Review – The Raven and the Reindeer

Posted June 12, 2016 by Nicky in Reviews / 4 Comments

Cover of The Raven and the Reindeer by T. KingfisherThe Raven and the Reindeer, T. Kingfisher

Sometimes surprisingly sweet, sometimes surprisingly dark, this retelling of The Snow Queen turns things upside-down in quiet ways. It’s fairly traditional in the set-up, and you can recognise each incident as you go along… until you meet Mousebones, the raven. He adds a lot of life to the story with his snarky comments and unique perspective. And then there’s Janna, the robber princess, who has rather more of a role in this version than I remember from Hans Christian Anderson’s — one he probably would not have thought of, really.

This is actually, though it isn’t immediately clear, a lesbian retelling of The Snow Queen — one that isn’t too surprising when you think about the robber princess’ fondness for Gerta in the original (or at least, the version I remember reading). It works really well, and the addition of the reindeer skin magic and the… weirdness when Janna has to slit Gerta’s reindeer-throat to bring her back to normal — that little bit of darkness works really well and brings some more colour and warmth into The Snow Queen; something I think is lacking in the original, rather pious and obvious story.

I don’t love it as much as Bryony and Roses, for example, but it is a well done retelling.

Rating: 4/5

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4 responses to “Review – The Raven and the Reindeer

  1. Amy-Anne Williams

    IT’S A LESBIAN RETELLING OF THE SNOW QUEEN??? Okay I’m sorry that that’s the first thing I noticed, but yaaas representation!

    I would definitely read this (and not just because of it being a lesbian retelling, honestly), and weirdness and darkness are really everything you could ever ask for in a book, basically.

    Little Moon Elephant

  2. majoline

    Hmmm, I will have to find this writer at the library. This sounds really good, and you’re not the first person I’ve seen this week to say they love *Bryony and Roses*

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