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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
The Snow Witch by Rosie Boyes is a charming read filled with the magic and wonder of fairy tales. Siblings Kes and Star's lives change when they're sent off to live with their legal guardian: a grandma living in a St. Flurries house said to be haunted. The house is full of mysteries Kes is determined to solve. Their newfound lives take a turn when Star falls ill. Kes knows more is going on with her condition than a simple winter cold. He uncovers a shocking secret that traces back a hundred years, linked to the case of Kitty Wigeon who disappeared and was never seen again. Back in 1918, Kitty faces the loss of her brother and is determined never to leave St. Flurries again. When she's accused of stealing, her life changes and nothing is ever the same.
Rosie Boyes blends fairy tale magic with a snowy mystery in this delightful treat perfect for the holidays. The story weaves through time, exploring history and surrounding the mystery of the Snow Witch. Kes and Star discover the grandma they've never met, who gives them a loving home that happens to be full of secrets. The mystery unfolds to the discovery of the Snow Witch and seems linked to Star's mysterious illness. Boyes jumps into the past and explores the disappearance of Kitty through the events leading up to the moment she vanishes. The mystery drives Kes and, as all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place, Boyes jumps back to the present to explore how the story unfolds. This is followed by a series of journals written by the Snow Witch which weave throughout time. The journals explore her origins and give more detail to a curse that will catch up to the siblings in the present.
Boyes incorporates sympathy for the Snow Witch as she slowly discovers the changes in the world and her distance from society as she's unable to take part, cursed to merely be an onlooker. Kitty lost her brother and though she still has her sisters, she struggles with her dad who is consumed with grief. His loss adds a touch of tension to her story. Kitty's loss is similar to Kes and Star who are on their own after the loss of their mother and at first stuck with an awful guardian. This loss in both times of the story is balanced through the love and warmth of their homes, which contrasts to the snowy and cold setting. Kitty and her sisters have a sweet relationship which compares to Kes and Star's bond. Both add a spark of lightness in the story. The Snow Witch is a mystery and fairy tale mixed together in a charming story of magic, loss, family, and strength with characters that are delightful and add warmth to the chilly winter around them.