Thursday, November 23, 2023

Library read... Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige

I've got a library read today! I stumbled across this one while searching for snow stories and ordered it in from another library (it's so kind that the libraries do this). It's a retelling on the Snow Queen and promises tons of action with exciting twists. I have heard about the author and know that she's written a best-seller or two...although I don't believe I've read any of her stories yet. (I might be wrong, though)

Since this one fits right in with the upcoming months, I figured I'd give it a go.

Stealing Snow #1
by Danielle Paige
YA Fantasy / Retelling
375 pages

First kisses sometimes wake slumbering princesses, undo spells, and spark happily ever afters.

Mine broke Bale.

Seventeen-year-old Snow has spent her life locked in Whittaker Psychiatric—but she isn’t crazy. And that’s not the worst of it. Her very first kiss proves anything but innocent…when Bale, her only love, turns violent.

Despite Snow knowing that Bale would never truly hurt her, he is taken away—dashing her last hope for any sort of future in the mental ward she calls home. With nowhere else to turn, Snow finds herself drawn to a strange new orderly who whispers secrets in the night about a mysterious past and a kingdom that’s hers for the taking—if only she can find her way past the iron gates to the Tree that has been haunting her dreams.

Beyond the Tree lies Algid, a land far away from the real world, frozen by a ruthless king. And there too await the River Witch, a village boy named Kai, the charming thief Jagger, and a prophecy that Snow will save them all.


Insanity dances along the sharp edges and breaks away to a harsh reality, where a princess must fight her evil father in hope of finding even a shard of a future for their kingdom.

Snow has been in the mental institute as long as she can remember thanks to her sudden, violent outbursts. The one person she was able to connect with broke her wrist at their first kiss. She starts to plan a way to see him again, but the attempt lands her following a strange boy through a portal to an unknown world. He calls her a princess and claims that she possesses incredible magical powers, but just as she begins to trust him, he disappears. Instead, she ends up in the hands of a witch, who divulges a prophecy concerning Snow's birth. Thanks to her evil father, the king, she's hunted because only she holds the key to the future of their world.

I was curious when I saw this one peeking between the books on the library shelves. After all, I'm all in for a retelling on the Snow Queen, especially one which begins with the main character in a mental institute...sounds original and promising. And this read is original. The first several chapters introduce Snow and her life as a patient. Her mother visits every now and then, but Snow's main interactions are with the nurses and other patients. Occasionally. It's never really clear why Snow is there or why she's been given such a long 'sentence' outside of the fact that she has a hot temper and has bitten a couple of people. The other patients around her have more serious problems, but the interactions are kept to a minimum. So, we don't really get too much of a handle on any of them...even her 'love interest', Blade.

After this longer beginning, Snow enters the other world. I enjoyed the magical aspects and the tension at the situation she suddenly finds her place in. It's exciting, unique, and holds so much promise. The writing makes every scene flow naturally by and creates a grabbing read. The characters and interactions are interesting as is the world building. But I had a hard time really connecting with Snow. Maybe it's her memory loss as she sort of stumbles from one thing to the next. She's very quick to accept the people and situations (too quick?) and grows into her powers with quick easy. It makes a light read, which speeds by and entertains.

There is romance...of sorts. While Snow should have enough to contend with considering the new world, prophecies, being hunted, and figuring out her powers, she has three boys which draw her interest. Each of these is an instant magnetic to her heart, despite her lack of complete knowledge about any of them. And her heart shifts as quickly as the sudden snow storms. In other words, the depth isn't there.

Still, it's an original and entertaining take on the Snow Queen and makes an easy, intriguing read for retelling fans.

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