The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson

The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson

Translated by Misha Hoeskstra, illustrated by Lucie Arnoux.

When I have encountered fairy tales, they have been of the Disney persuasion, dark tales wrapped up in bright colours and sentiment. This was fine as a child, when the mere hint of reality frightened me, but as an adult I prefer to see the twisted beginnings these shiny incarnations sprang from.

tsqThe Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson is magnificent, the illustrations wonderful. The idea that the devil created a mirror, that made all that was lovely and good appear distorted and bad, which shattered when the goblins tried to take it to heaven, was just brilliant. Fragments of the mirror fell into people’s eyes, their hearts, their windows and their mirrors, changing the perceptions of those who met it – the devil found it hilarious.

Kai and Gerda are sweet innocent children, when one day the devil’s glass falls into the heart and eye of Kai, and he disappears with the Snow Queen. Gerda, desperate to have her brother back, goes on a daring adventure to find him and to rescue him from the clutches of evil.

It’s a sweet tale, with adventure and a child bandit. The bandit may have been my favourite part.


What are your favourite fairy tales?

This is a review copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

11 thoughts on “The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson

      1. It was originally a German fairy tale which you can find in Brothers Grimm collections, although as a child I read a gentler edition! It is about 12 princesses who mysteriously wear out their dancing slippers every night even when there father locks them in their bedroom. So he sends out a call for champions to discover what is going on 🙂


  1. I love Hans Christian Anderson better than the Brothers Grimm. I’ll never forget The a Ugly Duckling or the Little Match Girl or The Toy Tin Soldier. Anyway, I’m not familiar with this one, but making the devil cause everything good to be evil sounds like the epitome of his works to me. That’s what makes the best stories: the underlying quality of truth.


  2. Hans Christian Anderson doesn’t tend to be my favorite. I like The Snow Queen, but his other ones — eh, he seems to really REALLY dislike women, tbh. I like the Grimm ones better. I like how they don’t make any sense whatsoever sometimes, and other times they’re governed by insane fairy tale logic, and other times they’re perfectly reasonable stories. I dig it.

    Are you a fan of the Andrew Lang books?

    ALSO your blog looks nice! It’s all different! Is it different? Am I crazy?


    1. Really? I’ve not read (that I can remember) past this one.

      I’ve not read any Andrew Lang, tell me more 😀

      And yes it has changed, you’re not going mad, I found a theme that did a little bit more of what I wanted than my last. Yours has changed too I see, very nice!


  3. To be honest, I’ve never been a fan of Andersen. His stories always seem to be very preachy to me. I prefer the early modern fairy tales of Italian writers like Straparola and Basile, and of Perrault as well. They’re a bit more exciting, perhaps because they’re a little less literary and closer to the oral origins of the fairy tale. Admittedly, Andersen does have some interesting self-referential tales about art and writing – ‘The Shadow’, for instance.

    I do like the child bandit in this story, though. She’s a very fascinating and mysterious character, and I definitely preferred her to Gerda and Kai!


    1. I feel I have missed out on so many wonderful tales! I’ve not read (that I know of) Straparola, Basile or Perrault.

      Gerda was a bit too fragile for my liking, the bandit had oomph.


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