Review: Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

I have a soft spot for rewrites of fairy tales, so it was no wonder I was drawn to Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust. Honestly, when I picked it up I didn’t realize it was a retelling of Snow White, and I was pleasantly surprised when I began to read. A fantastic version of Snow White, this story shows an inspiring young woman, Lynet, instead of a girl who is running away from her stepmother simply because she is scared. When the Huntsman tells her to run, she only does so in order to cure her stepmother, Mina, from what is causing her to be evil. Rather than the traditional, vain and “evil” stepmother, Mina is a sympathetic character.

Full of magic and curses, these two women have had their lives made up for them by Gregory, the magician that everyone in the kingdom fears. He created Lynet out of snow, and he saved Mina at a young age by replacing her heart with one of glass. Because they are made of snow and glass, they have power over these things respectively.

These two women have deeper desires than that of just love or beauty. They have a relationship of their own: complex and multi-faceted. While they love each other, they are driven apart by the desires of the other people in their lives. Readers who enjoy female-driven plots will devour this novel.

On top of the mother-daughter relationship, there is also another female relationship between Lynet and the court surgeon, Nadia. From the beginning, it’s apparent that Nadia is meant to be this version’s “Prince Charming.” Nadia is complicated in her own right, and is caught between Mina and Lynet in their struggle for who will be the next queen of Whitespring.

This is a beautifully executed, feminist version of this classic tale in which these three women come together to bring down the men who dictate their lives. Together, they may just be able to break the curse which keeps their kingdom in perpetual winter.

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