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Singer in the Snow

Press:Penguin USA Firebird (February 15, 2007)
Author Name:Marley, Louise


On the ice planet of Nevya, people rely on Cantors and Cantrixes, men and women with the ability to channel psi energy through music, creating heat and light. 
Mreen is possibly the most talented Cantrix on Nevya—but she is unable to make a sound.
She is accompanied to her first posting by a younger Singer, Emle, who must come to terms with her own flawed Gift.
When the two young women find out about Gwin, a young girl whose abusive stepfather wants to exploit her psi-Gift talents, they find that in reaching out to her, they can also help themselves.

From Booklist

This follow-up to the Singers of Nevya trilogy (1995-1997) features two young Singers with the psi-Gift who journey from their beloved Conservatory to the remote House of Tarus near the Frozen Sea.
Mreen, a mute young woman of exceptional power, is Tarus' new Cantrix: one who uses music and magic to summon the light and heat necessary to survive the planet's deadly cold.
Emle, whose musical talent is sublime but who for reasons unknown cannot summon a thing, acts as Mreen's interpreter.
While Mreen adjusts to her new life, Emle explores the flaws of her gift and connects with a psychologically burdened stable boy.
The two young women discover Tarus is a potentially dangerous place where they must work together to identify foes, find allies, and protect those who need it.
Marley's unforgiving ice world is replete with both science fiction and fantasy elements that support a suspenseful and, at times, gritty story of friendship, self-acceptance, healing, and growing up.
This is satisfying fare for fantasy lovers and an easy entry point for teens new to the genre, although the glossary of terms may challenge some readers.
Holly KoellingCopyright © American Library Association.
All rights reserved

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


All that timeless magic and wisdom is just as powerful in Marley’s latest—an instant classic. 
-- Paul Goat Allen, ExplorationsSF with a fantasy feel very much in the style of Anne McCaffrey .
-- Locus

About the Author

Louise Marley lives in Washington State.


Children's Books,Growing Up & Facts of Life,Difficult Discussions,Dysfunctional Relationships,Teens,Literature & Fiction,Performing Arts,Music,Abuse

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Comment List (Total:11)

  •     The book was enjoyable, and I found myself eager to found out what was going to happen next in the story. Although the story isn't as action packed as many other fantasy novels, I think the author did a great job with the characters and their development.

  •     Singer in the Snow is Louise Marley's best novel yet. It is a very intimate coming of age story, with strong, beautifully drawn characters that strike a chord from page one.

  •     In this inventive and well-told fantasy, Marley creates a world bound by ice and snow, where the daily ritual of quirna is all that keeps its residents from death. Those who create the ritual are called Singers, their ability to channel their Gift - a psionic power - and create warmth carefully trained at the Conservatory before they are sent out into greater society to serve. Emle is training to be a Singer, but while her technical skills are perfect, she can't control her psionic power. Frustrated and angry at the unreliability of her gift, she wonders what she'll do with her life if she can't become a full Singer.When she's sent to a holding named Tarus to help interpret for Mreen, a new Cantrix with a great gift but without the ability to speak, it may be her last chance to master her gift. The novel deftly switches between Emle's point of view, and her struggles to not be jealous of Mreen's greater gift, and that of Mreen, as she struggles with the great responsibility placed on her shoulders in assuming her new position at Tarus, and with her shame over the circumstances of her birth. When Emle and Mreen arrive at Tarus they step right into a difficult situation with the apprentice hrussmaster, Luke, who is trying to protect his little sister, Gwin, from their abusive stepfather.Marley unfolds a story that is rich with internal conflict, as each of her characters has to discover their own strength and path in life, and yet keeps a quick pace. Not strongly action-oriented, her novel is more about her characters and the decisions they face. By focusing on three central characters she can touch on many of the themes of adolescence; searching for meaning, struggling with the new responsibilities of adulthood, and knowing when to stand up for yourself, thus giving readers a lot they can relate to. Though this book is set in a world she has written in before, it can be read on its own even if you haven't read the others in the series.Reviewed by: Dena Landon

  •     This book was okay. Some parts I really wanted to keep reading because it was exciting, but some parts were boring. Its about these Gifted people.

  •     A friend introduced me to Louise Marley's Ice Planet series. I read three of them and then discovered the 4th; Singer In The Snow. With her love and understanding of music, and marvelous imagination, Ms. Marley has created wonderful stories that draw you right into them. They are absolutely thrilling and magical at the same time, with plenty of suspense. They are very hard to put down. They leave you wondering what is next. Will the second sun come and stay? Will the ship finally arrive to rescue them?I will never think of music in quite the same way after reading these fun books.

  •     Singer in the Snow is a delightful story. Ms. Marley's writing is nothing short of lyrical (which is appropriate for a book about singers!

  •     I am not sure why this is listed "juvenile" except that it could be read comfortably by middle school readers and adults alike.

  •     Ugh, this was immensely unsatisfying.Let me start by saying that the author's prose is lovely. The characters are well-written and consistent. The world-building is intriguing. But the plot? The story? The character development?The only real tension in the story <spoiler>(the abuse)</spoiler> is completely ignored. It's never resolved. The plot point that the author orchestrated to be the main conflict however, fell flat. Everything was tied up too neatly, too quickly, too easily. Emle's struggle with her Gift, also resolved too easily and neatly, with no real effort on her part.<spoiler>What really floored me was how no one came forward to bring Axl to justice for his crimes against his family. He is finally brought to justice for what amounts to stealing and selling children (which, actually, is legal in this world, yet he is punished for it anyway), while his long years of emotional and physical abuse of his family (which at one point is actually stated to be illegal), is never addressed. He's never brought to justice for it. There was some judgy-ness and victim-blaming towards the wife, who continues to stick with her abuser straight through the epilogue and for the rest of her life, I imagine. The two main characters go all passive even though they are witness to the abuse's after-effects. Horrible, just horrible. If someone, any of them, had managed to work up to confronting this abuse and having it brought to justice.....it would have been so incredibly satisfying, much more so than the contrived conflict the author shoves on us instead.As it stands, Marley's message to the reader seems to be, "If you or someone you care about is being abused, just chill out and wait for events to take care of things themselves. By all means, don't contact the authorities. Watch and wait, folks. The bad man will eventually be taken away for something completely unrelated and everyone will live happily ever after." What bull! And this is a message she's inserting into literature written for young people....sick. Absolutely sick. </spoiler>I had such high hopes for this book going into it. The summary was intriguing, the writing was beautiful, the characters were sympathetic, the world interesting. But the author completely fails to deliver anything remotely satisfying in terms of plot, story, and character growth. I'd been wanting to read some of her other books (the original trilogy of this story, plus a couple others), but I won't bother now.

  •     It was nice to revisit the world Louse created in the first 3 books, but I was expecting her to have solved the crisis of not enough gifted children in this one. Maybe she has more story in mind. Still it was as enjoyable as the first ones.

  •     Singer in the Snow is a wonderful book. Not realizing that it was part of an extended universe when I read it, I found myself able to fully understand all that Marley was...

  •     This book is being sold in the category for young adults...well, I must be a young adult at 53 because I loved this book!!!


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