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The Snow Queen's Shadow (PRINCESS NOVELS) (edition 2011)

by Jim C. Hines

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163None73,406 (3.97)5
Member:JessicaABaker
Title:The Snow Queen's Shadow (PRINCESS NOVELS)
Authors:Jim C. Hines
Info:DAW (2011), Edition: Original, Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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The Snow Queen's Shadow by Jim C. Hines

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Showing 4 of 4
It's hard, finishing a series of books I've enjoyed for a few years. Stories need endings, but some stories I'm reluctant to finish because the closing door is hard to face. Jim Hines' princess series is one of those stories for me. The world is lush, the characters are fantastic, and I've always loved the way he's woven the source material into something smart and modern.

Which is why I waited so long to read The Snow Queen's Shadow. I didn't want the ride to end.

Snow Queen's a departure from the previous three books. The set-up turns the formula of the prior books on its head, and forces everyone to push outside of their comfort zones. It took me a couple of chapters to really buy in and trust, but I'm glad I did. The ending was worth the sadness for me, and because this is Jim Hines, we're left with an ending that shows us just enough of what the world looks like afterward. I can work with that.

( )
  dimlightarchive | Apr 8, 2013 |
The Snow Queen's Shadow is the fourth and, at least for the moment, final volume in Jim C. Hines' series of Princess novels. In the books Hines takes classic fairy tales (and by classic I mean the darker original stories, not the nicer "cleaned up" versions that most people are probably familiar with) and adds his own twists to them to create something unique. His heroines: Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella (Snow, Talia, and Danielle, respectively). No longer damsels in distress waiting for their princes to save them, these women are much more in control of their lives. I have been thoroughly enjoying the series and was looking forward to the release of The Snow Queen's Shadow, which was published in 2011 by DAW Books. The previous volume, Red Hood's Revenge, focused on Talia, my favorite character. As might be expected form the title, The Snow Queen's Shadow turns its attention to Snow, who happens to be my second-favorite lead.

After one of Snow's spells goes horribly wrong, a demon is released into the world. Her mirrors, which allow her to focus her powers, are left shattered and destroyed. Under the demon's influence, Snow flees to her homeland of Allesandria to wreak havoc on those responsible for her exile. Wherever she goes, more and more people fall under the demon's power. It reveals to them the world as it truly is--full of manipulation, selfishness, and hatred. Only Danielle and Talia have a chance of saving their friend and thereby the rest of the world. As the demon becomes more powerful, their task becomes more difficult. They will need help from humans and fairies alike, but that help will come at a very high cost. And even then there is no guarantee that they will be successful. But no matter what, they have to at least try to avoid the impending tragedy.

Although the characters' histories are solidly based in traditional fairy tales, Hines has created complex characters that are very much their own people. Even the secondary players have strong, memorable characterizations. In The Snow Queen's Shadow Hines successfully melds the story of "The Snow Queen" with the story of "Snow White." Readers who are already familiar with "The Snow Queen" will be better able to fully appreciate what Hines has done, but even those who aren't will be able to enjoy The Snow Queen's Shadow. I appreciate how Hines has combined so many different fairy tales to create his own world. I particularly enjoy how human interactions with magic and fairykind are culturally dependent and change from kingdom to kingdom. Instead of a single, homogeneous fantasy foundation, Hines has incorporated several different perspectives. He considers how these differences impact interpersonal as well as inter-kingdom relationships. It makes for a much more interesting and compelling story as well as world that feels completely developed.

The Snow Queen's Shadow isn't my favorite book in the Princess series, that honor probably goes to The Mermaid's Madness, but I did enjoy it. As with many of Hines' books, it took me a chapter or two to really settle into the story, but once I did I was entirely engaged until its conclusion. The books have been getting progressively darker in tone and The Snow Queen's Shadow is the darkest of them all. Fortunately, there are still some moments of levity. Although it was important and necessary for the story, I missed seeing Snow's more lighthearted nature; only glimpses of it are to be found in The Snow Queen's Shadow. Out of all of the Princess novels, The Snow Queen's Shadow is the one that relies most heavily on the books that precede it. Granted, this is to be somewhat expected since it is the final book in the series. The Snow Queen's Shadow tells its own story, but it also serves as a way to tie the entire series together. I am sad to see the series come to an end--I have enjoyed the books and their characters immensely--but The Snow Queen's Shadow is a satisfying farewell.

Experiments in Reading ( )
1 vote PhoenixTerran | Jul 24, 2012 |
The Snow Queen's Shadow is the fourth and final book in Jim C Hines' "Princess" series, and what a fitting end it is. The book chronicles the journey through the darkness as one of the mirrors Snow White inherited from her mother shatters, releasing a demon into the world. Through the struggles against the demon's power, Snow split her soul into two pieces to help her friends stop the demon that took hold inside her. Danielle (Cinderella) and Talia (Sleeping Beauty chase the demon across several continents, and finally end up in an epic battle to save not only Snow, but to save the heir to the throne: Danielle's son, who the demon kidnapped.

This book brought the series to a fitting end, though the series could still continue if Hines wanted to further the adventures of Danielle or Talia. I waited (very impatiently) for the release of this book, and my (im)patience was rewarded with this the newest gem in Hines' crown. Following this new take on the stories of the princesses, as well as the other fairy tales that Hines wove skillfully into this plot has been a joy, and I will definitely be re-reading this whole series (as well as happily enjoying his other works). ( )
  moonlitshadow | Dec 7, 2011 |
These books have been taking a darker twist and this was darker than all the rest put together. The book starts with Beatrice's death, and Snow attempting to resurrect her spirit in a new body. Only she breaks her mother's magic mirror and is possessed by the demon that inhabited the mirror, kidnaps Jakob, and flees to Allessandria intent on destroying those who exiled her. Oh, and she leaves behind her imaginary sister, made into flesh, Gerta.

I loved the parallels with the Snow Queen tale, which followed much more closely to the original than many others Jim had pulled into this world previously. Snow plays both the part of the Snow Queen and Kai, but Jakob is also Kai. And Gerta is, of course, Gerda. This may be my favorite retelling yet, because of the originality. But then again, there's the Shelley Duvall Faerie Tale Theatre one which may still be in first place for the nostalgia factor alone. ( )
  wisemetis | Nov 4, 2011 |
Showing 4 of 4
Hines fills this volume with heart-wrenching emotional scenes as well as exciting fight sequences, and brings each heroine's story arc to a reasonable conclusion. There's plenty of room for readers to imagine further adventures, but the series feels satisfyingly complete.
added by nsblumenfeld | editPublishers Weekly (May 30, 2011)
 
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0756406749, Mass Market Paperback)

When a spell gone wrong shatters Snow White's enchanted mirror, a demon escapes into the world. The demon's magic distorts the vision of all it touches, showing them only ugliness and hate. It is a power that turns even friends and lovers into mortal foes, one that will threaten humans and fairies alike.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:27:26 -0400)

When Snow White's enchanted mirror is shattered by a spell gone wrong, unleashing a demon that shows people only ugliness and hate, Snow White becomes the first person to fall under the demon's power.

(summary from another edition)

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