Title: A Shiver of Snow and Sky
Author: Lisa Lueddecke
Source: ARC from YALC!
Red, red, the lights glow red
Beware the danger up ahead…
On the frozen island of Skane, the sky speaks. Beautiful lights appear on clear nights, and their colours have meaning: Green means all is well, and the Goddess is happy. Blue means a snow storm is on the way.
And then there’s red. Red is rare. A warning.
Seventeen years ago, the sky turned red just as Ósa was born, unleashing a plague that claimed the lives of hundreds of villagers, including her own mother. This time, when the night sky once again bleeds crimson, she must discover how to stop the onslaught before so many lives are lost again.
‘A shiver of snow and sky and everything that made Skane the fierce and beautiful island it was.’
I was so happy and very lucky to snag a copy of this at YALC back in July last year, by choosing a little colourful pebble thingy out of the box which just so happened to be the correct one. I’d heard some good things about this one and had learnt about the author via her candle business last Christmas. Lisa is a debut author so I wasn’t sure what to expect but I wasn’t disappointed.
This book! Well what can I say? It’s clearly full of Nordic/Scandinavian inspiration, what with the name of the island, the different names and spelling of words and the folklore too (not that I know much Scandinavian). I’ve been known to pronounce quite a few words from books wrong in the past, but I honestly have no idea if I was pronouncing some of the words or names in this book correctly or not. That’s not a problem, I just wanted you all to be aware that I am the worst at reading things and then pronouncing them incorrectly outloud. OK, ANYWAAAAY….
This book takes you on a journey. Literally. I loved the concept of the lights in the sky being signals for different things that are going to happen. Because of the lights and the threat of a long-term enemy, Ósa, the main character, takes a trip to find out essentially how to stop death in its tracks from destroying everything she has ever known and grown up with. The lights are a constant warning of what is to come and spur her along in her quest to stop whatever is coming on the horizon.
I quite liked Ósa and enjoyed following her along on her journey. She wasn’t a drab character at all and really seemed to have her wits about her which is something that I liked about her. I did feel sorry for her as her relationship with her father and sister weren’t the best, particularly as they blamed her for something that was absolutely not their fault. I felt that by the end of the book, there was an attempt to sort of redeem the bad feelings that had been between Ósa and her family. I don’t think that it would all go back to being ok after years of being blamed, but I think it would be a start.
I enjoyed the world building in A Shiver of Snow and Sky and thought that it had some really interesting elements to it. I also loved the splash of magic that was sprinkled throughout this book and the element of the lights meaning different things. It got me wondering whether the Northern and Southern lights were ever thought to mean different things depending on the colour of them.
This is a great, solid, fantasy debut by Lisa which I would recommend if you’re looking for a fantasy with a quest against time.
You can see more of my pictures (like above!) here!