Title: The Ice Maiden’s Tale
Author: Lisa Presoisi
Genre: Middle Grade
Publisher: Xist Publishing
Release Date: May 30, 2017
Casper and Johanna have to go stay with their neighbour, Mrs. Kinder, while their mother visits their father in the hospital. They are a little scared of her because she reminds them of the witch from Hansel and Gretel. Mrs. Kinder reads them a story from a mysterious book. She tells the stories of two men: Gabriel and Sebastian. Gabriel is a sculptor who sculpts a woman out of ice. Then he leaves her but he wishes she was alive. He embarks on a quest to bring her to life. Sebastian is a magician who uses his powers to kill people in his way. When he finds Gabriel’s ice maiden sculpture he also wants to bring it to life. Sebastian then goes on a quest to bring life to the ice maiden too.
This story reminds me of a fairytale. Casper and Johanna are similar to Hansel and Gretel since they go to the old woman’s house. They even have German names like in the tale. It also reminds me of the story of Pygmalion, who made a sculpture of a woman. When the Greek goddess Aphrodite saw how much he loved the sculpture, she brings her to life. This is like Gabriel’s story, since he sculpted the ice maiden and then wanted to bring her to life.
The dueling stories between Gabriel and Sebastian were a little confusing at times because they were so similar. They both involve magic and going on quests to bring the ice maiden to life so they could get mixed up.
I like the way this story brought a fairytale/folk tale into the modern world. Casper and Johanna were told the story, but the reader also gets to experience the stories of Gabriel and Sebastian.
I also like that the two main characters are a boy and a girl, so the book isn’t specifically aimed at one gender. However, they did follow gender stereotypes with Casper wanting to hear about dragons and Johanna wanting to hear a love story.
This is a good story with a unique premise.