A very long reimagined contemporary retelling of “The Snow Queen,” rather plodding and point-for-point, but with some lovely language.
There’s a prologue (though not with a troll) of the memories of Kai’s grandmother Dalia’s past. In the present, the story is told by Ginny, who lives across from Kai and loves him. It is snowing, hard, in Atlanta in October. A cold, beautiful girl named Mora appears as Dalia dies and takes Kai away from his future as a violinist and from Ginny. She follows, driving from Atlanta to Nashville, in snow that is not natural but created by Mora, the Snow Queen. (Readers get far more of Mora’s back story then they really need.) Guided by Grandma Dalia’s book of recipes and spells, Ginny meets up with a savvy beauty queen and her werewolf-hunting husband in Tennessee and then with a group of Travellers in Kentucky. (The red shoes of the original tale, here a pair of high heels, connect the beauty queen and Flannery, the Travellers’ Princess of Kentucky.) Pearce is at her best when she is describing Ginny psyching herself to do what must be done and recalling kisses. (She’s very good with kissing.)
Though it’s lengthy, romance-loving readers familiar with the original will find much to enjoy here. (Urban fantasy. 12-18)