YA Book Review

Heart of Ice: Snow Queen by K.M. Shea and Author Q & A

The Book:

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Book Title: Heart of Ice: Snow Queen

Book Author: K.M. Shea

Page Count: 227

Publishing Date: December 17, 2015

Publisher: Self Published

Date Read: July 30, 2017

 


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The Review:

Heart of Ice is elegantly enchanting. It is a faerietale for fantasy lovers. Shea has done an exceptional job with pulling you in to a story full of wonder, humor, and magic!

“Even if they say my magic is evil…I do not see it.”

The Plot: Princess Rakel has been exiled to her castle of ice since discovering her magical abilities as a little girl. Always living in fear of not being accepted by her people, and the possibility of execution from her royal family, Rakel’s life has been sheltered to making ice sculptures and living through the books in her library. All of that changes when the danger of an army of magic users threatens the villages nearest her castle. Can Rakel melt her fears and join ranks with the guards in charge of holding her prisoner to defend her kingdom, even if it means defending those who shun her for what could save them?

“Monster. Freak. Darkness-touched…But if I help them…things might change.”

I know a book is fantastic when I finish it in one day because I could not put it down! Heart of Ice is beautiful, charming, witty, and hilarious! It is lyrical and magical and the ending left me with hope of an even better sequel, and possibly romance! I felt like I was reading a Frozen version of The Princess Bride because Shea did an amazing job with writing an elegant faerietale that also had humor and theatrics! I could see it clearly in my mind! This book has such fantastic imagery, and the characters are exceptionally developed!

“Rakel’s magic leaped to life with the ferocity of a windstorm. It swirled in her veins and twined around her fingers.”

Rakel will forever be my Snow Queen! I am so in love with the beauty and grace of this character! She definitely does not have a heart of ice. She lived such a sheltered, shunned life that she did not deserve, and yet, she shows true beauty in her actions to try to save her people! She is a commanding presence with a pure soul and she is so powerful! I love that, even though she has a right to be skeptical of those around her, that she does allow herself to makes friends, especially with Phile!

“If I do nothing, I am as despicable as they believe me to be.”

And, the Best Jester Award goes to Phile Silver-Step The Robber Maiden! I am blown away at how much I adore Phile! She is truly the comic relief of the story, but has a humongous heart of gold and teaches Rakel to love and trust those around her! Phile is definitely my favorite character because she is brave, strong willed, independent, gloriously funny, and leads with both her head and her heart!

“When inspected from head to toe, Rakel could see that Phile was a concoction of loud colors and foreign notions.”

Now, I have to talk about Oskar and Captain Halvor together because I love them both equally. They are so similar in character but play tremendous roles in the story. They are both brave, handsome, kind-hearted, and both loved our Queen with loyal ferocity! I don’t know where the story would be without them!

“I’m getting fiercely lonesome for Handsome Halvor and Ogle-worthy Oskar.”

And lets talk about our beautiful children, Kai and Gerta! They bring such light and innocence to the tale! They see Rakel’s true heart and never doubt her once. They are both equally brave and loving, and give off such childish wisdom and whimsy! As can be seen in this amazing quote spoken by Gerta:

“There’re nice magic users, too! It’s just like reindeer; the mean ones are the one everyone talks about.”

Last, but not least, we have Farrin Graydim, one of our villains. Or is he? Farrin is mysterious, cunning, and surprisingly soft hearted. He adds a layer of intrigue to the tale with being such a powerful foe, and yet having a side that makes you doubt what you know of faerietale villains.

“But what kind of terrible things has he seen that have given him a strange combination of formidableness and vulnerability?”

This book is phenomenal! It is perfect for fans of Frozen, The Princess Bride, and fantastical faerietales! It gets all the stars from me and I cannot wait to read the next installment in The Snow Queen and K.M. Shea’s Timeless Fairy Tales series!

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Author Q & A:

What inspired you to write Heart of Ice?

Kitty: The book started off when I asked myself, “What would happen if there was a very powerful girl who was scorned day in and day out by other people, and one day was asked to save everyone who had hurt her…” (A lot of my book ideas happen when I ask myself “what if.”)

Then I ended up reading the original Snow Queen story, and it struck me how the Snow Queen was written to be a villain, but the events of the story weren’t her fault. She wasn’t even trying to hurt anyone. She just wanted to be with others, but her magic was too powerful to make that a reality. This fit in well with my earlier desire to write about a scorned girl. So I decided to write a version of The Snow Queen in which I would give her the recognition (and the happy ending) she deserves.

Do you feel you relate more to Rakel or Phile?
Kitty: Probably Rakel. Phile’s ability to push past fear and live openly is something I wish I could do, but all too often I find I’m like Rakel–doubting and afraid. I can understand Rakel’s reluctance to forgive and move on–where as Phile has always pushed forward past negative things like that. (Although she is tested in Sacrifice!)
Which dashing man would you choose: Oskar, Captain Halvor, or Farrin?
Kitty: Ohhhh my gut tells me Farrin, but my brain tells me he would never look at anyone besides Rakel. (It is funny how life-like my characters can feel to me sometimes.) I think I’d go for Oskar. You don’t really see this in the first book, but Oskar has made big sacrifices in order to serve Rakel, and he was the first person to ever be loyal to her. (Plus he would spoil me rotten, which is a huge bonus!) It’s a close thing, though. Halvor is an amazingly faithful guy, too. (If I’m being honest Farrin would scare the tar out of me with his deep passion and devotion that he displays openly.)
What is your favorite faerie tale?
Kitty: That’s really tough! I love to read Beauty and the Beast retellings the most, but if were talking about the original stories/legends, I would have to go with Wild Swans/Swan Brothers. That’s one of the few stories where the heroine plays a proactive role and makes a great sacrifice to save her brothers.
Is it just a coincidence that the phrase “As you wish” pops up so much, or is there a Princess Bride fan in there?
Kitty: Good eye! I am a princess bride fan, which is what got me stuck on the phrase, so yes it was intentional. In Princess Bride “As you Wish” packs a serious emotional punch, and I wanted to highlight it which is why Oskar and Halvor are usually the ones to use it. (Although their relationship with Rakel is very different from the relationship between Buttercup and “Farm boy.”)
If you could be magic user, what would your ability be?
Kitty: My, that is a good question! In my books a magic user’s ability tends to be an indicator of their personality (which can be both good and bad) so going based on that I would say it would be something like being able to sense connections and compatibility between people. (Like a magic matchmaker! Fear me, and my cupid skills!) I don’t know if it’s because I’m a writer, but I’m a good observer and I tend to take note of the way people act around each other and how they influence each other. It’s not really flashy or exciting, but I think it would be useful for day-to-day living. (Or if I wanted to join politics. Yikes!)
Will we find similar types of characters in The Timeless Fairy Tales series?
Kitty: Yes and no. You’ll be able to see patterns. For instance, my heroines and heroes ALWAYS have close companions and friends. (It’s a pet peeve of mine when the main couple have no other friends besides each other–that’s not the groundwork for a healthy relationship.)
But each cast is unique. My main characters always have a vivid support crew because in reality, its those secondary characters who influence them the most. Without Phile, Rakel probably wouldn’t have pushed past her fear of others. All my books are like that–if you were to try and delete the core support characters, the main character would instantly be crippled.
That being said, all my heroines tend to be more on the butt-whooping side of things, and there will always be a funny character or two.
What do we have to look forward to from you in the future?
Kitty: I’m going to do a Twelve Dancing Princesses retelling this December, which I’ve been looking forward to for a looong time, and (this is a bit of a secret, so let’s keep it on the down-low between you, me, and all your followers) a Frog Prince retelling which should be absolutely hilarious!
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About The Author:

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My pen name is K. M. Shea, but my readers—I prefer to call them Champions—call me Kitty.
I love to write funny, clean stories with strong characters. Books like that are among my favorite to read so naturally I love writing stories like that as well. My philosophy is that life is tough, so books should be something that makes you relax and laugh!
I completed my first novel in eighth grade. It was a horrendous mess and a crime against humanity, but it was fabulous practice. I’ve written steadily since then and have worked as a journalist, a library staff member, and a newsletter editor. In 2014 I was able to quit my part-time work and write full time!
I’m a huge book geek—I love everything from the classics to science fiction, but fantasy and young adult are my favorite genres—and I’m a pretty big nerd as I love video games, super heroes, computers, and I have a passion for book memes.
I have tri colored collie I call Perfect Dog who is my near constant companion, and I’ve been unsuccessfully trying to grow an indoor mint plant I call Bob. (Well…Bob the VI as I’ve had to replace him a lot.)

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Thank you to the author, K.M. Shea, for sending me this free e-copy in exchange for my honest review and for the Q & A!

All quotes used are from the book, written by the author.

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14 thoughts on “Heart of Ice: Snow Queen by K.M. Shea and Author Q & A

  1. Interesting cover!

    And it definitely gives ‘Frozen’ vibes and I love that she’s managed to pull it off.

    I love the quotes you’ve chosen for your review here and it really sounds like a wonderful book.

    The Princess Bride is actually soon up on my TBR and now I’m even more intrigued…

    I love that the author has a pet peeve for no close companions or friends – that irritates me too!

    Lovely review and great Q&A. I’m keeping my eyes open for this one.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, why haven’t I heard of this book or author before?? 😲 The Snow Queen + The Princess Bride? How could I not check this book out?! 😍 Wonderful review/interview combo! I suspect I’ll be a fan sometime in the near future here ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

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