Book Review – The Snow Queen’s Shadow by Jim C. Hines

 My Rating: 4.5 Stars

This is the fourth, and possibly last, installment in Hines’ Princess series. I have enjoyed all of them and they remain as ‘keepers’ on my shelves of paper books. This one is a little darker than the others are, as some reviewers have pointed out.

I do not personally care for dark fantasy. I prefer more lighthearted, humorous, and satirical works, but the dark aspects in this are not overdone and there is still a hopeful and optimistic mood conveyed by the end of the story. It has a few smiles in it too, such as in the first chapter, in which the princesses are hunting down the witch-hunter, Hansel, who, we are told, first got into the business by stuffing some poor old woman into her own oven.

This is not a classic tragedy of death and failure by any means. However, it does take the reader on an exciting adventure full of soul-searching, discovery and sacrifice, and it has just enough of the old “sword and sorcery” action to keep readers who expect that kind of thing in a fantasy novel happy. I just wanted to mention that in case others were put off by reviews suggesting this is a dark fantasy. It is not.

The princesses are strong characters, likeable and even believable given a certain amount of suspended disbelief. I found myself sympathizing with Snow in her conflict with the demon that possesses her through her mother’s mirror, and I appreciated the intelligence Hines shows in her efforts to defeat it. But to say more on that would require spoilers.

I would recommend this book to those who appreciate positive fiction with admirable characters pursuing noble causes. You will find this installment of the Princess Novels more satisfying though if you read the others (in order) first.


About Dave

A reader and writer of speculative fiction. See my website for more information on me and my writing.

Posted on December 13, 2011, in 5 Star Reviews, Book Reviews, Fantasy and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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