I’ve been thoroughly enjoying Mercedes Lackey’s 500 Kingdoms books. They’re an interesting take on the form of fairy tales. The Fairy Godmother (the first one) is still my favorite, but The Snow Queen has just taken its place as second in that line.
The Snow Queen is the story of Aleksia, the Godmother of the Palace of Ever-Winter, sometimes known as the Ice Fairy, or the Snow Queen. She doesn’t actually have a heart of ice, but it doesn’t hurt that the young men and women she’s frequently called upon to teach important life lessons think that she does. And that’s all very well and good until word comes of a sorceress impersonating the Snow Queen, and killing whole villages in her name.
This book deals chiefly with the snow-based fairy tales – Aleksia herself was a Snow White, and often plays the Snow Queen – but it also brings in the legends of the Sammi of the north. Aleksia must enlist the help of the Sammi to defeat the sorceress impersonating her.
I really enjoyed the interplay of the two story lines. My one quibble with the book is how quickly it ended. The interweaving threads took a good deal of time and detail to come together, and it ended with far too little ceremony. I was left wanting to see more of the story of Aleksia and her friends in the north.