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The Raven and the Reindeer
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The Raven and the Reindeer

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  1,273 Ratings  ·  210 Reviews
When Gerta’s friend Kay is stolen away by the mysterious Snow Queen, it’s up to Gerta to find him. Her journey will take her through a dangerous land of snow and witchcraft, accompanied only by a bandit and a talking raven. Can she win her friend’s release, or will following her heart take her to unexpected places?

A strange, sly retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s "Sno
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Kindle Edition, 191 pages
Published February 7th 2016 by Red Wombat Tea Co.
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Artur Not really, no. He seemed selfish and took Greta for granted. But it’s an interesting question – what made you feel sympathy for him?

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Lois Bujold
Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of fairytale retellings
Recommended to Lois by: the slippery slope of Amazon cross-references

Continuing my T. Kingfisher jag this week, I followed up the Clockwork duo and a reread of Nine Goblins (which stood up) with this retelling of Hans Christian Anderson's "The Snow Queen". I quite liked the variations rung, or wrung (both, really), on the original, as I'd never thought that highly of Kay either. I had totally forgotten the Robber Maiden parts, if they'd ever even appeared in the versions I'd encountered before.

http://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/198/the-sno... for anyone else who wants to
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K.J. Charles
A glorious reimagining of the Snow Queen story, dripping with atmosphere and magic and strangeness, which are effortlessly combined with some very funny lines and a wonderfully no-nonsense approach.

I hated this story (the original I mean) as a child. I hated Gerda dragging herself around in the service of that stupid selfish boy. I hated the fact it was given to me as a story about a girl, when it was actually about a girl who dedicated her existence to a shitty ungrateful boy who was the *real
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Nikki
May 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, queer, fairytales
Sometimes surprisingly sweet, sometimes surprisingly dark, this retelling of The Snow Queen turns things upside-down in quiet ways. It’s fairly traditional in the set-up, and you can recognise each incident as you go along… until you meet Mousebones, the raven. He adds a lot of life to the story with his snarky comments and unique perspective. And then there’s Janna, the robber princess, who has rather more of a role in this version than I remember from Hans Christian Anderson’s — one he probabl ...more
l.
what kind of lesbian separatist fairytale retelling :)

I was not expecting the romance. The book was charming enough - there's a talking raven named Sound of Mouse Bones Crunching Under the Hooves of God, sharp feminist commentary (tbh Kay really reminded me of Bjork's criticism of Matthew Barney - 'I am bored of your apocalyptic obsessions'), cute nods to famous lines from Atwood and Beagle, but the romance gave it heart and warmth and I'm still basking in it tbh.
MB (What she read)
6/20/16 First read 4 stars:

That was a lot of fun; particularly Mousebones!

I tend to seek out fairy-tale retellings, but the Snow Queen/Cupid & Psyche/Tam Lin trope has never been a favorite of mine. (I don't like the "woman must suffer to the point of martyrdom" to 'win' love from a lazy/unfeeling/witless male type of story). Therefore, I went into this one with a bit of trepidation. Luckily this spin worked for me! T. Kingfisher's stories are a joy to read and she always has a fresh slant o
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Leseparatist
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, owned
Here it is, some more, later.

I never really liked Andersen as a child: I found his stories to be too depressing and often hopeless. The Snow Queen was a bit of an exception, though not quite; something always bothered me, though it appealed to the imagination. The mirror carried by devil, broken into pieces that got into human eyes to turn them heartless and cold was particularly scary, as I remember.

This is a very different and yet similarly impressive version. I enjoyed the characterisation an
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Olga Godim
Jun 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
Retelling of classic fairy tales is fraught with danger. On one side lies the sugar overload (think Disney). On the other – the violent darkness of modern fantasy. Few found the golden middle, and T. Kingfisher is one of them. Her retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen is by turns hilarious and gloomy, gory and hopeful. It’s also one of the best tales of lesbian fiction I have read. It’s a story of Gerta and Janna, the Bandit Girl.
In fact, all the interesting human characters in
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Roxana-Mălina Chirilă
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was so cute!

Technically, this is a story based on Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen", but I can't vouch for that. I remember trying to read that tale as a kid, but it felt strangely tedious, like it was one of those things I was supposed to read, not one of those things one read for pleasure. I remember the beginning of the story, with the mirror made to reflect all evil things, which shattered in the presence of God and his angels - and I remember thinking it didn't have much to d
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Diversireads
In the wake of a truly awful year, I’ve been thinking a lot about the kind of queer fiction I want to see. I’ve actually been avoiding a lot of them, in part because some of them are written by straight people and I have No Interest, in part because some of it’s Issue Fiction and I have No Interest, and in part because, while so much fiction is escapist, I can never feel particularly safe, as a bi girl, even in fiction. We’re killed off for shock value, for “realism,” for shits and gigs. We’re k ...more
Coolcurry
The Raven and the Reindeer is a retelling of Han Christian Anderson’s “The Snow Queen” that’s full of Ursula Vernon’s quintessential charm. T. Kingfisher is the name she uses for her adult work, but I think The Raven and the Reindeer could be an easy YA crossover.

The arc of the story hews close to the original. Greta’s friend Kay is taken (or chooses to go with?) the Snow Queen, and Greta sets off to rescue him. In this version, she has the aid of a talking raven and, eventually, a robber girl,
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Tasha Robinson
Feb 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Another really enjoyable fairy tale from Ursula Vernon under her adult pseudonym. This one's a retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen" that takes it into familiar Vernon territory, with an overmatched young female hero muddling through as best she can, and a natural world that thinks for itself, in a determined and alien way. I love the way Vernon writes animals, taking their biology into account while giving them their own personalities. And in this case, I love how the protagon ...more
Sara
May 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Snow Queen like you've never seen her

T. Kingfisher has once again reached into my hindbrain and pulled out the fairytale I always wanted. She twists and turns these stories that have lived in our bones and our blood and brings common sense, cranky animal sidekicks, and the inevitable power of plants into the mix to create something so much more than the sum of its parts. I also want to hang out with her heroines, which I can't say for most fairy tales.
kari
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
How can this book be so brutal and so hopeful at once? What a delightful, empowering read.
Emily
I read this in one sitting and enjoyed myself immensely. It has everything you could want in a T. Kingfisher book - a helpful sentient animal friend! twists to fairy tale tropes! a smart and interesting female protagonist! - as well as an unexpected and lovely romance. I loved how this was grounded in a world where folklore and Christianity coexist, and the magic system was a standout in this book: the "absence" of magic for Gerta and the reindeer road were two unique concepts that I haven't rea ...more
Tracy
Oct 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was lovely. One of the things I love about Goodreads is that I learn of so many many books that I may not have heard of otherwise. This of course contributes to my ever growing to be read list. That being said I'm still grateful.
Jill Heather
Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love Ursula Vernon's fairy tale retellings, and this is one of them.

A very determined but not entirely competent or confident[1] Gerta goes off to save her friend Kay from the Snow Queen and the typical fairy tale happens, but longer and changed just enough (honestly I had forgotten about most of the story except the robber girl and the ice puzzle).

[1] This is one of her stock character types, usually a gardener who is only very good at gardening. Her other stock character type, the elderly w
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Jen
Feb 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is lovely and wonderful and TOTALLY the way it was always supposed to be.
Tori
Oct 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
it is hard to see a story when you are standing in the middle of it

I feel so unbearably lucky to have gotten to experience this. What a hilarious, tender, thrilling, beautiful book.
sage
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melani
Oct 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Raven and the Reindeer is Ursual Vernon's (under her 'grown-up book author' pen-name of T. Kingfisher) retelling of The Snow Queen. It's fantastic, bloody, and dark without loosing the magic that is fairy tales. Vernon has a kind of no-nonsense, logic based method to her storytelling that appeals strongly to me. She also manages to incorporate animals in a way that makes perfect sense for those animal types, her raven feels very raven-y and her reindeer are very reindeer-y, yet still makes t ...more
Marita Arvaniti
Feb 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
!!!
PSA: This review will be bordering on incoherent due to the amount of feelings I have for this book.

This is a most beautiful retelling of The Snow Queen that, as all of my favorite retellings of that particular fairytale, would have HCA rolling in his grave. Reading it felt, well, personal. Everything was exactly the way it should be and there wasn't a moment, not one moment in all 200 pages that i didn't love from the depths of my heart. Greta was wonderful, Kay was, well, not, and if i was
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Melanie
YOOOOOOOO

this book is just about everything you could really want from a fairytale retelling. vivid prose, believable and lovable characters, and QUEER GIRLS WHO LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER. i love this book.

EDIT 10/20/16
This book is as dreamy and perfect as ever, and still my firm favorite of 2016.
venus
this was delightful and had exactly the right kind of setting and tone for a retelling. the lesbians helped too.
Kagama-the Literaturevixen
Another of the kingfishers books sneaks up on me
Kara
Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing

This story contains giant, chattering, friendly flying otters who just want to play and for that alone I would give this story 5 stars.

Oh, but there is so much more going on – and The Snow Queen is so weird to begin with that Kingfisher pretty much tells the story straight (gigglesnort – more on that in a minute) without much tweaks and still delivers up a chilling, fantastical, lyrical, amusing, scary, wonderful, inclusive tale.

Little Greta has known the boy-next-door is her True Love since fo
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Berni Phillips
Aug 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
As a child, I read the fairy tales of Hans Christian Anderson, but they didn't do much for me. I remember seeing a cartoon version of "The Snow Queen" as a child (this is decades before "Frozen") which did stay with me.

I was delighted with Kingfisher's version of "The Snow Queen," THE RAVEN AND THE REINDEER. She kept all the good stuff from the original and added her own stuff told in her wonderfully pragmatic voice. Kingfisher's Kay never gets the splinter from the magic mirror in his heart, ex
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Kate
Feb 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a delightful fairy-tale retelling in which Gerta, our heroine, sets off to rescue her True Love from the ice queen, and along the way gets enchanted, acquires a talking raven, falls in love with a bandit girl, and realises that actually (view spoiler) Really great to read a YA fantasy with a f/f love story, and the writing is clever and wry, as in this exchange between Gerta and the raven:
“Mousebones?”
“Aurk?”
“Are you
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Athena
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fairy tale retelling, lgbt fans
Oh boy howdy, this is the way 'The Snow Queen' ought to have been written all along. Vernon's love affair with words, her intriguingly real characters, her trademark cranky old ladies (thank you from all us cranky old broads for that!), and her wonderful animal characters, all come together to create something breathtakingly real and utterly charming.

I can't decide whether Mousebones the Raven or the Otters are my favorite characters so I guess I'll just have to re-read it today to settle that p
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Madison Keller
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
OMG this book is a delight. Queer protagonists. Genderqueer ravens. Magic. Adventure. Giant Otters! You can't go wrong by picking up this fun fun novel.

Greta is just an ordinary girl when her best friend (and secretly the man she wants to marry someday) gets kidnapped by the Snow Queen. No one else believes her except her grandmother, so Greta sets off to rescue him. Along the way she befriends a unique raven called Mousebones, a bandit girl, a dying reindeer, and more. However, the journey chan
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T. Kingfisher is the vaguely absurd pen-name of Ursula Vernon. In another life, she writes children's books and weird comics, and has won the Hugo, Sequoyah, and Ursa Major awards, as well as a half-dozen Junior Library Guild selections.

This is the name she uses when writing things for grown-ups.

When she is not writing, she is probably out in the garden, trying to make eye contact with butterflies
...more
More about T. Kingfisher

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“Do you have a name?” asked Gerta.  “I do,” said the raven.  Gerta waited. The raven fluffed its beard. “I am the Sound of Mouse Bones Crunching Under the Hooves of God.” ” 6 likes
“No matter how pale and pure and perfect you are, the moon is even more perfect.” 5 likes
More quotes…