Heart of Ice

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Heart of Ice: A Snow Queen Retelling by K. M. Shea (The Snow Queen Book 1)

Princess Rakel has lived her entire life in isolation, ever since her magical ice and snow powers were first discovered when she was a young child. Locked away in her ice castle on a distant mountain, she has no idea her country of Verglas has been invaded by a most fearsome army – one headed by powerful magic users.

Desperate to save a nearby village that is under attack, the Verglas army finally asks Rakel for help. Vowing that she will help but never kill, Rakel soon learns her magic is ideal for battle. Even more disturbing is that not only is she far more powerful than most other magic users, the price she pays for using large amounts leaves her vulnerable and at risk for days after. 

With help from her new found friends Phile, Oskar, Halvor, and Snorri, Rakel must face the Chosen forces intent on taking over Verglas and enslaving the people.

Despite her desire to defeat the Chosen, Raken is drawn to their leader, Colonel Farrin Graydim. His own ability to deflect the magic of others is the perfect foil to hers.

But as the battle to reclaim the capital begins, Rakel must set aside her personal feelings and focus on winning. Because letting the Chosen enslave her people is not an option.


  • Too much like Elsa. How she wears her “moon bright” hair. How she stands with her hands folded. How she uses her powers. The design of her ice castle. Even the way people fear her and call her “monster.”
  • Would have loved a map. The story relies heavily on geography, and I love having the visual of a map to help me keep things in order.
  • Confusion about her isolation. Rakel built her ice palace over time as she studied architecture. But where did she live before that? In a wooden hut? Or did her parents just abandon her on the mountain with no shelter?
  • Which leads to the second part of my confusion – she was never actually alone? Oskar was her main attendant, but there is mention of other servants and guards. People seem able to come and go through the ice palace gates, which means Rakel was never really locked up.


  • If Rakel is Elsa, then Phile the Robber Maiden is her perfect Anna. The friendship between these two is adorable.
  • Beautifully written. The descriptions of the ice and snow are so detailed you can picture them with ease.
  • The lack of romance in the book was refreshing, allowing a story that focused on Rakel growing as a person without the distraction of romance.
  • I loved the themes of friendship and trust that underpinned the whole story.

This book has been recommended a lot lately, and I can see why. K. M. Shea has a beautiful way of sharing unique stories. I can’t wait to read the next one.

????? 4.5 Roses
? One use of “darn” and made up curses
No kissing or anything really
⚔️⚔️ Mild blood during fight scenes, but nothing intense