brighter than the borealis, sharper than an ice crystal,
stronger than the northern winds. I will reassemble the mirror
and reign as Snow Queen forever.”
Thyra, Crown of Ice
- Filler dialogue instead of action. This character seriously talked people with powerful magic of their own out of their mirror shards. They didn’t put up a fight. Even when they likely could have beaten her. The dialogue wasn’t limited to this situation. Thyra rambled on in every conversation and she had to have her way. Even disagreeing with Kai about searching for more shards, even though she is the one that wanted to search for them.5. To be such a smart girl, she made some pretty dumb choices. Who waits five months to undertake a quest when the consequence of failure is to turn into a soulless wraith? Not only that, she takes time out of her quest to go on side quests to prevent a girl from finding her friend. Even though that girl would never be able to survive in the ice-cold domain of the Snow Queen. I think if my soul were on the line, I’d be working around the clock to save myself instead of going on side-quests for no reason.
Overall, I feel like this author has promise and I am curious about the next installment. I honestly think I could have enjoyed this book had there not been so many pop culture references. As outlined above, I also wanted to better understand key elements of the story and to see more action—less dialogue.