Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Raven and the Reindeer” as Want to Read:
The Raven and the Reindeer
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Raven and the Reindeer

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  2,804 ratings  ·  453 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
Kindle Edition, 226 pages
Published February 7th 2016 by Red Wombat Tea Co.
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,804 ratings  ·  453 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Raven and the Reindeer
Ashleigh (a frolic through fiction)
*Rated 4.5/5 stars!

Oof this felt like a nostalgia trip to me. I used to read The Snow Queen countless times when I was younger, and this being a pretty much direct retelling proved to be the exact sort of cosy heartwarming (hurhur, literally) read that I needed right now. It made me laugh out loud, and I loved the changes made from the original story (the addition of an F/F relationship and call out of the “I’m not like other girls”trope made me particularly happy to see). This really did read
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
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. for anyone else who wants to
A lovely, mildly diverting fairy tale that never quite reaches the richest depths of heartache or the most thrilling heights of wonderment of the most truly magical tales. Kingfisher has a refreshingly clever ear for dialogue, a winningly compassionate feel for her characters, and an enjoyably whimsical approach to bringing her several talking animals to life. But there’s ultimately a feeling in reading this that’s a bit like a rock skipping over the surface of a pond. It’s pleasant and fun but ...more
Allison Hurd
Okay, don't read this if you don't want to know anything at all about the SFFBC Fantasy BOTM. I'll untag it after the group has had a few days.

A sweet, heart-filled book about a couple of plucky girls and their friends. I really enjoyed it. It was quick, endearing, and told a classic story from a slightly different perspective so that it felt fresh and interesting.

CONTENT WARNINGS: (just a list of topics) (view spoiler)
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: standalone, fantasy
The Raven and the Reindeer is a standalone story based on The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen. I’ve never read the original story, so I can’t speak to how this book compares, but based on the author’s notes at the end I think it’s safe to say that this one has a different ending. I don’t always enjoy books that are based on fairytales if they’re too fluffy or silly or chaotic or illogical. Others have worked for me though, such as the ones Naomi Novik has written. This is one that worked f ...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
May 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, fairytales, queer
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
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

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
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
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.
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: scifi-club-read
I need to give this 5 stars. The second book I have read by Ursala Vernon and the second 5 star, probably this implies I should read more so maybe I will.

I loved the happier take on H.C.A, Grimm and the rest of those tales. Not too happy but nobody loses a leg or dies penniless, sorry, non-hidden spoiler there. Loved the story, loved the characters, loved the cold! Seriously I loved all the characters which never happens, they all seemed perfectly placed in the story. I am so, so glad I campaig
Dawn C
DNF @ 13% after a paragraph like this:

“She was, in fact, in the woods. They were not dark or scary or twisted woods, but they were deep and full of sounds. Insects went skreek skreek and frogs went hnaaaaagh and an owl went Eeeeaaaagahahahah! and Gerta nearly jumped out of her skin.”

The storytelling did feel feel rather childish to begin with, but fairytales are often simple and straight to the point, so I could have lived with that simplicity, but when I feel like I’m in a “My First Animals” te
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sff-group-shelf
This was a delightful and witty read.
I'm not familiar enough with the original fairy tale to compare, yet the novel works well on its own.

Gerta's journey out of the constraining borders of her upbringing towards self determination in a strange new world was told in a tongue-in-cheek way that had me smiling (and frequently underlining passages) the whole book through. I could have gladly done without the romance, but that's me (most seldomly I like romances in stories that could have very well do
Jan 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fairy-tale
This adaptation of Andersen's The Snow Queen stays narratively faithful to the original characters and progression of events, while making small, skillful changes that end in a completely shifted tone and moral. Love it. This is the best approach to fairy tale re-use, in my opinion. ...more
Dec 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
a perfect christmassy sapphic fairytale
Kristin B. Bodreau
It’s a quiet Saturday closing shift at work. I survived it thanks to this book. I started and finished it all in the same shift. (It’s ok. My boss doesn’t mind when I slack off on weekends.)

I was wavering between four and five stars for this one. There were some flaws. A few typos here and there. Some logistics could have been a little cleaner. But for pure enjoyment, which really is why I read, this is a solid five.

The settings and circumstances are all fascinating. The wintery scenes, and th
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
Oleksandr Zholud
Dec 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: sixth-sense
This is a fantasy romance based on The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen. I read as a part of the Monthly reads for December 2019 in SciFi and Fantasy Book Club group.

The classic tale tells us about two kids in love with each other – boy Kay and girl Gerda. Here we have a twist since the start – Kay doesn’t really care about Gerda, who is in turn adoring him and is blind to his indifference, treating it only as a proof that she is not good enough for him. There is a lot of teenage angst in h
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 on an
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
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
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: queer, fantasy, favorites
10 stars if I could. Seriously. While the beginning was a bit slow, the story then took up speed without losing any charm. F/F on top but no romance. Lots of humor. And very intelligent writing. Me thinks I found a new favorite author.
I quite agree with the author's comments at the end about Hans Christian Anderson. I went through a phase as a kid where I liked but didn't like his stories, but somehow wound up with an anthology of everything he wrote. But yeah, he may have been a crazy genius...somehow!

The Raven and the Reindeer is a fresh look at one of Anderson's most well-known tales, told in a fairy-tale format without many of the tired tropes, because our heroine is not your typical fairy-tale heroine. At the start of th
Feb 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
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,
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
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
reading for SFFBC Dec. 2019; bought from Smashwords: neither openlibrary nor my overdrives even know about it

More comments in the group, but here's some: I love this short book. It does feel sort of YA, as another group member wondered, esp. as it's short and also full of enough liveliness to make a good movie. But still, so beautifully written... I'm a sucker for poesy. And wise, and loving.

My favorite retelling remains the same though, because Kay gets to be a real person. (Here, not so much.
Aug 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
i would die for my girls. everyone read this for the gays!!
Carol Flores
Mar 14, 2020 rated it liked it
This book is basically a re-telling of the Snow Queen where Gerta, a common girl with no abilities whatsoever, will go on a journey to get her friend, Kay, back after the Snow Queen abducted him.

Now, I wasn’t in love with this story nor with the writing style, though I must admit that there were a few things I did like, such as:
-The Queer representation and a F/F relationship. I think this was the first fantasy novella I read with a queer relationship that doesn’t feel forced and that is actual
charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)
kai truly did not deserve all that effort from gerta

Rep: lesbian mcs

CWs: violence, gore
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Black Dogs Part One: The House of Diamond
  • The Mountain of Iron (Black Dogs, #2)
  • Fireheart Tiger
  • A Wolf for a Spell
  • When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain (The Singing Hills Cycle, #2)
  • Silver in the Wood (The Greenhollow Duology, #1)
  • Ten Thousand Stitches (Regency Faerie Tales, #2)
  • Half a Soul (Regency Faerie Tales, #1)
  • Drowned Country (The Greenhollow Duology, #2)
  • Castle Hangnail
  • Remnant Population
  • In the Vanishers’ Palace
  • The Empress of Salt and Fortune (The Singing Hills Cycle, #1)
  • Revolutionary (Clandestine Magic Book 3)
  • For He Can Creep
  • The Cybernetic Tea Shop
  • Reflections: On the Magic of Writing
  • Gobbelino London & A Contagion of Zombies
See similar books…
See top shelves…
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

Related Articles

  Talia Hibbert is a USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. A lifelong bookworm, she’s known for haunting the local library,...
84 likes · 16 comments
“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.” ” 16 likes
“No matter how pale and pure and perfect you are, the moon is even more perfect.” 8 likes
More quotes…