Author – Melissa Bashardoust
Age – 13+
Two young women, so very different.
Mina is the daughter of a spiteful, manipulative, selfish and calculating man who is also a magician. She has always been scorned by the locals and when her father suggests they move North to the icy land of Whitespring, she follows. After all, he’s told her if anyone will love her, it will be for her beauty. She believes this to be true because he’s also told her she has a glass heart, made for her when she was very young and hers was failing. Therefore, he tells her she will never love or be loved.
When they reach Whitespring, a land cursed with endless snow; she makes it her goal to woo and marry the widowed king. His beloved wife and queen died, but he has a daughter called Lynet.
Lynet doesn’t know that she is also connected to the magician. She grows up with her over-protective father and soon meets Mina, a lovely girl, new to the king’s court. When her father remarries, Mina becomes her stepmother and queen and they grow very close.
But as Lynet grows, the king has his own plans, wanting his daughter to become queen. And so the power plays that run under the surface finally reveal themselves. Mina just wants to be loved, Lynet has met a new and talented ally (who is also a spy), and the magician has his own agenda.
A feminist retelling of Snow White (there were no strong men thundering in on horses to save the day or magical kisses), there was a lesbian romance hinted at and a complicated up and down mother-daughter relationship that the characters had to work through. Sure there was poison and daggers, fake soldiers and lookalikes, but there were also plans made and broken, decisions made then regretted, and a satisfying conclusion. It also reminded me a little of Frozen with its icy setting.
Flicking back and forth between the two protagonists saw their lives slowly entwine. Very enjoyable read.
(Royalty, Fantasy, Family, Blended Family, Courage, Love)