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The Snow Queen Paperback – February 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Aspect; Reprint edition (February 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446676640
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446676649
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 5.8 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,261,169 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

This book has a lot of depth, great character development and an intricate plot.
Jem
I thought the plot of this book moved a bit slowly, with too much time spent describing the angst experienced by most of the main characters throughout.
J. Moore
Ms. Vinge does a fabulous job of creating that world -- so rich, vivid, you feel you're on a personal tour of the place.
K.T. Reid

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By jessica j on May 31, 2005
Format: Paperback
The best one-line description of this book that I can come up with is this: Imagine if "Dune" had been written by a female anthropologist. It is a book about the changing of power on a planet, much like Dune. Instead of a planet that is almost entirely desert, Tiamat is a planet almost entirely ocean. Instead of sandworms and the Spice, Tiamat has dolphin-like mers and the Water of Life. Instead of featuring one man with a unique ability, it stars Moon, a woman who is seemingly less than unique; she is the clone of the current queen of Tiamat. As the book continues, however, it becomes clear that Moon is unique, as she is the only one with the ability to see the truth about their place in the universe, and the only one trusted with the secret of the sybil mind.

But it is so much more than Dune, really. The world of Tiamat and the Hegemony is as large and complex and ancient as the world of Arrakis and its empire, perhaps larger; it is so large that it is not even apparent that this is the future of humankind as we know it until you get deep into it. There are layers upon layers of political scheming in this universe, so deep that no single character can explain it all. There are so many different levels of conspiracy and technology and religion that is difficult to grasp it all at once. But none of it will mean anything unless Moon can keep them from destroying themselves....

It is a brilliant book, and its sequel, the Summer Queen, is as good or better. Joan D. Vinge has a unique insight that makes you feel like you are discovering something new instead of reading a book. I heartily recommend it to anyone who has interest in the kind of thoughtful science fiction that opens the mind with possibilities.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By D. Black on December 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
From page one of this book, I was hooked. Published in the 1980, this book was cutting edge with one dreamt about ideas of successful cloning. Amazing how the power and awe of this book lasts today.
The story is a futurized version of Hans Christian Anderson's "The Snow Queen." Personally, I'm an admirer of writers who can successfully translate traditional stories into modern literary works, and Joan D. Vinge pulls it off spectacularly.
Her main character, Moon, is a loving young woman who loves her cousin Sparks and goes through several trials and torments to save him from her clone, the ruthless, power-hungry, and vain Snow Queen Arienrhod. But Sparks isn't the person Moon remembers. He gets swept up in the crazy city of Carbuncle. Soon, Moon is also swept up in this whirlwind.
Love, suspence, action, and a mystery more cosmic than the people of Tiamat realize. This is a substantial book (but not quite as much as its sequel) that leads the reader beyond the imagination and into a whole new world.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Lilly Flora VINE VOICE on August 31, 2006
Format: Paperback
I had a picture book of the classic children's tale, "The Snow Queen" when I was a kid. It showed these two children growing up next door to each other, being best friends, and being in love. Then one day a piece of a mirror that Lucifer made falls into the boys eye and turns him mean. Not long after, the snow queen, a mysterious woman in a white sleigh comes and takes the boy away. The girl is hurt, but believes that there is some way to save her love and thus goes after him. Along the way she meets obstacles, ages, and eventually finds her love.

This is that story, only set in a word where a huge space spanning empire has collapsed and left behind a smaller, less magnificent version. There is an intergalactic conspiracy to keep the people of one world, Tiamat, where our two young lovers (Moon and Sparks) hail from, technologically stupid, and mysterious keys to the survival of the human race seeded throughout humanity. There are clones, battles, love and deceit. While there is no magical mirror that turns Sparks into a bad person, as in my picture book, there is temptation in the form of a potion that will keep the drinker forever young-only this potion is harvested from the blood of the otter like creates that live on Tiamat, who are seen as holy by the Summer people who live on the Islands spanning the planets middle.

There is the snow queen, leader of the half of the Tiamat people called the winters (who live in the north), who in an effort to prolong her reign seeded the Summer people of Tiamat with eight clones of herself. And there is one clone who survived to maturity-Moon, the lover of Sparks, the boy stolen by the snow queen.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By K.T. Reid on September 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
I do not normally read science fiction. My husband does, so when I happened to open this book (some 20 years ago) I was quickly mesmerized by the prose of Joan Vinge. It is a case where you become so immersed in the work, it merges with your unconscious mind and you forget you're reading words. It hardly matters what the story was, she writes so beautifully. But the story was fascinating in itself, and narrated so well it never confused the reader. This is quite a feat, considering it takes place on an imaginary world. Ms. Vinge does a fabulous job of creating that world -- so rich, vivid, you feel you're on a personal tour of the place. But it was really the characters and their emotions that made the story so compelling. There are passages and pages I re-read many times just to savor them. Snow Queen is in the top five books I've ever read.
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