Heart of Snow by Katherine Buel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I'd rate this one somewhat more than 4 but somewhat less than 5, so maybe a 4.5?
Heart of Snow is kind of a typical fairy tale retelling/mash-up. It's Snow White and Rose Red, but Rose Red is dead, killed by her murderous aunt. And now this aunt, Lyric, is ruling as Queen of Cresilea whilst Snow is biding her time, plotting her revenge. But it's also Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Swan Maiden, the Fairy King, the Hunter, and many, many little references and familiar fairy tales rolled into one.
Which made for a meh beginning, where things were muddy, and all you had was "maimed, conflicted, deposed teenage princess hungry for revenge against all advice". I mean, that's where most stories start anyway.
So no, this book didn't capture me right from the start, though it was entertaining enough (Eh, probably a 3+, she says, after putting the Kindle down multiple times) but then THINGS HAPPEN (somewhere past the 50% mark) and REALISATION DAWNS and it's like OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!
The ending was brilliant and complex and finely spun, also heart-wrenching while we're at it. If I had more time, I'd consider reading the start again to see what I missed when I was bored and didn't know better.
Side note: I'm slightly ambivalent about the romance. I mean, it makes sense in the overall scheme of things, and it was a very powerful motivator for the climax & conclusion, but... idk. A part of me isn't quite convinced.
Note: I received a digital ARC of this book via Victory Editing NetGalley Co-op on NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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