Winter’s Child (Cameron Dokey, 2009)

Read as part of the Fairy Tale Retelling Challenge

Free-spirited Grace and serious Kai are the best of friends. They grew up together listening to magical tales spun by Kai’s grandmother and sharing in each other’s secrets. But when they turn sixteen and Kai declares his love for Grace, everything changes. Grace yearns for freedom and slowly begins to push Kai – and their friendship – away.

Dejected Kai dreams of a dazzling Snow Queen, who entices him to leave home and wander to faraway lands. When Grace discovers Kai is gone, she learns how much she has lost and sets out on a mystical journey to find Kai…and discover herself.

(Text from goodreads)

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After the popularity of Disney’s Frozen I think the fairy tale of the Snow Queen has seen somewhat of a revival, so it was somewhat with rather a big anticipation that I wanted to read this story. However, once again Dokey disappointed my slightly. I read in the afterword or something like that, that Dokey dislikes writing re-writes with villains, that Dokey preferred stories where the characters had both a little bit of good and a little bit of bad in them, so there would be no direct villains in that case. Sadly, I disagree with this statement, because to me villains are an essential part of the fairy tale genre we know, and it demotes the genre by removing it.

The story of Grace and Kai is not much different than the original story of HC Andersen apart from the fact that the Snow Queen has been transformed into a Snow Princess, or a Winter’s Child as the story titles. Again love is a central part of the story and the protagonist, the Winter Child, must go out to cleanse people’s hearts which have been touched by shard of mirror glass. On her travels she comes across Kai and Grace having an argument and for some strange reason Kai follows the Winter Child that night, leaving Grace to follow their trace the next morning. The rest of the story follows their individual travels, mostly Grace’s of course, which again is little different from the original one.

As we get to the ending love again become the solution to everything, but unfortunately it was just much much too superficial for my liking. There is no real connection between the characters and it really is Love-at-first-sight as in the fairy tales, but while it works in fairy tales it does not work here. This is mainly because Dokey tries to write a story about real people in a fairy tale world where love needs more than the first meeting and therefore it appears too forced.

I think I need to take a break from Dokey’s retellings in the series and then take a look at some of the other authors in the series before I return to Dokey’s again, because his re-telling are becoming too superficial and not in the re-telling category for me.

2 star

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