In this reworking of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale, the magical worlds of Saami shamanism and the Kalevala coexist with the polite Victorian society of nineteenth-century Scandanavia. At a time when traditional faith is challenged by modern science, the old pagan gods still haunt the northern forests. One of the novel's two heroines, Ritva, lives in this forest with her Saami shaman mother and robber-baron father until a cultured Danish teenager named Gerda is captured and brought to their camp. Gerda has embarked on a dangerous quest to rescue her friend Kai from the Snow Queen, an evil enchantress whose wintry palace lies far to the north. Their quest leads each of the young women to a fuller understanding of their possible roles in the world, and the need for each to find their individual futures on their own terms. Kernaghan blends fantasy and historical realism to create an enchanting, provocative story that will inspire readers of all ages.
"Kernaghan takes the bones of original fantasy and adds real period detail and strong characterization to create a vividly textured story." — SF Site Reviews
The Snow Queen was the winner of the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Award, the Aurora, for best long-form work in English, and was short listed by the Canadian Library Association for Best Children's Book of the Year