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Singer in the Snow

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  269 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
On the ice planet of Nevya, people rely on Cantors and Cantrixes, men and women with the ability to channel psi energy through music, creating heat and light. Mreen is possibly the most talented Cantrix on Nevyabut she is unable to make a sound. She is accompanied to her first posting by a younger Singer, Emle, who must come to terms with her own flawed Gift. When the two ...more
Published October 20th 2005 by Viking Juvenile (first published 2005)
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Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Dena Landon for

In this inventive and well-told fantasy, Marley creates a world bound by ice and snow, where the daily ritual of quirna is all that keeps its residents from death. Those who create the ritual are called Singers, their ability to channel their Gift - a psionic power - and create warmth carefully trained at the Conservatory before they are sent out into greater society to serve. Emle is training to be a Singer, but while her technical skills are perfect,
Apr 23, 2010 Grace rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
The professional reviews I read about this series said that it shouldn't be classed as YA, as it's just generally wonderful. Those reviewers are insane.

I really haven't been as frustrated with characters in a long while as I have with Marley's ice-world inhabitants. They're twits. They are brought up in a cross between a cloister and a snobby finishing school, and then are loosed on a world that's been trained to revere them. Now, this might be an interesting construct to take apart, but it's a
Jan 09, 2017 Suzieey rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
To be fair I didn't read any of the other books in the related series so maybe I'm missing some essential aspect. But as a stand alone book, it was a nice story but I found it to be trite, following the typical young adult blue print of young people being smarter and more capable than their seniors and struggling with the normal difficulties of love and discovering who they are; with nothing really original to set it apart save that it was set in the cold. Plus I couldn't stand the mother charac ...more
Jul 16, 2012 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ugh, this was immensely unsatisfying.

Let me start by saying that the author's prose is lovely. The characters are well-written and consistent. The world-building is intriguing. But the plot? The story? The character development?

The only real tension in the story (view spoiler) is completely ignored. It's never resolved. The plot point that the author orchestrated to be the main conflict however, fell flat. Everything was tied up too neatly, too quickly, too easily. (
Oct 24, 2010 Alex rated it it was amazing
A marvelously crafted world with real danger lurking ominously about! I love this sort of thing. The characters struggle with some heavy situations, particularly in regards to family and coming of age. It can be a bit difficult to read for the truly sensitive, and those who love happy endings might be the tiniest bit disappointed. The bittersweetness of it, though, is touching, and considering the darkness of Luke's storyline, it's appropriate. He's going to carry this with him forever, and so i ...more
Dec 23, 2016 Jen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
By giving this 3 stars, I don't mean to discredit it in any way. I would say it's good but is light enough not to warrant 4 stars. It's a "summer read" sort of book. I oriented to the world quickly, enjoyed the characters and the plot. The book reads quite quickly, which was enjoyable as well. I read it within a few days and I'm a slow reader. The situation with one character's family dynamic struck me as realistic through the first half or 2/3 of the book but in that last third I had to rely on ...more
Feb 07, 2010 Danielle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A really intriguing premise--on an ice world, Gifted musicians have psi, which warms and protects large, communal Houses from dying of the deep cold. She does a nice job of worldbuilding, using foreign-sounding words to indicate unique animals and cultural events (for instance, every night there is a hot bath with a special name; the mandatory nightly warming ceremony is called a "quirinha", IIRC), and has a couple of characters with interesting conflicts (like Mreen, a Gifted who cannot speak, ...more
Feb 17, 2013 Grace rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Louise Marley's writing reminds me of Tamora Pierce's......except her characters aren't as good. I could easily picture the events, because there just wasn't much happening. Apparently, the people of Nevya just hunt for food, care for their animals, and do a bit of cleaning and occasional traveling. Cantrixes/Singers practice their instruments, bath, eat, and occasionally accompany riders.
It's not realistic on how empty these people's lives are. Someone has to make a fuss once in a while, someo
Jun 04, 2011 Crystel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unforgettable
I bought this for a dollar because I thought the introducing line of the summary, "On the ice planet of Nevya, music is a matter of life and death," was very interesting. However, I was afraid it would not be good because it had been marked down so many times.

I don't get why it was marked down!! I loved it!! Sometimes, the foreign vocabulary threw me off a few times, but that was because I'd neglected to read the glossary. I loved the characters, and I thought the idea of channeling psi energy t
Jan 17, 2011 Gail rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It's especially great to read on a cold winter's night sitting by the fire. The characters all had personal conflicts to battle and interesting pasts that wove the story together. The book was hard to put down. Louise Marley's writing style, characters and plot reminded me of Shannon Hale and her Bayern book series which I also loved. This is the first book I've read by Louise Marley and I look forward to reading more.
Jun 17, 2013 Katy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The book was a pretty quick read, but learning the book's vocabulary was a bit tedious. It was hard to start due to not knowing the language, but as the book progresses it becomes easier to remember the vocabulary. The story-line was alright, but it could have been a little bit better and the reader could have learned more about the character's backgrounds. It wasn't that great.
Katrina Sutton
Aug 11, 2011 Katrina Sutton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen-fantasy, want
I read this book a couple of time from my local library and just love the story. I am a huge fan of fantasy and mythical times intertwined with magic. I gave it 5 stars because it was smooth from start to bottom.
Oct 07, 2013 Lexi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
good book on finding yourself
Jul 10, 2012 Pamela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank heavens I have a little bit of music training or else I might have been lost with this one. It was a fun and simple story.
i think this book was interesting. Very good though....
Mar 20, 2009 Victoria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
the first time i read this book i cried my eyes out and stayed up until midnight just to read it.
Jun 19, 2014 Lenka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
It was an interesting read, although the constant use of those made-up words was sometimes annoying, but, on the whole, I quite enjoyed it.
Jun 27, 2011 Miss rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: beach read
Recommended to Miss by: synopsis
Shelves: teen-fiction, fantasy
Reminiscent of Anne McAffree's Dragon Song/Dragon Singer. Good summer read to keep you cool.
Kanmu rated it really liked it
Nov 08, 2011
Miriam rated it really liked it
Mar 31, 2010
Katie rated it liked it
Jun 17, 2009
Louise Marley
Sep 23, 2011 Louise Marley rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Zeia rated it liked it
May 30, 2015
Meril rated it liked it
Jun 27, 2007
Amber rated it it was amazing
Dec 17, 2014
Clara rated it it was amazing
Jan 12, 2008
Carl H Spitzer
Carl H Spitzer rated it really liked it
Sep 28, 2010
Beryl rated it really liked it
Mar 21, 2013
Lisa Perusse
Lisa Perusse rated it it was amazing
Jul 27, 2013
Stephanie rated it it was amazing
Apr 26, 2010
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Louise Marley, a former concert and opera singer, has published sixteen novels. Writing as Cate Campbell, her recent books are historical fiction. As Louise Marley, she writes fantasy and science fiction and occasionally young adult fiction.
More about Louise Marley...

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“Six Stars,' he exclaimed. 'Finding the right words is hard!” 2 likes
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