Generally, I’m not a fan of retellings; perhaps because the original stories are too well established in my heart and mind, maybe because over the time I have created a personal image of them that can hardly be changed. But after reading Bitter Snow and Dark Solstice I can say that I’m ready to read every retelling / work of Mrs. Lauren Sweet.
In fact, it’s not very correct to say that Bitter Snow series is a retelling. Yes, it is inspired by the Snow Queen, but it’s taken much further.
It is fresh, exciting, full of feelings and magic. There are no moments to roll your eyes, there is nothing "exaggerated" or out of place. Everything flows as normally as possible, the mysteries are revealed only to be replaced by (other) challenges and love is woven with dark moments. Everything is well thought out, synchronized and managed by the author. Magic and traditions, extraordinary relationship, new or old, are born, change or seem to fall apart, hints and thoughtful or hasty decisions are masterfully handled. Paranormal and human plans are interwoven in a “natural" way and the bridge between worlds is guarded by folklore. Traditions show us what we were and what we are now, tell us what to do, their purpose being greater than entertainment. Failure to respect them can have serious consequences, especially when they were born out of fear and need, for protection. Bitter Snow and Dark Solstice are full of action, traps and dangers.
The characters, good or bad, with their own interests or for the welfare of the community, with some flaws that make them more attractive, fits very well in their roles, are veridical and you feel them in full. Their lines are smart, witty, and they will entertain or indispose you as the case may be, and the author 's style contributes to the quality of the stories. I have to admit that although I like all the characters, my favorite is ... I cannot tell you because I risk to spoil the pleasure of discovering yourselves ... I’ll just mention that he has "eyes to get lost in", he loves sparkle things and always ask for food ... :D.
Interesting is also the way in which the series is organized. It consists of nine short stories, but do not worry, the author promised a short time between them. Volume three is announced for the 5th of January, 2014 and I cannot wait to see the path that courage, determination and love will lead our heroes.
I do not know exactly from when Mrs. Sweet writes, but Bitter Snow series announces her as a writer that will be successful in the world of Fantasy genre!
Winter demons have invaded the tiny town of Bremerton, and sixteen-year-old Gilly Breslin is the only one who can banish them. The only problem is, she doesn’t know how.
Digging through the town’s historical archives, she and her friend Niko piece together clues to an ancient ritual to send the demons back to the dark realm they sprang from.
But the Snow Queen has plans of her own. Her power is greatest at the darkest time of the year, and her evil influence is spreading insidiously through the town, leaving Gilly wondering if there’s anyone left who can be trusted.
The demons must be banished by Twelfth Night, or the town will be lost. But to do it, Gilly may have to sacrifice everything that matters to her—including her soul.
“We are the rulers of Midwinter. In the most powerful cold of the winter, in the deepest dark of the year, we hold sway, and all of your hearth fires cannot stand against us. We are the winds that howl down the chimneys and extinguish your candles. We are the northern lights and the hungry wolves; the bitter crack of ice and the killing frost. The raging blizzard and the deep, soft, final sleep of those lost forever in the snow.”
About the author:
I was born and raised in New Jersey, and books were a big part of my childhood. When I was about three and a half, I became obsessed with a Little Golden Book about a goat that gets a bucket stuck on its head. Since no one would read me the goat book as often as I wanted, I learned to read it myself—and haven’t stopped reading since. It was only inevitable that I turned to writing, so I could create more of the kind of stories that I like to read!
My favorite genres are mystery, sci-fi and paranormal/fantasy. I’ve always been fascinated by myths and fairy tales, and I love incorporating elements of ancient lore into modern stories. I have a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from the University of Alaska Anchorage, and I currently live near Portland, OR, where I am a freelance writer and editor. My other esoteric skills include astrology, figure skating, and the ability to do a perfect split.
Author's US Giveway
In folklore, iron protects against the influence of evil spirits. Handmade from real horseshoe nails and sterling silver by Connie Pardini of Wirestorm Creations, this necklace is a replica of the one Gilly wears to protect herself from harmful spells and illusions.