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The Ice Maiden's Tale (Xist Children's Fantasy Books)

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Every town has an old lady all the children just know is a witch. When Johanna and Casper must spend the afternoon at her house, there’s nothing to do, except listen to a story. While the siblings await their mother’s return from the hospital where she’s visiting their ailing father, Mrs. Kinder reads them a story of adventure, magic and music. Mrs. Kinder’s mysterious go Every town has an old lady all the children just know is a witch. When Johanna and Casper must spend the afternoon at her house, there’s nothing to do, except listen to a story. While the siblings await their mother’s return from the hospital where she’s visiting their ailing father, Mrs. Kinder reads them a story of adventure, magic and music. Mrs. Kinder’s mysterious golden book tells an intertwined tale of two young men—the sensitive Sculptor who carves a beautiful woman from ice and the thieving Sorcerer searching for a spell that will bring the statue to life. The story twists and turns, from the Frozen Forest, to the land of the Lemon Trees, to the home of the Swamp Witch, as the Sculptor’s and Sorcerer’s adventures circle each other. Their inevitable confrontation reveals buried memories that force each of them to confront the true cost of love and redemption. The Ice Maiden's Tale the perfect story-within-a-story with magic, adventure and romance reminiscent of The Princess Bride for a new generation of readers. Excerpt: Mrs. Kinder settled herself in the chair across from the children and cracked open the book. She adjusted her spectacles, ever so slightly, then caressed the page with her wrinkled fingers. “In our world, when magic happens outside of a storybook, we call it a miracle. And miracles are considered so rare and special that lifetimes can go by without so much as a hint of one. But there are faraway places where our kind of miracles are as common as blades of grass in an open field. In the northern region of one of these worlds, in the top far east corner, past green forests, swamps, lakes, and even an ocean, there lived a young artist named Gabriel.” .... “This isn’t a very good story.” Casper complained. "Casper!” Johanna exclaimed in embarrassment. Mrs. Kinder laughed. “That’s because I’m not even at the story part yet, but it’s high time we get started. This story doesn’t begin, the way you think it might and the way most stories do. It doesn’t begin with a big adventure or a journey, or even pirate treasure. It starts with a tiny choice—one that seems unremarkable at the time, but that changes the course of destiny. One crisp morning, our Gabriel decided to search for firewood—and it’s with that simple decision that our tale begins.”


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Every town has an old lady all the children just know is a witch. When Johanna and Casper must spend the afternoon at her house, there’s nothing to do, except listen to a story. While the siblings await their mother’s return from the hospital where she’s visiting their ailing father, Mrs. Kinder reads them a story of adventure, magic and music. Mrs. Kinder’s mysterious go Every town has an old lady all the children just know is a witch. When Johanna and Casper must spend the afternoon at her house, there’s nothing to do, except listen to a story. While the siblings await their mother’s return from the hospital where she’s visiting their ailing father, Mrs. Kinder reads them a story of adventure, magic and music. Mrs. Kinder’s mysterious golden book tells an intertwined tale of two young men—the sensitive Sculptor who carves a beautiful woman from ice and the thieving Sorcerer searching for a spell that will bring the statue to life. The story twists and turns, from the Frozen Forest, to the land of the Lemon Trees, to the home of the Swamp Witch, as the Sculptor’s and Sorcerer’s adventures circle each other. Their inevitable confrontation reveals buried memories that force each of them to confront the true cost of love and redemption. The Ice Maiden's Tale the perfect story-within-a-story with magic, adventure and romance reminiscent of The Princess Bride for a new generation of readers. Excerpt: Mrs. Kinder settled herself in the chair across from the children and cracked open the book. She adjusted her spectacles, ever so slightly, then caressed the page with her wrinkled fingers. “In our world, when magic happens outside of a storybook, we call it a miracle. And miracles are considered so rare and special that lifetimes can go by without so much as a hint of one. But there are faraway places where our kind of miracles are as common as blades of grass in an open field. In the northern region of one of these worlds, in the top far east corner, past green forests, swamps, lakes, and even an ocean, there lived a young artist named Gabriel.” .... “This isn’t a very good story.” Casper complained. "Casper!” Johanna exclaimed in embarrassment. Mrs. Kinder laughed. “That’s because I’m not even at the story part yet, but it’s high time we get started. This story doesn’t begin, the way you think it might and the way most stories do. It doesn’t begin with a big adventure or a journey, or even pirate treasure. It starts with a tiny choice—one that seems unremarkable at the time, but that changes the course of destiny. One crisp morning, our Gabriel decided to search for firewood—and it’s with that simple decision that our tale begins.”

50 review for The Ice Maiden's Tale (Xist Children's Fantasy Books)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dannii Elle

    What an endearing tale! Upon beginning this I was initially disappointed with its contemporary setting, as I had predicted I was to enter a world reminiscent of that from a fairy tale. This was, however, soon to come. Mrs Kinder is babysitting her neighbour's children, Casper and Johanna. And what better way to distract two grief-stricken children than with a story from a world not our own? Mrs Kinder draws children and reader alike into a tale of love and loss, magic and wisdom, make-believe and What an endearing tale! Upon beginning this I was initially disappointed with its contemporary setting, as I had predicted I was to enter a world reminiscent of that from a fairy tale. This was, however, soon to come. Mrs Kinder is babysitting her neighbour's children, Casper and Johanna. And what better way to distract two grief-stricken children than with a story from a world not our own? Mrs Kinder draws children and reader alike into a tale of love and loss, magic and wisdom, make-believe and a message that defies the boundaries of the fiction it comes from and transcends into real-life. The reading of the tale was often interrupted by the book's contemporary setting. Initially I was eager to return to the sword-play and magic spells of the fantasy tale, but eventually both 'realities' became as interesting to explore as each other. Through the meshing of the two there was a whimsical quality evoked, as though the tale is told, through Mrs Kinder, directly to the reader. This also added a suspension of belief as the reader is transformed into a child, being read to before bed-time and with their dreams full of lost lands. This story within a story meant there were two narratives to explore, and the way the two were ultimately aligned left me closing this book with a heart both heavy with loss for its occupants and buoyed with hope for their future without the reader. A received a copy of this in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author, Lisa Preziosi, and the publisher, Xist Publishing, for this opportunity.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Melissa McGuire

    It was a great fairytale plus I loved that it was a story within a story. The characters were easy to fall in love with. I couldn't put this book down. I also loved the twist at the end and that it wasn't predictable. It was a great fairytale plus I loved that it was a story within a story. The characters were easy to fall in love with. I couldn't put this book down. I also loved the twist at the end and that it wasn't predictable.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bron

    This was a sweet, original, fairy tale with a wonderful traditional feel. I loved the 'book in a book' narrative, and gave this 4/5 stars. This was a sweet, original, fairy tale with a wonderful traditional feel. I loved the 'book in a book' narrative, and gave this 4/5 stars.

  4. 5 out of 5

    D.J. Adamson

    Is Mrs. Kinder a WITCH? Casper thinks she is. Johanna is not so sure. When stuck at her house while their mother attends their father in the hospital, Kinder tells the two the Ice Maiden’s Tale from a “golden,” possibly “magical” book. The story of the Ice Maiden weaves the story of two men, seemingly traveling opposite journey’s, yet arriving at one and the same. This is very good example of a story-within-a-story. Preziosi writes for both a youthful audience and adult when weaving this captivat Is Mrs. Kinder a WITCH? Casper thinks she is. Johanna is not so sure. When stuck at her house while their mother attends their father in the hospital, Kinder tells the two the Ice Maiden’s Tale from a “golden,” possibly “magical” book. The story of the Ice Maiden weaves the story of two men, seemingly traveling opposite journey’s, yet arriving at one and the same. This is very good example of a story-within-a-story. Preziosi writes for both a youthful audience and adult when weaving this captivating tale. You’ll settle yourself in a chair not unlike Mrs. Kinder does and not want to leave until the very end. Review: Le Coeur de l'Artiste

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ro C

    This is a wonderful story for both children and adults. It not only follows the adventures and peril of Sebastian and Gabriel, but also the innocence and curiosity of Johanna and Casper. It keeps you wondering what will happen next and has a wonderful lesson in the end. I would highly recommend this book!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tamara

    Couldn't put it down... A well-written and compelling old-fashioned fairy tale for the current times . With a nod to fairy tales of the past, this tale takes elements from them and weaves them into a delightful blend of magic, cookie guns, and excitement! Couldn't put it down... A well-written and compelling old-fashioned fairy tale for the current times . With a nod to fairy tales of the past, this tale takes elements from them and weaves them into a delightful blend of magic, cookie guns, and excitement!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tonja Drecker

    With a bit of the feel of The Princess Bride, this is an enchanting fairy tale and more. Casper does not want to go to the witch's house, even though his older sister Johanna insists the Mrs. Kinder isn't a witch at all. With their father in the hospital, they have no choice but to let the Mrs. Kinder babysit them so their mother has time to visit him. Mrs. Kinder tells them a tale about a beautiful ice sculpture and two young men, who are possessed with the idea of bringing the sculpture of a yo With a bit of the feel of The Princess Bride, this is an enchanting fairy tale and more. Casper does not want to go to the witch's house, even though his older sister Johanna insists the Mrs. Kinder isn't a witch at all. With their father in the hospital, they have no choice but to let the Mrs. Kinder babysit them so their mother has time to visit him. Mrs. Kinder tells them a tale about a beautiful ice sculpture and two young men, who are possessed with the idea of bringing the sculpture of a young maiden to life. The journey holds many stumbling blocks for all of them. The story starts out in modern day times with Casper and Johanna arguing as siblings do. The back and forth is a little humorous, and each one gains a very distinct character, which kids will easily relate to. Interesting enough, each of them has a German name (even Mrs. Kinder) which gave a slight hint a Hansel and Gretel going to the witch's house. But the thought of danger is quickly brushed aside as Mrs. Kinder pulls out her books and offers them cocoa. Casper's continued skepticism adds a smile to the face. The fairy tale follows a traditional flow and holds magic, gypsies and even a dragon. There are tense moments but also slower ones. There are two heroes who are possessed with the thought of bringing an ice sculpture to life, but each one has a very different adventure to follow. It's well told and interesting to follow. At times, the switch between each hero's journey was a bit confusing and could have been distinguished better, but each ones personality and adventure took a very different path. Which made the ending even more interesting. This isn't only about the heroes' journeys but also about the modern day siblings, and the author does an amazing job of weaving it all together. At first, the shifts between the fairy tale and the modern day siblings jolts, but as the story progresses, it's a treat to watch all aspects drift together. The connection between all of them becomes clear and is never predictable. Although this book is intended for the readers ages eight and up, it's something that adults will enjoy as well. The heroes hit upon topics which adults will relate to as well. I can see this especially nice as a read-aloud. I received a complimentary copy and wanted to leave my honest thoughts.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jill Jemmett

    Casper and Johanna have to go stay with their neighbour, Mrs. Kinder, while their mother visits their father in the hospital. They are a little scared of her because she reminds them of the witch from Hansel and Gretel. Mrs. Kinder reads them a story from a mysterious book. She tells the stories of two men: Gabriel and Sebastian. Gabriel is a sculptor who sculpts a woman out of ice. Then he leaves her but he wishes she was alive. He embarks on a quest to bring her to life. Sebastian is a magicia Casper and Johanna have to go stay with their neighbour, Mrs. Kinder, while their mother visits their father in the hospital. They are a little scared of her because she reminds them of the witch from Hansel and Gretel. Mrs. Kinder reads them a story from a mysterious book. She tells the stories of two men: Gabriel and Sebastian. Gabriel is a sculptor who sculpts a woman out of ice. Then he leaves her but he wishes she was alive. He embarks on a quest to bring her to life. Sebastian is a magician who uses his powers to kill people in his way. When he finds Gabriel's ice maiden sculpture he also wants to bring it to life. Sebastian then goes on a quest to bring life to the ice maiden too. This story reminds me of a fairytale. Casper and Johanna are similar to Hansel and Gretel since they go to the old woman's house. They even have German names like in the tale. It also reminds me of the story of Pygmalion, who made a sculpture of a woman. When the Greek goddess Aphrodite saw how much he loved the sculpture, she brings her to life. This is like Gabriel's story, since he sculpted the ice maiden and then wanted to bring her to life. The dueling stories between Gabriel and Sebastian were a little confusing at times because they were so similar. They both involve magic and going on quests to bring the ice maiden to life so they could get mixed up. I like the way this story brought a fairytale/folk tale into the modern world. Casper and Johanna were told the story, but the reader also gets to experience the stories of Gabriel and Sebastian. I also like that the two main characters are a boy and a girl, so the book isn't specifically aimed at one gender. However, they did follow gender stereotypes with Casper wanting to hear about dragons and Johanna wanting to hear a love story. This is a good story with a unique premise.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sasha Ferrell

    Everyone loves a good fairytale and Lisa Prezioisi’s “The Ice Maiden’s Tale” does not disappoint. A story within a story, “The Ice Maiden’s Tale” gives two siblings, Johanna and Casper, a needed distraction from their distressed mother and ailing father’s fate. As the eldest, Johanna is determined to please her mother by keeping Casper in line while spending their afternoons in the company of the neighborhood witch (read strange old lady), Mrs. Kinder. They soon learn that instead of watching TV Everyone loves a good fairytale and Lisa Prezioisi’s “The Ice Maiden’s Tale” does not disappoint. A story within a story, “The Ice Maiden’s Tale” gives two siblings, Johanna and Casper, a needed distraction from their distressed mother and ailing father’s fate. As the eldest, Johanna is determined to please her mother by keeping Casper in line while spending their afternoons in the company of the neighborhood witch (read strange old lady), Mrs. Kinder. They soon learn that instead of watching TV—because what witch owns a TV—they will be listening to a story of how the fates of a thieving sorcerer and innocent sculptor cross paths. With the story as a distraction, Mrs. Kinder is able to provide the children with entertainment and prove that she is not the witch that all the kids think she is. Within The Sculptor and The Sorcerer story, Gabriel finds a block of ice and gets a vision to  sculpt a fair maiden and when Sebastian finds his abandoned ice maiden — for Gabriel’s sake — he becomes determined to bring it to life. Little do they know, they are being manipulated into delivering a powerful amulet to a evil creature, a true witch.Through a strange adventure and several revelations of their past, they are able to overcome and have their happily ever after. Though not evident in the beginning, The Sculptor and The Sorcerer story has strong ties to Johanna that Mrs. Kinder later reveals that also explains the mysterious golden leather book. “The Ice Maiden’s Tale” is a great read for both children and adults alike. At about 300 pages, it is a quick read suitable for your weekday commute or a rainy day spent indoors. Reminiscent of “The Princess Bride”, this fairy tale has all the makings of a classic to be read by many generations to come.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Brandy

    This book is FANTASTIC! I loved the story-within-a-story, and it immediately reminded me of one of my favorite movies (can you guess which movie I’m talking about?!). I immediately started to fall in love with Johanna and enjoyed Casper’s innocence and humor. I loved how kind and patient Mrs. Kinder is with the children and their family, despite Casper’s whispers about her reputation underneath his breath. I really enjoyed the separate, yet intertwined stories of Gabriel and Sebastian. I enjoyed This book is FANTASTIC! I loved the story-within-a-story, and it immediately reminded me of one of my favorite movies (can you guess which movie I’m talking about?!). I immediately started to fall in love with Johanna and enjoyed Casper’s innocence and humor. I loved how kind and patient Mrs. Kinder is with the children and their family, despite Casper’s whispers about her reputation underneath his breath. I really enjoyed the separate, yet intertwined stories of Gabriel and Sebastian. I enjoyed reading their separate adventures and was pleased to see how they came to reach their end goal together. Their adventures were page-turning and it made it hard to put the book down! I enjoyed the author’s writing style. It was an easy read, yet it wasn’t quick. But that was probably due to the fact that this full-time working mama is exhausted and reading relaxes me so much that I fall asleep quickly! I highly recommend this book to middle-grade aged children and older. There is some dark stuff that happens in this book (murder, stabbings, kidnapping, potential scary magic) that younger kids just may not be able to handle. If you love The Princess Bride, you will definitely enjoy this book :) I was given a copy of this book by the author. The opinions in this review are mine.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    Lisa Preziosi has written the most charming fairy tale within a children’s book. Well, that may not be completely accurate because it is a book that any age can enjoy. Johanna and Casper are left in the care of Mrs. Kinder, a neighbor who has agreed to babysit so the children’s mother may be with their father who is in the hospital. Casper is sure Mrs. Kinder is a witch, Johanna thinks she is a just a strange old lady living in an old, broken down house. To distract the children Mrs. Kinder pick Lisa Preziosi has written the most charming fairy tale within a children’s book. Well, that may not be completely accurate because it is a book that any age can enjoy. Johanna and Casper are left in the care of Mrs. Kinder, a neighbor who has agreed to babysit so the children’s mother may be with their father who is in the hospital. Casper is sure Mrs. Kinder is a witch, Johanna thinks she is a just a strange old lady living in an old, broken down house. To distract the children Mrs. Kinder picks a book from her collection and commences to tell a story which has all the best elements of a fairy tale. But there are lessons of life to be taught and learned and the reader had “better hurry back and see if there’s not a bit of wonder left to find”. I encourage anyone who enjoys storytelling to read this book. What a shame it took Ms. Preziosi so long to find a publisher for this very beautifully told story. Thank you NetGalley and Xist Publishing for an Arc.

  12. 5 out of 5

    SandyL

    Johanna and Casper Sullivan are mortified when their mom asks Mrs. Kinder to babysit them. Mrs. Kinder is that woman in the neighborhood all the kids think is a witch! But not long after they arrive, Mrs. Kinder starts to tell a fantastical tale about The Ice Maiden. This is a story-in-a-story and was very entertaining. Casper was hilarious with some of the stuff that came out of his mouth - no filter there! And the tale Mrs. Kinder told was intricate and fascinating with a great moral at the en Johanna and Casper Sullivan are mortified when their mom asks Mrs. Kinder to babysit them. Mrs. Kinder is that woman in the neighborhood all the kids think is a witch! But not long after they arrive, Mrs. Kinder starts to tell a fantastical tale about The Ice Maiden. This is a story-in-a-story and was very entertaining. Casper was hilarious with some of the stuff that came out of his mouth - no filter there! And the tale Mrs. Kinder told was intricate and fascinating with a great moral at the end.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Connie Huddleston

    If you love an involved story with magic, fantasy, and characters galore, just pick up a copy of The Ice Maiden’s Tale by Lisa Preziosi. Told by a might-be-a-witch grandmother to two children when circumstances bring them to her home, the book will remind you of The Princess Bride. You will find characters galore, who will go on fantastic and sometimes deadly adventures. Magic plays a big part in the story, but without giving away anything, love conquers all. This book is suitable for older midd If you love an involved story with magic, fantasy, and characters galore, just pick up a copy of The Ice Maiden’s Tale by Lisa Preziosi. Told by a might-be-a-witch grandmother to two children when circumstances bring them to her home, the book will remind you of The Princess Bride. You will find characters galore, who will go on fantastic and sometimes deadly adventures. Magic plays a big part in the story, but without giving away anything, love conquers all. This book is suitable for older middle grades and teens and would be a good book for parents to read to their children.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Camellia

    This is the kind of story that weaves a world of magic that you never want to leave. The Ice Maiden’s Tale evokes the best of classic fantasy stories like The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, while being wholly original. Long after I finished the book, I could still hear Gabriel and his fiddle—the way the music came to life as much as the ice maiden. I read this book first for myself, and am now buying copies for nieces and nephews as gifts because a beautiful story is a thing worth sharing.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Cat

    Such a wonderful, magical tale! I am sorry I got so behind in my reading that I missed it. I love fairy tales and this one is a keeper! Beautifully intertwining present and timeless stories into one. I loved the settings, the characters, and the story's plot and dialogue flowed so smoothly. Beautiful story! I received a Kindle arc from Netgalley in exchange for a fair review. Such a wonderful, magical tale! I am sorry I got so behind in my reading that I missed it. I love fairy tales and this one is a keeper! Beautifully intertwining present and timeless stories into one. I loved the settings, the characters, and the story's plot and dialogue flowed so smoothly. Beautiful story! I received a Kindle arc from Netgalley in exchange for a fair review.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Anita

    * Read for the 2021 Around the Year in 52 Books Challenge task: A book with elements of magic

  17. 4 out of 5

    Alia Therese Lazo

    I liked how this was a story within a story and the author succeeded in doing so. The way the author introduced the characters were very interesting and memorable. The author was able to build the characters with depth and was able to develop them as the story goes on. The romance in the Ice maiden’s tale wasn’t overbearing and the adventures the two had was dealt with great detail. I personally liked the part with the big abandoned castle because the atmosphere for the scene was told quite nice I liked how this was a story within a story and the author succeeded in doing so. The way the author introduced the characters were very interesting and memorable. The author was able to build the characters with depth and was able to develop them as the story goes on. The romance in the Ice maiden’s tale wasn’t overbearing and the adventures the two had was dealt with great detail. I personally liked the part with the big abandoned castle because the atmosphere for the scene was told quite nicely. The journey of the two boys in the story was really interesting and fun. The ending itself was heart-warming. I received an ARC from the publisher from Netgalley. I thank them for sending this wonderful book to me.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ray Donnelly

  19. 5 out of 5

    Iryna Lavrinenko

  20. 4 out of 5

    Calee Lee

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jay Huang

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mary

  23. 4 out of 5

    BellaE.F.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jude

  25. 4 out of 5

    Michaela

  26. 5 out of 5

    PN

  27. 4 out of 5

    Isabelle

  28. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Shirley

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tatiana

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Preziosi

  31. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin (thebookshire)

  32. 5 out of 5

    Kara

  33. 4 out of 5

    Danya

  34. 5 out of 5

    T.J. Burns

  35. 5 out of 5

    Emily (Fractured Mirror Publishing)

  36. 5 out of 5

    Mei Rubite

  37. 5 out of 5

    Heather

  38. 5 out of 5

    Marielle

  39. 4 out of 5

    Autumn

  40. 4 out of 5

    Amy

  41. 4 out of 5

    Titia Lenzhölzer-Maas

  42. 5 out of 5

    Bear

  43. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Pruitt

  44. 5 out of 5

    Vicki

  45. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

  46. 5 out of 5

    Anne Brown

  47. 4 out of 5

    Nikki

  48. 4 out of 5

    Myles Wolfe

  49. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin

  50. 4 out of 5

    Brianna Boyle

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