Frozen II: Forest of Shadows
by Kamilla Benko
When a strange blight comes over the land and the animals fall into a deep sleep, Anna is convinced she can help find the cure. It needs to be done quickly because the food supply is in danger and Elsa will soon be departing on her grand tour. After Anna finds a magic door in the castle she never knew about, it leads her to a secret room where she finds magic books, herbs, and other mysterious items. The clue might be hidden within this room and Anna is convinced she can solve this mystery, but once a spell is cast, she finds herself and the entire kingdom of Arendelle in more danger than she could have ever imagined.
What a delicious, magical adventure! I wasn’t sure what to expect with this middle-grade novel, but it’s so wonderfully written. It’s always lovely when you take a chance on a book and it turns out to be just what you were looking for. I ended up purchasing the book to read with my daughters because we are huge Frozen fans. We all ended up enjoying it–even my 13-year-old. As an adult, I often find that some middle-grade books tend to drag in parts which affects my interest levels during reading. This book is action-packed and there’s always something new, but there were a few events in the story that were just a tad bit drawn out for me–very rarely though.
The author has done an excellent job writing the characters’ personalities and stayed true to the original movie. Olaf, Kristoff, and Oaken were hilarious, and it was nice that the author put in some fresh characters too. This is supposed to be the ‘in between’ from Frozen to Frozen 2. I have no doubt that if this story were the actual new Frozen 2 film, it would be a huge success.
One of my favorite aspects of Frozen is the family theme; I love the caring sister relationship between Anna and Elsa. In Forest of Shadows, Anna has a few insecurities: she’s missing the inseparable relationship she once had with Elsa and seeks approval from her, but she soon discovers that the real issue is within herself. The heart of the story really revolves around Anna. I loved that true love came into play as in the original film, but also the message of facing your fears and accepting them. There are so many wonderful, positive messages in the book.
The only minor niggle I had was how the lesbian characters are written in the book. Pardon me if this offends, but it almost feels forced and I’m unsure why it happens like this, especially in a middle-grade book. I certainly have no issues with characters of different sexual orientations, but if you’re going to include them, shouldn’t the relationships in the story all have equal importance? It seems strange to highlight one and ignore the others. 🤔
If you have children in your home who love Frozen, definitely check out this book. It’s well worth the read for any Frozen fan regardless of age. It works perfect as a read-aloud for younger readers, but definitely keep in mind that it’s quite long at 400+ pages.
- Age Range: 8 – 12 years
- Grade Level: 3 – 7
- Hardcover: 416 pages
- Publisher: Disney Press (October 4, 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1368043631
- ISBN-13: 978-1368043632
Anna of Arendelle wants nothing more than to be helpful to her older sister, Elsa. But as far as Anna can see, ever since Elsa’s coronation, her sister has been doing just fine without her. And now, Elsa will be setting sail for a grand tour of the world–leaving Anna behind. But a mysterious sickness strikes Arendelle, and Elsa’s tour is delayed, giving Anna the perfect opportunity to finally help. When Anna discovers a secret room in the castle and incants a magic spell, she hopes it will make her dream of curing the sickness come true. Instead, a more sinister dream comes to life. This thrilling original middle grade novel bridges the epic adventures of Frozen and Frozen 2.
Thanks for reading my review! Are you a Frozen fan? Let’s chat below!