Holly's Reviews > The Snow-Walker Trilogy

The Snow-Walker Trilogy by Catherine Fisher
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really liked it
bookshelves: welsh-writers, female-writers, young-adult
Recommended for: fantasy fans, adventure fans

** spoiler alert ** I was first introduced to Catherine Fisher, a sadly obscure fantasy writer and poet, through her more recent Oracle trilogy. Reading this, especially the first book, it's obvious that they were written a decade earlier.

She seemed to have just found her voice with Snow-Walker - there are some sentences in the first book that show a younger writer but a honed poet. That's really the strength of her writing; her prose is interesting and easy to absorb, but never plain or unfeeling. When describing the winter of Jessa's world, I couldn't help but reach for a blanket off my bed from time to time, it was that convincing.

The setting is based on Scandinavia and there are many references to Norse mythology. The first story, The Snow-Walker's Son, is more of a long introduction to the characters and setting. The story isn't hugely original or particularly intriguing, but it keeps you interested. If I'd bought The Snow-Walker's Son on its own, I don't know if I would have wanted to read the sequels.

Which is why I'm very glad I did buy the trilogy pack. The suspense and fear in The Empty Hand was palpitating - the creature sent by the evil Gudrun was a truly brilliant creation on Fisher's part (was it supposed to be a sort of yeti? That was the impression I got), and I was genuinely chilled at certain moments when it had appeared, or when you knew it was nearby.

However, my favourite of the trio was The Soul Thieves. At first it disguises itself as yet another 'long journey to the big bad' tale, but there was not a moment of the narrative where the characters were simply travelling for pages on end (as you often see in the Lord of the Rings books, which is why I find them unreadable). Every step of the journey had an event that kept you interested.

If The Snow-Walker trilogy had to have a major flaw, it would be the lack of real character development. The only person who we see grow (and who is technically the focal character) is Kari, while the others seem to remain disappointingly static. Hakon, for instance, seemed to have been introduced purely to act as an extra pair of hands (no pun included) for the journey in the third book. I found it odd that the second book was named after him (or his hand, rather) but he amounted to very little. Still, it's a small gripe.

You will become fond of the little group, but it may take some time. The characters in the Oracle trilogy have more depth, which coupled with an excellent story is the reason why Snow-Walker is second-best for me.

Still, it's good that you can see Fisher's growth as a writer, and Snow-Walker is definitely worth the read.

The author's latest book, Incarceron, has been highly acclaimed, so you may know her through that one. It's next on my list.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
March 11, 2008 – Shelved
March 11, 2008 – Shelved as: welsh-writers
March 11, 2008 – Shelved as: female-writers
March 11, 2008 – Shelved as: young-adult

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