“Oooo, pretty cover.”
“Huh … 3.69 average review on Goodreads … not bad.”
“HOW DID MS. VICKI WEAVIL CREATE SUCH A PERFECT CHARACTER?”
I am raving ― simply raving ― about the phenomenal character created by one Ms. Vicki L. Weavil. The beautiful Snow Queen, Thyra Winther, is unlike any other book character I have ever seen. We have all had the misfortune of picking up a book where the female (or male) lead is weak. Where the lead character is made out to look like some hero and either lacks the skills to be a hero or just lacks the personality and character.
Thyra Winther is nothing like them.
Why? Because Thyra isn’t perceived as a hero. Not at first. No, at first, she’s a villain. Not a particularly cruel and menacing villain but a heartless young woman, nonetheless.
But who can blame her? After surviving an avalanche that kills her parents, Thyra is sent back to her little village where she is adopted by a mean widow who only wants Thyra because she struck a deal with a terrible, fearsome mage known as Mael Voss. Then, when Voss gets a hold of her, Thyra is transformed into the Snow Queen ― a soon-to-be-immortal being with unimaginable powers …. if she can repair a shattered mirror by the time she is eighteen, or she will be transformed into a miserable wraith, doomed to wander the halls of the palace of ice, forever.
But Thyra can’t do it alone. In order to master the mirror, she needs to perfect mathematical equations that will tell her where to place each fragment of the mirror. This is where logical Kai Thorsen comes in.
Kai is a former acquaintance who Thyra met during her time in her village. When Thyra realizes her need for Kai’s mathematical genius, she practically kidnaps him and lies to him to force him to help her reconstruct the mirror, all while Voss watches from a distance, ensuring that the mirror is finished, because Voss has his own plans for the book.
Thyra’s foolproof plan, however, hits a bump in the road when Kai’s friend from the village, Gerda, begins to search for him. And her search is relentless.
Will Thyra succeed in bringing all the pieces of the mirror together before she is transformed into a horrible wraith forever?
Okay, let’s talk characters!
You are already keenly aware of how much I admire our female lead, Thyra Winther. Unlike every other female heroine, Thyra is cruel and calculating. She has to look out for herself because no one else will. But as the Snow Queen, Thyra doesn’t need anybody to look out for her! She has enough magic of her own.
Thyra has spent the better part of her life holed up in a palace of ice, attempting to finish the mirror before she turns eighteen ― and she’s seventeen, by the way. She isn’t one for manners and as she says in the novel, her smile is forced and does nothing to lighten her expression. The Snow Queen will not become a wraith. She is sure of it. And her determination might just get her across the finish line.
If her pride doesn’t hinder her along the way.
One of Thyra’s largest obstacles is Gerda, whose determination matches her own when it comes to locating Kai, the boy she loves ― the boy who also happens to have no interest in her as anything other than a friend/sister … harsh. But another large obstacle for the Queen of Snow is Kai, himself.
Thyra can keep her lie up for a while, but eventually she finds that her ruse will no longer work on Kai, who she is finally allowing into her heart of ice. And, to Thyra’s horror, she is beginning to fall for the intellectual young man who dreams of something more than a small village and running a mill. Will Kai bring about her ultimate demise?
Kai is an interesting character. While he does not possess the stone-cold heart Thyra does, he certainly possesses some cold attributes. But for the most part, the would-be scholar is willing to help Thyra. Why? Because of the lie I told you about. You’ll figure it out when you read the book.
In the beginning, Kai Thorsen wants nothing to do with Thyra other than what he must, but Kai is not uncivil. He is kind all the way through … until he finds out Thyra has been lying to him the whole time. A few harsh words are said then and even a couple threats made but who can blame him? By that point, Kai’d lost all point in living. Kinda sad, actually, but the almost-jumping-out-a-window part was a little much.
Kai is completely unaware of Gerda’s strong feelings for him and every time Gerda makes physical contact with him or tries to reach out to him to get a response, Kai shrugs her off or makes a comment that shuts her down. While there are a few occasions where I think Kai possibly meant to heart Gerda’s feelings in the hopes of dissuading her interest, for the most part Kai is not trying to hurt her.
Nearing the end of the book, Kai becomes Thyra’s love interest. It happens like that! Leaving me like “… Where did that come from?”
Okay, so we all knew there was going to be a romance in the book and we all expected it to be Kai and Thyra, right? So that wasn’t really the surprise. It was just how quickly it went from the two working together on a slippery slope to suddenly being in love with each other. Little weird.
So, there is, in a sense, insta-love. I mean, not in the way we all think of it, but there is a form of insta-love present in the book.
Gerda is obsessive. Annoyingly so. Yes, her childlike love for Kai is sweet but her presence almost bothers me. No, it does bother me. Just the way she speaks is annoying.
“Yes, I know he wants to attend the university, and I hope he can. But I worry that when he’s there, he’ll become so absorbed in his studies that he’ll forget to eat and sleep. That’s why.” Gerda meets my gaze without flinching, “I think we should be married before he leaves for school …”
― Gerda, to Thyra
Gerda assumes that Kai will be marrying her. It was just a little irritating how she spoke about the certainty of their marriage. She didn’t say, “If we get married, it should be before he goes off to the university.” No, it was, “We should be married before he leaves for school.”
I dunno. It just grated on my nerves a little.
Other than that, I am alright with Gerda as a character. If Ms. Weavil intended for her to be a bothersome character with a habit of running off into trouble because of her scrambling emotions, then she succeeded. Gerda is, as stated above, completely relentless! She is stubborn to the core and will have her Kai … until she doesn’t.
There was an inconsistency in Gerda’s character. All the while, she knew there was a chance Kai didn’t love her ― though she still expected him to marry her, mind you ― and yet she persevered, thinking that maybe by proving her love and devotion to him by tracking him down after the Snow Queen snatches him up that Kai will suddenly realize that the love he hasn’t been pining for is right in front of him!
Then, strangely enough, when Gerda realizes that Kai is in love with Thyra and not her, she suddenly blows a fuse and feels betrayed. I sort of understand that to a certain extent ― their families sort of expect them to get married ― but Gerda must have known that Kai wouldn’t marry her if he didn’t have feelings for her. Which he so didn’t.
So, the villain! Yay!
Mael Voss is a pretty good villain. He is never really present, though, and there are still many unsolved mysteries about his character (Where did he go when he wasn’t present in the ice palace? What made Voss want the mirror so badly? What made him betray his mentor and love? The list goes on.).
Voss is intimidating and when Thyra and Kai talk to him, I am afraid for them! And if you’ve read my other reviews, you know I love to be afraid for the characters ― to feel something!
Voss definitely makes me feel something. I was practically screaming at Kai to hold his tongue around him!
If I had one complaint about this book, it would be the ending. Very disappointing! I understand Kai and Thyra’s want for education but do you really need to end it that way? I hope Ms. Weavil is setting up for a sequel. I feel the ending was lacking. I feel as though the author became bored with the novel about a three quarters of the way through and sped through it. See what you think.
Other than the untimely ending, Crown of Ice by Vicki L. Weavil was an excellent read! Definitely one I will re-read from time to time. I think Thyra Winther was an amazing female lead with a perfectly developing character and a wonderful male lead found in Kai Thorsen to match her.
What’s on your bookshelf?