Read The Snow Queen's Shadow by Jim C. Hines Online

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A broken mirror. A stolen child. A final mission to try to stop an enemy they never dreamed they would face.When a spell gone wrong shatters Snow White's enchanted mirror, a demon escapes into the world. The demon's magic distorts the vision of all it touches, showing them only ugliness and hate. It is a power that turns even friends and lovers into mortal foes, one that wA broken mirror. A stolen child. A final mission to try to stop an enemy they never dreamed they would face.When a spell gone wrong shatters Snow White's enchanted mirror, a demon escapes into the world. The demon's magic distorts the vision of all it touches, showing them only ugliness and hate. It is a power that turns even friends and lovers into mortal foes, one that will threaten humans and fairies alike.And the first to fall under the demon's power is the princess, Snow White......

Title : The Snow Queen's Shadow
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780756406745
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 333 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Snow Queen's Shadow Reviews

  • Ashley
    2019-02-17 15:22

    I mean, I GET it, but I don't have to be HAPPY about it.I have liked every Jim C. Hines book I've ever read, and that holds true for The Snow Queen's Shadow. But I didn't LIKE like this book. In fact, I think I'm in a fight with it. We definitely weren't speaking for a while, and I got kind of pouty and shouty with it. Pouty shouty, if you will.The thing about this book, which is the fourth and last in Hines' Princess quartet, is that it's a smart, well-written ending to the series. It successfully wraps up character arcs and themes set in place all the way back in the first book. It has nice dialogue and is exciting and terribly stressful to read. It continues the trend of taking fairy-tale stories and reshaping them to give their characters agency. It made me cry.All of that is true. It is also true that while I can see all of that up there, it doesn't mean I am happy about the way it turned out, or that the ending presented here made me feel emotionally satisfied. I don't think it did. I can't say any more than that without spoiling some things, so . . .So in this book the queen finally succumbs to her long infirmity, and by trying to save her life in some fashion, Snow accidentally shatters her mother's old magic mirror and lets loose a terrible demon on the world who possesses her and starts wreaking emotional and physical terror on the world. Before totally giving in to the demon's control, (view spoiler)[Snow manages to leave a piece of herself behind in the form of a magically created "sister" named Gerta who shares many of Snow's memories, mostly because she is the product of Snow's imagination. Snow had imagined having a sister all through her childhood, and in a moment of desperation, used the spell she'd been preparing for the dying queen to embody those memories in a living person. Gerta then goes with Danielle and Talia to find Snow (and the prince, who she's kidnapped) and bring them home. (hide spoiler)] It's this whole thing with Snow going home to Allessandria and (view spoiler)[killing a SHIT TON of people, (hide spoiler)] and turning everything to ice, and using ice hornets to possess more people and use them as her zombie mind slaves.It was when Snow started (view spoiler)[killing all the people I started getting bad feelings. Subconsciously, I knew there was no way she was getting out of that. And then when Gerta confessed her attraction to Talia . . . I think I knew Snow wasn't going to be rescued. I was in denial about it, but I knew. (hide spoiler)]Ultimately, I understand this as a storytelling decision. It works, it finishes everything off thematically . . . but it sucks. (view spoiler)[Snow was such a great character, and not just seeing her die, but the WAY she died, and what she was forced to do on her way out. I just kind of hated it. (hide spoiler)]Ultimately, I'm glad I read this series, despite my rocky relationship with this last book (and really, the second book). The third book was definitely the best (and my favorite), but the whole thing is worth a read.[3.5 stars, rounded up]

  • Chris
    2019-02-17 17:21

    This is a satisfiying conclusion to the Princess series. Frankly, Jim C. Hines should earn enough money to buy Hawaii off this series alone.If you haven't read the Princesss novels, start at the beginning of the series with The Stepsister Scheme. It would help to read them in order.In this, perhaps final, installment, Danielle, Talia, and Snow face thier greatest challenge and the resolutions to the question raised in previous books (so yes, the Talia/Snow question is answered).This novel is the darkest of the four and more fully explores Snow's past.All of the things that make the previous novels good are on display here. Friendship, different abilities, Talia the ninja, cunning but kind Danielle, and interpid Snow. There is the introduction of a new character, Greta, who is handled with Hines' expert care.Hines' style may not be as polished and smooth as China Miéville, Neil Gaiman or those other writes who appeal to those who read "only literature" as well as those who read fantasy. Yet, in many ways, Hines' Princess novels in particular, and Hines' writing in general, is more honest. More humanist. More earnest. In part, this seems to come from the fact that he isn't trying to impress or show off, he just wants to tell a story that makes people think. Mostly, however, this comes from the humanity of the characters. In some ways, Hines is like Terry Pratchett whose works are about regular people dealing with Frodo's quest. It's humanity that intersts both Hines and Pratchett, whether it be the humanity of witches, princesses, ninjas, wizards, cats, or goblins.It is that interst that makes the Princess novels so good. If original fairy tales were told, in part, to help prepare people for life, Hines continues in this tradition. He uses the spirit as well as the plot of the fairy tales (like Robin McKinley).If you haven't read Jim Hines, go out and buy his books! They'll worth the money and then he can buy Hawaii.

  • David
    2019-01-29 23:24

    Jim Hines's Princess series is enjoyable light fantasy, the sort of thing that will appeal to fans of the early Xanth series (before Piers Anthony got really skeevy), but with more self-awareness. The first book was novel mostly for the premise: Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty turned into real, flesh-and-blood characters, not fairy tales but actual princesses with plausible backstories with just enough connection to the "fairy tale" version to make it understandable how the legends started.The next two books were basically continuations of the adventure, adding the Little Mermaid and Red Riding Hood to the mythos.In the fourth and last book in the series, there's little adaptation or subversion going on; it's just the final adventure of our three heroines, with some revelations about little details that have been running throughout the series (like just why is Danielle/Cinderella able to talk to animals?), and a resolution, of sorts, to the unfortunate Talia's crush on Snow.Snow White, the flirty sorceress who's been the "fun" third of the trio for the past three books, becomes the Big Bad in this one, corrupted by a demon through the power of her mother's magic mirror. All of a sudden she's turning everyone evil, destroying armies, and toppling kingdoms. Danielle and Talia have to go after her, with the question hanging throughout the book being whether they'll be able to save Snow without killing her.I won't say anything about the ending, other than that it was not unexpected, and I felt it was satisfying without being a cop-out.There are a lot of magical battles, including battles of wits with faeries. While, as with previous books, it was rather AD&Dish at times, I think Hines made the action and the magic consistent enough for his setting without making me hear dice rolling in the background.While this is the last book in the series (for now), there is certainly potential for Hines to continue the series in the future if he chooses to do so, and I would probably read them.The Princess books wouldn't make my Best Fantasy list, but they're fine, enjoyable adventures with a surprisingly detailed amount of worldbuilding and character development. The Snow Queen's Shadow brings it to a bittersweet conclusion; I would definitely recommend reading the previous books first.A solid 3.5 stars, rounding to 4 for the consistent enjoyment I got from the entire series.

  • Wortmagie
    2019-01-21 20:10

    Den Tod kann man nicht austricksen. Keine Zauberkraft der Welt kann ihn aufhalten. Doch daran möchte Prinzessin Ermillina Curtana von Allessandria, kurz Schnee genannt, nicht glauben. Schließlich ist sie die Spezialistin für Spiegelmagie ihrer Majestät Königin Beatrice von Lorindar. Sie versucht sich an einem wagemutigen Experiment – und überschätzt sich. In einem kolossalen Fehlschlag zerbricht sie den Zauberspiegel ihrer Mutter, das einzige, was sie auf ihrer Flucht aus Allessandria mit sich nahm. All die Jahre konnte Schnee nie herausfinden, woher seine Macht stammte. Jetzt weiß sie es. In dem Spiegel war ein Dämon gefangen, der nun frei ist. Zuerst unbemerkt ergreift er von Schnee Besitz und erweckt das Dunkle in allen, die die Spiegelscherben berühren. Nur einer ist immun gegen die Kräfte des Dämons: Danielles Sohn Jakob. Neugierig geworden entführt Schnee den 2-jährigen Prinzen und verschleppt ihn nach Allessandria, Quelle und Ziel ihres Zorns. Danielle und Talia bleibt nichts anderes übrig, als ihr zu folgen und sich auf eine aberwitzige Jagd einzulassen, die sie eigentlich nicht gewinnen können. Der Dämon in Schnees Körper ist ihnen stets einen Schritt voraus. Können sie Schnee und Jakob gleichermaßen aus seinem Griff befreien und so auch Allessandria vor der Auslöschung bewahren?Im Nachwort zu „Dämon, Dämon an der Wand“ schreibt Jim C. Hines, dass ihm dieser letzte Band seiner Reihe sehr schwer fiel, weil er es als schwierig empfand, eine Reihe zum Abschluss zu bringen, die sich mit den Leben von Märchenfiguren nach dem „glücklich bis ans Ende ihrer Tage“ beschäftigt. Ich finde, er hat diese Herausforderung gut gemeistert. Tatsächlich halte ich „Dämon, Dämon an der Wand“ für den besten Band der gesamten Reihe Die Todesengel. Zum ersten Mal hatte ich das Gefühl, dass Rahmenbedingungen und Handlung im Gleichgewicht sind und sich zu einer tollen Geschichte zusammenfügen. Hines gestaltete den Spannungsbogen straffer und gleichmäßiger, wodurch er meine Aufmerksamkeit dieses Mal auch durch die Entwicklung seiner Geschichte fesseln konnte und nicht nur durch seine grandiosen Charaktere. Obwohl Schnee die Protagonistin dieses Bandes ist, steht nicht ihre Biografie als Schneewittchen im Vordergrund, wie ich erwartet hatte. Stattdessen wagte sich Hines an eine überraschende, spannende und erstaunlich naheliegende Kombination aus „Schneewittchen“ und „Die Schneekönigin“. Mir ist zuvor nie aufgefallen, wie viele Parallelen diese beiden Märchen aufweisen. Glas und Eis, Scherben und Spiegel. Es passt einfach zusammen, als wären „Schneewittchen“ und „Die Schneekönigin“ zwei Teile derselben Geschichte. Mich begeistert diese Idee hemmungslos, weil ich selbst niemals darauf gekommen wäre. Diese dann auch noch glaubhaft und logisch umzusetzen, sodass die Verbindung zweier alter Märchen Sinn ergibt, zeugt durchaus von Talent. Ich war mir in den vorangegangenen Bänden nicht immer sicher, ob Jim C. Hines wirklich ein Händchen für die Konstruktion einer überzeugenden Handlung hat, doch in „Dämon, Dämon an der Wand“ hat er mich definitiv beeindruckt. Er vermittelte mir eine immense Emotionalität, die mir zeigte, wie sehr er seine Figuren liebt. Er hat nicht krampfhaft versucht, einen künstlichen Abschluss für seine Reihe zu erzwingen, sondern ließ die Prinzessinnen einfach dorthin gehen, wo sie hin wollten. Selbst, wenn ihre Reise sie nicht an das Ziel brachte, das er sich für sie wünschte. Dieses Vertrauen erfordert viel Mut; ich denke, es war überhaupt nur durch die besondere Beziehung zwischen Hines und seinen Figuren möglich. Von Anfang an ging es in seiner Reihe darum, sie Verantwortung übernehmen und ihr Leben selbst gestalten zu lassen – es ist nur richtig und konsequent, ihnen auch zuzugestehen, den Abschluss ihrer Geschichte selbst zu wählen. Ich empfand Hines daher als eine Art Sprachrohr für Danielle, Talia und Schnee; es wirkte, als dokumentiere er nur, was diese drei großartigen Frauen zu erzählen haben.Die Todesengel ist eine tolle Reihe und „Dämon, Dämon an der Wand“ ist ein würdiger Abschluss. Trotz dessen hoffe ich, dass dieses Finale nur ein vorläufiges Ende darstellt. Ich wünsche mir wirklich, dass Jim C. Hines noch einmal zu der wahnsinnig tollen Idee seiner Reihe zurückkehrt und weiteren Märchenfiguren seine Stimme leiht. Es gäbe noch so viele, die die Chance verdienen, ihre Geschichten selbst weiterzuschreiben, nachdem der Beginn ihrer Biografien von anderen gestaltet wurde. Ich liebe die alten Märchen, mit denen ich aufgewachsen bin, doch mir ist auch bewusst, dass sie hauptsächlich klischeehafte, stereotype Charaktere abbilden. Speziell die Rolle von Märchenprinzessinnen ist häufig extrem begrenzt und kippt dadurch ins Unrealistische. Wer behauptet denn, dass Prinzessinnen stets nur Fräulein in Not sind und keine emanzipierten, selbstbestimmten Frauen mit individuellen Wünschen, Träumen, Hoffnungen, Sorgen, Ängsten und einer gehörigen Portion Kampfeswillen sein können? Obwohl Jim C. Hines sicher nicht der hellste Stern am Autor_innen-Himmel ist, weiß ich es einfach unheimlich zu schätzen, dass er sich für eine starke weibliche Stimme in der Literatur einsetzt und bin ihm dafür sehr dankbar. Es ist erstaunlich, dass er in diesem Punkt sogar vielen weiblichen Autorinnen weit voraus ist. Ginge es nach mir, gäbe es in der gesamten Literatur nur noch ähnlich realistische, lebendige Protagonistinnen wie Danielle, Talia und Schnee.

  • Denise
    2019-02-01 18:11

    I had only read the first three Princess novels a few months ago, but found myself eagerly awaiting the conclusion, wondering how all of the story lines could possibly be tied up. I think Hines did a beautiful job of wrapping things up and created an ending that will (hopefully!) appease most readers. The story moved quickly, and the further I dove in to the novel, the more I found myself trying to sneak in a page here and there to see what would happen. There were a few plot twists that had me skeptical at first, but Hines masterfully wove everything together as the plot progressed.Also, I'm also really glad I read the postscript after the novel's end. I'll definitely be looking out for more books by Hines!

  • Liz
    2019-02-11 20:15

    Well that's one way to resolve things.Unfortunately, I didn't like it much at all. There's something kind of wasteful about the plot of this book that goes beyond the waste of a character (and god, the REPLACEMENT of said character). A lot of the wit was lost and it was just... bleak.And then suddenly happy? At least it was supposed to be? I don't know, I didn't feel particularly happy. I felt a little queasy.My feelings are complicated on this book, but I think I would rather read the others in the series and just forget this one happened.

  • Sherwood Smith
    2019-01-26 23:26

    This was almost too poignant for me, but Hines pulls it off. A fine finish to this series.Maybe a longer review later, but for now, because this book ties up all the threads introduced in the earlier books, it's impossible to write something substantive without spoilers.

  • Eric
    2019-01-30 18:18

    My two stars are for how the story played out, not the writing. The writing was just as good as the other books in the series. I just didn't like the story itself.

  • Kristen
    2019-02-17 18:22

    To be perfectly honest, I'm sad that it's over. I'm sad because of how it ended. I miss the characters already, and I've only just finished the book. Now I've got to figure out how to write a spoiler-free review...Talia (Sleeping Beauty) is a badass fighter blessed by the fairies to have beauty and grace. She's the most introverted of our trio of heroines and would much rather speak through her body than with words. Her tendency to be serious and a little grumpy make her the perfect target for Snow White's teasing. Talia's endurance for said teasing is helped by the fact that she's in love with Snow.Snow is Talia's opposite in almost every way. She's outgoing, flirty, charming, playful, and impulsive. Where Talia mistrusts magic, it is Snow's greatest tool. Where Talia would rather keep her feelings to herself, Snow wants to blow up in your face. She prizes her quick mind and way with words as much as she values her physical appearance. What both women have in common are their stubbornness and loyalty to their friends. It's because they're so different that they complement each other perfectly, compensating for one's weaknesses with the other's strengths.Danielle (Cinderella) is sort of the medium between Talia and Snow's extremes. She's the most even-tempered, a fast learner with a head for strategy and understanding other's perspectives, as well as the power to communicate with animals. She's not a warrior or sorceress, but she has a gift for mediating and considering how far she's come from the beginning of the series, she's quite the remarkable leader.All three women have had hard lives in the past but were brought together by Queen Beatrice who took them into her care. They function as a clandestine team, keeping the kingdom safe. If that sounds like the fairy tale princess version of Charlie's Angels to you, that's because it essentially is. The main difference is there's more diversity and much more character work with Danielle, Snow, and Talia. From their backstories, to their personalities, to their development throughout the books, to their moment-to-moment interactions with each other, their story really comes to life. I feel like I know them, like I'm friends with them. And that's why I'm so sad! This is the end and now I have to say goodbye... At least for now. Fingers crossed that Jim Hines will find another dashing adventure to take us on someday.So what actually happens in this book? In an attempt at some very risky, powerful magic, Snow ends up breaking her mother's mirror and being possessed by the demon that was trapped inside. She kidnaps Danielle's son, Jakob, and heads back to her homeland, Allesandria, to exact her revenge on the people who betrayed her and wreak havoc on the nation. It's up to Talia and Danielle, and their new ally Gerta, to save Snow and Jakob.Let me address the queer representation because it's important. Talia isn't just some token lesbian. Her sexual orientation isn't her defining characteristic by any means. It's just a part of who she is, and I appreciate Hines for his respectful and accurate portrayal of that. Secondly, for anyone worried about whether Talia gets her "happily ever after"... Yes? Is it perfect and everything we/she wanted? That's a bit more complicated and part of why the ending is bittersweet, albeit more realistic.This is why I took so long to get around to reading this, despite devouring the first three books. You know when something is so good you don't want it to end? That. But it's also because I didn't know what kind of ending these women would be getting - specifically Talia. I was apprehensive. My feelings are still mixed, but at least I can understand why what happened had to happen. Why it makes sense and why the ending is appropriate. You can't have a happy ending without some sacrifice, right? ...That doesn't mean I'm happy with the ending...Okay, I've probably already said too much, but I'm kind of using this review to help me say goodbye. I need it, alright?! I've grown too attached... Damn fictional characters! I don't re-read books very often, but this series is one of the exceptions. I'm going to need to read it again because I can't let go. My heart aches to be with them again, to relive those moments of pure delight that came before this...ERRRRR... So because I need to stop pining and give you some takeaway points...This series should be adapted as movies. Seriously. They all read like big budget epic action/adventure fantasy.If you've enjoyed the first three books, you'll have to read this because, well, it's the end and I can't see anyone who wouldn't want to follow these ladies as far as they possibly could, and dream beyond that. However, because Snow is separate from the rest of the team and spends the majority of the book as the antagonist, it's understandably less comedic, heavier, and has the highest stakes of any of the books. Gerta, though similar in personality to Snow, simply isn't a replacement, and because she's new, lacks the same chemistry and history with the group. Also, be warned, the ending is unsatisfying and bittersweet. I feel like I need another book just to help me get over what happened in this one, so I can truly feel like everything's going to be okay and move on. Maybe one day...

  • Artemis
    2019-01-31 23:08

    The last (for now, you never know) in a series of fantasy books I found to be some of the most fun, creative, well-written and intensely emotional I've ever read. It's epic, it's exciting, it's going to leave fans divided. Especially concerning how all the plot threads are resolved.One way I can describe each book in the 'Princess' series is they are like a roller coaster ride - you are always on the edge of your seat as you are brought into a world of super highs and super lows, the likes of which ordinary people rarely feel. Conflict is everywhere. Prepare for the log ride to give you a large splash, never unscarred!'The Snow Queen's Shadow' certainly starts off as such. Tensions and stakes are raised throughout the kickass princesses' ice adventure/rescue mission. This time, after being at sea with Hephyra the dryad, we explore Snow White's homeland of Allesandria, the magical capital of the world. I won't get into a lot of the book’s details in this review due to spoilers, but I will say that the plot begins differently than in the previous ones. It is the last we'll see of these amazing characters and their fairy tale world, so it must be bigger, more shocking, and start and end with a bang. Or a snowy whirlwind full of ice wasps with glass stingers possessed by demonic energy.The short of it: Snow White becomes possessed by a demon trapped within her magic mirror, which was once used by her deceased mother to make herself more powerful. Snow ends up repeating her murderous mother’s mistakes. When she tried to play God the mirror shattered, and the demon is set free upon the world. Using Snow's many glass pieces to make vile slaves of anyone they cut, the demon - along with Snow and her hidden, painful emotions regarding her past - kidnaps little Prince Jakob and flees to Allesandria. For revenge. And supposedly to make everyone see how everything is a lie; how ugly the world and its politics are. Both human and fairy kind are doomed, standing no chance against Snow White as the Snow Queen.Except maybe her old friends, the princesses Danielle Whiteshore and Talia. On their quest to rescue both Jakob and Snow, they receive help from the strangest of places.One of the princess trio, the flirty and playful Snow, has turned into an abomination of dark magic with no clear hope of going back. The hardest thing the women have faced could be either one of their downfall, if not with the rest of the world. Danger and deceit lurk everywhere they go, and the kindhearted future queen of Lorindar, Danielle, may be forced to make the most dire, impossible decisions to save her son's life...Danielle has developed exceptionally throughout the series. From peasant to queen, she has definitely earned her royal title already, having been up against the most nightmarish horrors thrown at her. She has managed to conquer her insecurities, be brave in the face of the worst, be crafty when need be, and keep some emotions hidden without losing her gentlest of hearts. With the help of her mother's spirit, her glass sword, and animal friends as well as human ones, she overcomes her greatest fears. Beautiful on the inside and inside out, Danielle 'Cinderella' Whiteshore of Lorindar is a blonde not to be underestimated.Talia has always been in love with Snow, so this is her toughest quest, as it is Danielle's because of losing both a friend and her child, Jakob. I love reading her perspective; she's pure badass, less graceful in personality than in her ninja moves. Sarcastic and deadpan, and she fights like a genius. Between the end of 'Red Hood's Revenge' and the start of 'The Snow Queen's Shadow', her lover Faziya left for their country of Arathea because Faziya saw it as more of her home than the exile Talia sees Lorindar as her own. The 'Princess' books can be read as individual adventures without having to worry too much about what happened previously, like ‘James Bond’, so this is only referenced a couple of times. I am a bit wary about how Talia's love for Snow is resolved in the end. It seems a cop-out, and kind of disrespectful to Snow. But nevertheless I enjoyed Talia's character and story arc. She will be missed.Snow White, the lovable and morally gray sorceress, is the villain of ‘The Snow Queen’s Shadow’, the women’s final big adventure. She's possessed, yes, but the demon sensed the pain of her past and secret hatred of her people and family of Allesandria, who abandoned her when she needed them the most. She killed her tyrant mother in self-defence after the queen murdered Snow's lover. The things she does when she falls under the demon's power - thus “freeing” herself - are horrendously evil: murder, enslavement, cutting and threatening to murder a two-year-old traumatised child whom she turns into a bird on occasion. Dark Snow White appears out of reach of anything good anymore, and part of the tension is the reader wanting to believe one of our favourite characters in the past three books can be saved and redeemed from this menace. Or maybe not...Also, poor Armand, he gets possessed again. And there is no way the toddler Jakob is ever going to get over the events of this story, even if he does successfully get rescued. What he goes through is terrifying - nearly starved and bled to death, left freezing in the worst conditions, shapeshifted against his will; I do hope Danielle can afford a palace psychologist for him in the future. This is no place for children. (Wait, if Jakob has fairy blood and he's so powerful that Dark Snow's glass magic has no effect on him, how can she turn him into a bird?)The ending of 'The Snow Queen's Shadow' is a little rushed, anticlimactic even. Not everything is resolved smoothly or with the attention they perhaps need. For example, the beginnings of a revolution of humans and fairies living together in true peace without a treaty (in Fairytown) or driving all magical creatures underground. There is a lot of potential not fully explored here. But I felt for the characters all the way through, and marvelled at every tough choice they make for themselves, as they’ve done before. Clever ideas, creative solutions and set pieces for epic action sequences are still present.Brilliantly written as always, and as ice cold in grip as the settings, I enjoyed 'The Snow Queen's Shadow' immensely, flaws aside. I will miss these ladies, I admit. They are wonderful, dynamic, differing, likable protagonists. But all good things must come to an end. The story is action-packed, solid in quick worldbuilding detail, and uncomfortable yet fun to read as the conclusion to a series with the premise, "There is no such thing as happily ever after, for nothing truly ends".So more may yet come. Good old Jim C. Hines.Final Score: 4/5Final Score of the whole 'Princess' saga: 4/5

  • Jamie
    2019-02-03 17:12

    Dear Jim C. Hines,First of all, how dare you.Second of all, who do you think you are?Sincerely,JamieJokes aside, this was quite the finale. Talk about "I brought you into this world, and I can take you back out of it." I'm going to assume if you've made it to this point in the series, you have an idea of what you're in for. If you stumbled upon this by accident, then I suggest going to The Stepsister Scheme and starting there.I enjoyed this series, and I'm glad I decided to finally pick them back up and finish them. I read the first book a few years ago and liked it well enough, but didn't feel the urge to immediately dive into the second book. Well, at my new job I'm allowed to listen to music and have my headphones on while I work, and decided to clear out some of my Audible books that were collecting digital dust, and decided to finish the series.I'm glad I did. It was a strong final book, and tied up all the lose ends. It was full of emotions, and stress, and I didn't doubt that Hines wouldn't hold back his punches. He didn't, and I'm glad. Adventuring with these princesses was fun every steps of the way in this series, and I highly recommend it. Maybe this last book could have used a few more moments of levity, but the ending was satisfying, if bitter sweet.Thank you, Jim, for giving us these ladies, and thank you for filling these books with so many women leading the way. May we have more like them. I hope I'm not disappointed when I jump into your other work, though I don't expect to be.

  • Nan
    2019-01-20 20:15

    It's taken me years to do it, but I finally got up the courage to read the last book in Jim C. Hine's Princess series. As I expected, it was traumatic, but it was even better than I could have imagined. Hines walks a fine line here, developing the characters he created according to their natures. Every event feels like it's the exact thing that would happen. I am thrilled that I finally read this book, and I recommend this series highly to any reader of fantasy fiction. (If you're sick of Princess Pink and Disney, so much the better.)

  • E.A. Lawrence
    2019-02-16 15:18

    This series wrapped up character arcs brilliantly and the climax made me choke up. Thank you, Mr. Hines, for writing such wonderful princess role models in a compelling narrative. I look forward to rereading this series.

  • Michele Lee
    2019-01-20 22:04

    Jim C. Hines' Princesses series quickly became one of my favorite reads and rereads. This time last year I picked up the first one because I had wanted to for a while and I'd be meeting Hines at World Fantasy Con. Now I've just finished reading the final book in the series. Hines' Princesses series follows the further adventures of Snow White (a mirror sorceress exiled from her home for killing her mother, the queen who tried to kill her), Sleeping Beauty (also a refugee from her land where the fairy gifts given to her, and the curse of sleep, was all just a plot to kill off the human royalty of her land so the fae could rule) and Cinderella (whose happy story became more complicated as she realized marrying her prince meant becoming queen). Hines manages to create characters and worlds deeply steeped in the ancient stories that were Disney-fied for the modern age while also making his characters immediately relateable to modern readers. There's always a bit of worry as a series goes on that the charge will lag, and that the end book will be unsatisfying. Especially as the previous books have allowed Hines to play with some source material (The original little mermaid and Red Riding Hood among others) and this book travels into more unknown worlds with a stronger Hines-only element. When Snow's mirror breaks as she's trying to bring her beloved queen back from the dead the demon trapped inside infects her, wiping all joy from the world and sparking the bit inside her that craved vengeance on the country who punish and exiled her for defending herself while ignoring years of abuse her mother afflicted on her (and many, many other people). It's hard not to blame her for her icy rage, born of legitimate pain at systematic abuse. But, deserved or not, Snow's punishment of people who betrayed her is vicious and casual. It would have been very easy for this book to slide into fantastic horror. It's also a dark path Snow resolutely refused before, which becomes the major driving force for Talia (Sleeping Beauty). Rescuing her son, kidnapped by Snow for his immunity to her magic, becomes Danielle's (Cinderella) reason for leaving her possessed husband and the grieving king in their time of need. Soulful and magical, Hines' finale hits a perfect tempo between fairy tale and reality with leads all more courageous than readers could hope to be. The Snow Queen's Shadow doesn't flinch from politics, religion or gender issues, but neither is bound by it. In the end, The Snow Queen's Shadow is damn near perfect. A satisfying read from cover to cover and a sad, but sweet send off for some of my favorite fairy tale lasses.

  • D.L. Morrese
    2019-01-20 18:04

    This is the fourth, and possibly last, installment in Hines’ Princess series. I have enjoyed all of them and they remain as ‘keepers’ on my shelves of paper books. This one is a little darker than the others are, as some reviewers have pointed out.I do not personally care for dark fantasy. I prefer more lighthearted, humorous, and satirical works, but the dark aspects in this are not overdone and there is still a hopeful and optimistic mood conveyed by the end of the story. It has a few smiles in it too, such as in the first chapter, in which the princesses are hunting down the witch-hunter, Hansel, who, we are told, first got into the business by stuffing some poor old woman into her own oven.This is not a classic tragedy of death and failure by any means. However, it does take the reader on an exciting adventure full of soul-searching, discovery and sacrifice, and it has just enough of the old “sword and sorcery” action to keep readers who expect that kind of thing in a fantasy novel happy. I just wanted to mention that in case others were put off by reviews suggesting this is a dark fantasy. It is not.The princesses are strong characters, likeable and even believable given a certain amount of suspended disbelief. I found myself sympathizing with Snow in her conflict with the demon that possesses her through her mother’s mirror, and I appreciated the intelligence Hines shows in her efforts to defeat it. But to say more on that would require spoilers.I would recommend this book to those who appreciate positive fiction with admirable characters pursuing noble causes. You will find this installment of the Princess Novels more satisfying though if you read the others (in order) first.

  • Jill Furedy
    2019-01-31 21:21

    It's over? Say it isn't so! I just discovered this series, soon after discovering Gail Carriger was wrapping up her series in her next book, and while I often say I'm impatient and I won't read any more series until they are concluded, I take it back now! Though it did wrap up well, I missed Snow in this book. Sure she made a formidable opponent, and I did find her fascinating as a 'bad guy', but she's much less fun that way. But while it was less fun, Snow was the character most likely to be forever damaged...was raised by an evil queen, unlike the others who had brief experiences on what a happy home life could be; saw the hunter she loved killed by mommy dearest, her magic kept her balancing the fine line between good and evil: hard to bounce back from all that and still find happily ever after.Gerta developed throughout the book, but still felt like a placeholder to me, wheras in the other books, I found Roudette, Hephyra, Khardija and the sisters, and even Varisto worthy of telling their own tales. Then again I guess Gerta didn't have much to tell, so maybe that's why I wasn't as excited about her joining Danielle and Talia.While I hope that his new book starts another great series, I also hope the author will return to the world created here at some point...even if these princesses aren't the main focus any longer. With the mysteries of fairytown mostly unexplored, and multiple countries and cultures created but only touched upon, not to mention other fairy tales to be reimagined, I think this world has plenty of room to expand and more stories to be told.

  • K. O'Bibliophile
    2019-01-20 17:14

    When a spell gone wrong shatters Snow White's enchanted mirror, a demon escapes into the world. The demon's magic distorts the vision of all it touches, showing them only ugliness and hate. It is a power that turns even friends and lovers into mortal foes, one that will threaten humans and fairies alike.Hines' Princess series has a lot going for it. Strong female characters, fairy tales not just retold but woven into a blend of new adventures and history, humor, and action. This is a great action-adventure book, and I can see it (and the entire series) appealing to guys as well as girls. This is a good conclusion (I assume) to the quartet, but compared to previous books I found it wanting.When I reviewed the third book, I noted that it was basically 300 straight pages of adventure and there was little emotional connection to the characters. That continues in this book. I found it very hard to connect with any of the characters, and so the story fell flat. I was, of course, interested in the fates of the main characters, but couldn't muster the emotion to specifically feel for poor demon-controlled Snow, or the other princesses when in danger.Quite frankly, while it provides a fairly good ending, I think it will disappoint fans of the series.

  • Becky
    2019-01-21 20:10

    Probably my least favorite of the series. It was still a good read, and it definitely concluded things, but it was pretty joyless compared to the rest of the series.I'm not thrilled about what happened with Snow and Gerta, but it worked well -- it was an effective way to deal with the romance that seemed otherwise unable to come to a Happily Ever After, and it certainly created a formidable foe. But lacking Snow's fairly lighthearted POV (even when she was the viewpoint character, it was the demon and not her) while everything else was doom and gloom meant it was less fun overall. I was also disappointed by how easily they dealt with the bargain with the Duchess at the end. Through the first book, the Duchess was set up as a huge Big Bad, and we'd spent four full books a) believing that was true specifically; and b) seeing that fairies are not to be trusted, fairy bargains are impossible to see all sides of, making a fairy is a very bad thing, etc. So it felt way, way too easy that they found such a huge loophole and then dispatched the Duchess pretty easily after so much build.All that said, the book was still fine! It was a good read and a decent conclusion. I just had quibbles.

  • Britt Marczak
    2019-01-20 15:17

    This was, by far, the best book of the series.The books seem to suggest that Danielle is our main character. At least, she is in book 1. But for me, ever since her introduction, Talia was the lead for me. Talia's actions, motivations, and story guided each book. Okay, so did Snow's and Danielle's, but Talia is everything in this series for me. So it's no surprise, then, that when Talia goes through some tough times near the end of the novel, I was actually tearing up for her.People seem to not like that this book is darker than the others in the series. I think it was done fantastically, and was the perfect arc for the series to take. A wonderful ending. I'm sad to see these characters go.

  • Kim-Lost-In-A-Book
    2019-01-18 15:05

    I loved this series so much and I have such mixed emotions about this final book. The way it ended left me feeling a little sad yet oddly satisfied, even though I'd love to read more from these characters in the future. Although I'm not sure if that will ever happen and if Mr. Hines decides not to write more about them I can't really say as though I'd blame him for that decision.I loved the development of all of the characters throughout the book. I think that's the one thing that will stand out in my mind the most. I fell in love with the characters and know they will remain with me for a long time.

  • Katy
    2019-02-08 16:13

    I'm a big fan of this series and of fairy tale re-imagining in general. I loved Jim C. Hines' take on these familiar characters, in particular Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Snow White. Unfortunately I thought that The Snow Queen's Shadow was a huge disappointment. As a conclusion to the series it just was not satisfying. I especially disliked the character of Gerta, conceptually it just didn't work for me. Maybe it's just me, but I really enjoyed the other three books in the series and this book was not of the same caliber.

  • Beth
    2019-02-13 15:10

    An interesting spin on the story of the Snow Queen using the recurring characters in this series -- Cinderella (Danielle), Sleeping Beauty (Talia) and Snow White. As I'm reading it (I'm about a third of the way through) I really have no clue as to not just how Hines will end the series but even the tone of the ending. Definitely worth checking out if you like either fantasy fiction or variants of fairy tales.Update: Finished it and it resolved well, though I was a bit sad. Don't want to say more because of spoilers

  • Blodeuedd Finland
    2019-02-12 23:13

    I am so sad, because this was the last one! And also, it was sort of sad too, ok it was sad, just not I am gonna cry sad. Just...sad.Snow gets intro trouble with her mother's magic mirror and all hell breaks loose. A demon is causing mayhem and things turn ugly. And even Snow is changed. It's not pretty.This story takes us to yet another new kingdom, that we have heard about but never visited, spoilers.There will be blood, fairies, monsters and heartbreak.And then it was over, and everyone was happy. But, I could have read more, alas this was the end

  • Kim
    2019-02-02 22:15

    Wow. This book was the crown jewel of the Princess series. I've never read a series like this. The first 3 books were good, but this fourth book made the first 3 books even better, bringing the whole series into a "great read" territory. Instead of deteriorating as the series continued, I felt this book was the strongest of the series. That being said, it wouldn't have been as good with the first three books. All in all, great read. Oh and also, if a book can make me cry, it gets an extra star.

  • Em
    2019-02-09 14:56

    i thought i'd like this series more than i actually did. the concept is creative; hines rewrites traditional fairy tales from an adult perspective and we get the back story of heroines like sleeping beauty, snow white, cinderella, red riding hood, etc. the storyline is darker and more in keeping with fairy tale origins... but i find myself preferring either the YA fairy tale rewrites or the urban fantasy twist (like seanan mcguire's "october daye" series).

  • Rastano
    2019-02-16 16:24

    Just a quick review. Because I really liked the other books, and this one was so interesting until Greta. I did not like her, she was... bland. The person to take Snow's place, no! Actually at first I was confused over what was wrong, and couldn't figure out where in a book I liked so many things, it was taking me so long to read it and I didn't want to read it. And I figured it out! Just goes to show you how one character can utterly ruin a book for a reader. Go figure.

  • Rachel Craig
    2019-01-24 17:12

    This series is definitely a case of "don't judge by the cover." I mean, seriously, these covers are AWFUL, yet the series is rather fun. This was kind of a disappointing end (?) to the series, but they were fun books to read, and have some ass kicking ladies to boot! I'd recommend them for sure, just...damn, these covers are bad!

  • Amber
    2019-02-11 23:23

    i need to go back and read the first books in this series... but it was a nice change to read a book with 3 strong female protagonists, where the men were supporting characters. Not that I don't like male characters, there is just such a plethora of complex males out there already. it was good to see someone do the females justice.

  • Andrea Blythe
    2019-01-21 21:23

    I have to say, I have a soft soft spot for stories that include Rose Red, the often forgotten sister to Snow White in one of the original fairy tales. This book was a satisfying conclusion to the series, hitting me right in the feels. I'm rather sad to have to say goodbye to these clever, charming, silly, awesome ladies.

  • sj
    2019-02-13 20:59

    So...I don't even know what to say about this one. It took me forever to get into it, then it took me forever to READ it. It wasn't as good as the others, and was kind of a meh ending to the series.