A Shiver of Snow and Sky
By Lisa Lueddecke
On the frozen island of Skane, the sky speaks. Beautiful lights appear on clear nights, and their colours have meaning: Green means all is well, and the Goddess is happy. Blue means a snow storm is on the way.
And then there’s red. Red is rare. A warning.
Seventeen years ago, the sky turned red just as Ósa was born, unleashing a plague that claimed the lives of hundreds of villagers, including her own mother. This time, when the night sky once again bleeds crimson, she must discover how to stop the onslaught before so many lives are lost again.
A Shiver of Snow & Sky is a wintery fantasy tale of a dangerous quest for a young girl called Osa. Told in the perspective of the 17 year old and her childhood friend Ivar this book is packed full of action, fantasy characters, dragons, snow people, a goddess and more!
I enjoyed reading this book though a slow burner at first the pace soon quickens and so much happens in the second half of the book, I feel a lot of action was packed in the second half of the novel but the build up to everything was great. I just felt like the battle at the end was rather short considering Osa and Ivar felt that their village was weak and didnt have enough weapons to defeat the enemy the battle literally lasted a few pages with little casualties. The build up was a lot more exciting I felt.
The book is beautifully written especially when Lueddecke describes the snowy landscape “The woods were quiet padded with thick, soft snow, the sun teasing us from behind the scurrying clouds.” and the mythical fantasy creatures that Osa comes across on her epic journey to the Godess in the mountains “They were like nothing I’d ever seen, and yet somehow everything. A horrid amalgamation of human and animal, blended into a single creature that could spawn the worst of nightmares”
What I found interesting in this novel was the opinion of women. All the people believed in this incredible power of their goddess clearly a female, yet their own women who are brave, strong and courageous are shunned, man’s faith in women is very old fashioned which i found so odd considering they worshipped a female entity. No one believed Osa about anything she said and her dad ships her off alone to make a journey that no one has survived yet. I don’t think he believes himself she will return and there is a cloud of spite and hint of punishment in the way he makes her go alone, as he thinks Osa was the reason for his wife’s death. The father/daughter relationship is resolved at the end of the novel and I hope after Osas bravery that their village will have more trust, belief and respect for women. Even on her journey Osa comes across sexism with other villages not understanding or believing what she is doing “A girl?” The small man sneered “you think our only hope lies with a girl who is travelling alone in the mountains? We may as well place our future in the hands of a babe. Such nonsense!”
I felt the book felt quite similar to a novel I have read before and adored! Which is Kathryn Arden’s the Bear and the Nightingale. Also a fantasy set in a snowy barren location, magic and mythical creatures, the main character is also a strong willed, courageous young girl, she also has fatherly issues and her mum is also dead. Loads of similarities however i think written quite differently. I prefer the bear and the nightingale i felt the story was more layered, complex and felt like a more accomplished adult fantasy novel.
A shiver of snow and sky is a beautifully written fantasy novel, slow in places and possibly too much action packed into a short space of the book however i enjoyed the story, fantasy elementd and how Osa was so kickass!
Have you read this novel? Or can you recommend any other magical or fantasy books I may like? Please get in touch I would love to hear from you. Katie x