Fairy Tale Friday- The Snow Queen

I thought I knew the story of The Snow Queen, but it wasn’t until I read this version that I realised I’d never read the original. The story is told in seven parts. So here’s some summing up.

The first thing that happens is that the devil makes a mirror that makes everything good and beautiful, evil and ugly. The mirror happens to break when it’s carried up to heaven to make fun of God. The splinters and glass shards fall over the Earth. If you end up with a bit in your eye, it makes everything distorted. A bit in your heart means that your heart will turn to ice (Frozen, anyone?)

Then there’s Kai and Gerda who are neighbours. They always play together. Grandmother tells Kai and Gerda about the Snow Queen. The Snow Queen appears during snowstorms. Kai gets parts of the evil mirror in his eyes and heart, therefore he begins to be mean to Gerda. Kai ties a sled to a bigger sled which belongs to the Snow Queen. The Snow Queen is so beautiful. She kisses him and Kai no longer feels the cold.

Gerda goes looking for Kai. She throws her shoes into the river in case the river had claimed Kai. However, she ends up floating along the river until she reaches an old woman’s garden. The old woman cares for Gerda and treats her like her own. All of the flowers tell Gerda stories. They believe that Kai is not dead because they haven’t seen him underground! Gerda continues to look for Kai.

Next, a crow tells Gerda about a boy with shining hair who she’s convinced is Kai. She’s heard he has married a princess. Gerda goes to the palace, expecting to find Kai, but it’s a prince doesn’t know. The prince and princess feel sorry for Gerda, so they give her a carriage and send her on her way.

Unfortunately, having a beautiful carriage attracts robbers. They attack the carriage and kill everyone but Gerda. A robber girl takes a liking to Gerda and keeps her. When Gerda discusses Kai, the girl decides to let her go and puts her on a reindeer who can take her to where the Snow Queen lives.

The reindeer stops at the hut of a woman who sends them to a Finnish woman. The Finnish woman tells the reindeer to take Gerda to the Snow Queen’s garden. She tells the reindeer that Gerda’s innocence will be her strength. When Gerda walks into the garden, tiny angels appear to warm her and defend her from the Snow Queen’s guards.

When Gerda shows up at the Snow Queen’s palace, she weeps on him and her tears melt the ice splinters in his eyes and heart. Kai and Gerda go home encountering the women, the girl and the reindeer again. When they finally got home, they found out they had turned into adults!

Next Fairy Tale- The Pen and The Inkstand

 

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The Snow Queen (Novella Review)

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How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

Five years ago, Cambridge Ballet’s Sugar Plum Fairy vanished after performing The Nutcracker. Despite extensive city and statewide searches, no traces of her, besides her ballet slippers, were ever found. Every year since, another member of the cast has gone missing after closing night: a Spanish Hot Chocolate, an Arabian Dancer, The Dew Drop Fairy, a Flower. Nieves Alba, who as a thirteen-year-old played Clara in the first ill-fated performance, is now cast as the Snow Queen. On closing night, every police officer in Boston surrounds the theater, determined to catch the perpetrator whom they’ve dubbed “The Nutcracker.” Can Nieves break the curse or will she be the next victim of America’s favorite ballet?

Thoughts:

This was an incredibly strange little read and I’m not quite sure what to make of it. The premise really intrigued me so I was excited to pick it up. However, when I started reading it, I wasn’t as gripped as I wanted to be, which shocked me. I’m a massive fan of ballet and I wanted to adore this book, but something didn’t sit right with me. It could possibly because it’s a novella, and I’m not the biggest fan of novellas. I’ll try to explain more though.

The Snow Queen is a novella about the ballet The Nutcracker. Nieves Alba is a member of the Cambridge Ballet. She has always wanted to play the Snow Queen. Strange goings on are occurring within her dancing company. Each year, a different member of the cast disappears. It seems like the disappearances are unrelated but Nieves believes they are. It surely makes sense that they would be connected in some way. When Nieves finally gets cast as the Snow Queen she worries that she will be the next one to disappear, but she’s still desperate to play the role and achieve a dream.

I didn’t realise before I started The Snow Queen that it was a New Adult novel. This of course means there’s more sexual content in the story than you’d get in a Young Adult novel. I don’t have a problem with that, I just went into it expecting something very different. Nieves has an awkward relationship with a character called Misha. Misha was a famous dancer before an injury forced him into becoming a dance critic. He is Nieve’s mentor. He came across as very creepy to me and I really couldn’t see what Nieves saw in him.

I think this novella could have been so much better if it was a full length novel. The problem for me was that it didn’t feel developed enough. It was short and predictable. It could have been incredibly exciting, but because of the length the plot was rushed through.

Would I recommend it?:
It’s not for me!- I wanted to love it because of my love of dance, but unfortunately it felt too rushed for me to fully enjoy.

The Snow Queen has a unique premise but it fell short for me!