Hearts of Ice

Scholastic. Sept. 2019. 272p. pap. $7.99. ISBN 9781338332742.
Gr 3-7–A lonely girl gets sucked through the mirror and into an exciting and dangerous adventure in this Frozen-like tale of magic. Evangeline has spent her whole life feeling that something or someone is missing. For as long as she can remember, her mother has moved them from place to place, to the point where Evangeline can’t even remember the name of her newest town. Then she wakes up on her birthday to find her window covered in frost that soon spreads to her mirror. A single message slowly appears in the frost: HELP. The message turns out to be from Evangeline’s long-lost sister who lives in another world. Evangeline is pulled through the mirror and into the Winter Kingdom—a mysterious land of ice, talking animals, and unusual creatures. Danger presents itself immediately in the form of King Vair (who turns out to be her father) and his henchmen. To find her sister and escape her father’s sinister plans to seek immortality, Evangeline must summon powers she never knew she had. Rule has created a rich, entertaining world full of whimsical characters and places that will thrill young readers. Evangeline is a brave, inspiring heroine whose dawning grasp of her own magical abilities proves just as invigorating for readers as for her. Discerning fantasy fans will appreciate the vivid descriptions of performing magic, such as the “minty feeling” in her blood that Evangeline experiences whenever she calls on her abilities.
VERDICT A mix of classic fantasy tropes and just enough danger make this a perfect adventure for the elementary set. Recommended for purchase where fantasy and magical adventure tales are in demand.

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