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Another story in the 500 Kingdoms series, the Snow Queen of the title is Aleksia, Fairy Godmother of the northern regions, residing in the Palace of Ever-Winter and watching over the populace to make sure that the powerful magical force known as the Tradition does not warp people's lives to its purposes unduly. When she hears a disquieting rumor going around the villages about a woman bewitching young men and freezing their hearts, she investigates and is appalled to discover that someone is using her name tarnishing her reputation. Worse, the people of three villages have been frozen to death, and it appears the sorceress is growing in power and her reach spreading out across the land. When a young mage in training is captured and his Wise Woman mother and sweetheart set out to rescue him, Aleksia realizes she must take part in the story instead of being merely an observer or they will all fail in their quest.
Mercedes Lackey's twists on traditional fairy tales are a fun, easy and entertaining read, and this one is no exception. As always, her stories are character-driven and well written, and though this series does not have the attraction of her more popular Valdemar, they are still full of the wit, humor, emotion and humanity that grace her work.