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Publisher's Summary

Aleksia, Queen of the Northern Lights, is mysterious, beautiful, and widely known to have a heart of ice. No one would seek her wisdom except as a last resort. But when she's falsely accused of unleashing evil on nearby villages, she realizes there's an impostor out there far more heartless than she could ever be.

And when a young warrior following the Tradition disappears, leaving his sweetheart and mother to fear the worst, Aleksia's powers are needed as never before.

Now, on a journey through a realm of perpetual winter, it will take all her skills, a mother's faith and a little magic to face down an enemy more formidable than any she has ever known....

©2008 Mercedes Lackey (P)2008 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    177
  • 4 Stars
    109
  • 3 Stars
    55
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    8

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    170
  • 4 Stars
    74
  • 3 Stars
    24
  • 2 Stars
    3
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    1

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    140
  • 4 Stars
    77
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    52
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    5
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    1
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Love the book, narrator problematic...

I love Mercedes Lackey and this series too. I was really excited when books 1 and 2 in the series were released as well as this, book 4. Its been around for a while but I didn't buy it till it looked like the rest in the series would also be coming out.

The story is fun, easy to follow, if fairly predictable, but I don't really mind that as it is based around well known fairy tales after all!

The only problem I had is that the narrator, Gabra Zackman, didn't know the word 'mage'. Instead she consistently says 'madge' throughout the book, which, as the word comes up fairly often, I found exceedingly annoying. There were a couple of other problems, like a girl wandering through a forest full of bandits with golden 'plates' (rather than plaits) wound round her head, but these are one offs, so not too problematic. The continual mispronunciation of mage, however, had me yelling MAGE at my computer every few minutes as I listened, and wondering whether the narrator had been paid a 'wadge' rather than a wage!

Other than this problem, the narration was really good and enjoyable, and in the recordings of books 1 and 2, the same narrator does a great job, AND has learned the word mage! So I am really hoping that when they get to this point in the series, they will re-record the book so I can enjoy it fully, along with the rest of the series.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Good Listen

I had read two or three other books in the 500 Kingdoms series. They aren't great works of literature but they are inventive and fun. I enjoy the author's work so I picked this one up.
It was good, the story pans back and forth between two areas of focus for much of the book, which was a little difficult at first because there's often no marker to indicate the switch. I was irked at the pronunciation of the word "mage," but other than that the narrator did an excellent job, even the accents were good.
The story was interesting and engaging, and I didn't see the ending coming. I would recommend the book to any fantasy lover as an interesting view on fairytales.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Morley
  • Portland, OR, United States
  • 09-11-11

Great, except for the mispronunciation ...

I love Mercedes Lackey stories and have all her books. This story is very enjoyable, but the narrator mispronounces 'mage' as maj or maj-is (mages). That simply made me crazy and I can't figure out why the producers didn't stop it. Such a simple thing, but when it would irk the heck out of me every single time I heard another 'maj', I realized that much more and I would have stopped listening to the story. Now I'm worried about listening to another book read by this narrator, even though she has a beautiful voice. Although, her voices for the different characters seemed to change a bit as well. Regardless, I would still recommend this story for a light and enjoyable listen.

This book served me well while on a two month road trip, as it kept me busy while on a few very long days of driving.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Pleasantly surprised (and annoyed)

I've been a Mercedes Lackey fan, but hadn't read or listened to any of this series and was pleasantly surprised because I thought fairy tales??? It turns out that setting a novel in a fairy tale universe makes for an enjoyable fantasy novel. I got wrapped up in the story line which was fun even though it was fairy tale predictable. I've always been able to care about M.L.'s characters and these were no exception. I even eventually overlooked the narrator's frequent mispronunciation of the word "mage" which is a shame because she did a good job otherwise.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

So much unnecessary exposition

There's a really good, exciting story hiding underneath a ton of boring details in this text. It seems like a second draft.. :/

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

traditional stories, not so much

loved thiis whole series
The twist on the tradional stories and the power of tradition...
Love it!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Pronunciation is a problem

How could the performance have been better?

I really wish the narrator had taken the time to figure out how to pronounce certain of the words in this book. Other reviews have mentioned the mispronunciation of the word "mage", so I won't belabour that, but the narrator also repeatedly mispronounces "Sami" (She says Sam-eye instead of Sam-ee.) As with the word mage, you might think, "Well, but how often could that possibly come up? I'm sure it won't be a problem." It comes up a lot though. Probably almost as much as "mage." I've listened to, and enjoyed, other performances by Gabra Zackman, but this one made me want to shoot myself. I spent a lot of my listening time muttering correct pronunciations under my breath.

Any additional comments?

I enjoy the Five Hundred Kingdoms series, but this installment is merely "Okay." Were I to rank them in order of preference, this book would take the bottom spot.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Not the best

I read the reviews before I bought the book, so I had to smile every time the narrator said 'mage'. The story is not as engaging as the others. Still entertaining

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Boring

I really liked the first books in the series. But this one just didn't do it for me. There were endless explanations on how the Tradition works and several threads of storyline which never really made sense to me. So I stopped after the first 2 hours.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Love this series!

Her books are loosely based on fairy tales.

How dare she? There is a copy-cat Snow Queen and the REAL Snow Queen Fairy Godmother must leave her ice castle to honor her reputation. Along the way, she is joined by others who have their own reason to reach the evil Snow Queen. This is a great adventure with great characters to entertain.