After 17-year-old Smitha is cursed to be as cold as her heart, Death himself offers her a chance for relief. Unwilling to give up her life, Smitha seeks redemption deep in the savage deserts, where her perpetual winter dares to make her a hero.
I really enjoyed Holmberg’s Paper Magician series, so when I saw she had another book out I immediately added it to my list. This was a much different type of book than the Magician series, and I don’t think I liked it as much, but it was still an enjoyable read.
This was very much a fair-tale esque story, but while I am not read up on the Ice Queen tales I can’t say that I had experience with this tale, or the ability to compare and contrast it to the original. While there was this element of fantasy, the story really was about self-discovery, which is what kept me interested even through the rather slow periods of the book. The main character has many flaws about herself to acknowledge and overcome, and it’s really interested to watch her go through all of that.
I also really enjoyed the desert community that she takes residence in for the majority of the book. It was vivid and diverse and I thought the author did a great job at integrating Smitha and her original culture into it all. The ever-present character of Death was also very interesting. The only other book that I can think of that has used Death as a character is The Book Thief, and Holmberg did it in such an original manner.
While it’s not going to become a go-to read for me, I did enjoy it, and I think Holmberg is definitely an author who deserves more attention.