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The Raven and the Reindeer
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The Raven and the Reindeer

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  1,731 ratings  ·  279 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 "Sn
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Kindle Edition, 226 pages
Published February 7th 2016 by Red Wombat Tea Co.
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Artur Nowrot 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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4.34  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,731 ratings  ·  279 reviews


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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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E.
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I love H.Ch.A.’s stories! Though I never understood why Gerta would follow Kay and try to rescue him from the Snow Queen so I love this retelling even more. Kay is such a selfish boy and I always thought Gerta deserved so much better than having her life centred around him! I think that Gerta growing from trying to rescue who she thinks is her ‘true love’ to rescuing Kay because he is her childhood friend whose family worries about him as well as because being a caring person is a huge part of h
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Nikki
May 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: queer, fairytales, fantasy
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
Rebecca McNutt
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Having heard that this was a retelling of the classic fairy tale The Snow Queen, I thought this book might be interesting, and it's definitely a creative and original spin on things which will be unexpected even for readers who've already read The Snow Queen or seen its loose 2013 film adaptation, Disney's Frozen. With some heavier contemporary themes and a surprising outcome for every character, The Raven and the Reindeer isn't what I expected at all, and that ended up being my favourite qualit ...more
Skye Kilaen
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A fantasy quest story that turns the Snow Queen fairy tale upside down, blended with an opposites attract F/F romance subplot between Gerta, an insecure farm girl and Janna, the canny bandit who takes her prisoner to save her life. The tale starts when Gerta's neighbor Kai, the boy she's hopelessly in love with, is... well, Gerta thinks he's been abducted by the Snow Queen, but the reader is pretty clear that Kai goes willingly, just as the reader is pretty clear that Kai doesn't love Gerta back ...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.
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
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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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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Sarah (CoolCurryBooks)
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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Emily
Mar 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
Roxana 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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Shomeret
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, lgbt, my-reviews
When The Raven and the Reindeer by T. Kingfisher was nominated as a June Book of the Month on a Goodreads group, I was most interested in the Sami character that the nominator mentioned. Although there is indeed a Sami character who plays an important role in The Raven and the Reindeer, she doesn't appear until late in the narrative. Nevertheless, there were other very good reasons for me to read this T. Kingfisher book which I found delightful. I'm glad that I purchased it on Amazon.

The Raven a
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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.
Victoria Rose
I’m a sucker for a good fairytale retelling, and this one was excellent. T Kingfisher’s evocative storytelling conveyed both the cold of winter as well as friendly warmth from her characters, so ultimately it was a perfect Christmas read.
Erica
You know that sad, frustrating feeling when the heroine of the story is throwing her life away on some bland pain in the ass boy, and you just wanna shout into the page that she deserves better, like for instance that girl right there who's nicer and cooler and more interesting than the boy has ever been and would actually appreciate her, but you knew that was never a real option because stories don't go that way? Well, this story validates the holy hell out of that feeling and then gives you ev ...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.
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.
Jill Heather
Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favauthor, fairytale
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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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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Jen
Feb 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is lovely and wonderful and TOTALLY the way it was always supposed to be.
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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Malu
Jul 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Quirky retelling of the snow queen

This tells the story of Gerda, whose "friend" Kai is kidnapped (sort of) by the Snow Queen. She then goes on a quest to save him.
Overall, I liked this - it was a super easy, short read, but a retelling of a fairy tale I haven't seen as many retellings of the Snow Queen, so I wasn't that familiar with the story beforehand.
The tone seemed a bit weird at times - at times, the language was super casual, and at other times, it was more formal (and more reminiscent o
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Jamie
4.5 - Would be 5 stars tbh, if not for two minor issues that I had (and I'm being nitpicky), but ultimately one of the best and satisfying books I've read in a very long time and one I will be recommending to everyone I know who are interested in the genre (and even if they're not haha). I will be writing a long-form review in the near future.
sage
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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
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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.” ” 8 likes
“No matter how pale and pure and perfect you are, the moon is even more perfect.” 7 likes
More quotes…