Friday, 6 January 2017

A Frozen Heart

A Frozen Heart by Elizabeth Rudnick (Parragon) PB RRP $14.99   ISBN 978 1 4748 4292 1

Reviewed by Allison Paterson

Fans of the Disney animated movie Frozen will be delighted with the arrival of Elizabeth Rudnick’s novel A Frozen Heart. For those who missed the 2013 movie, the tale tells the story of Princess Anna and her cold and distant sister, Queen Elsa.
Lonely Anna falls in love with the handsome and deceptive Prince Hans of the Southern Isles when they meet at Elsa’s coronation as Queen of Arendelle. Disaster strikes when Elsa loses control of her magical and hidden ice powers, unwittingly unleashing a bitter winter upon the kingdom and consequently forcing her to flee to the icy North Mountain.  

Anna sets out find Elsa and save the kingdom and is aided by some true friends she meets along her perilous journey. As Hans’s true motivations are eventually revealed, Anna discovers not only the truth about Elsa, but also the truth that love is much more than an instant attraction.

A Frozen Heart successfully fills the character gaps that the movie did not explore, providing the back story for the characters, delving into their motivations and thoughts and hence an expanded explanation for their actions.  Narrated by the alternating points of view of Anna and Hans, the novel uses the events and dialogue of the movie to propel the story and to expand the themes of friendship, love and family.

While elements of the humour and dramatic effect of the movie are a little lost in the retelling, the narrative remains well-constructed and satisfying and is ideal for the growing-up fans of Frozen who are now in the mid Primary to early Secondary years. The strong female character of Anna and the growth she shows provides a positive role model for our Princess followers. The focus on the meaning of love and the connection with sacrifice, family and true friendship provide a powerful and valuable message.

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