Michael and the Ice Princess: A Mystical Romance
by Mary Mendenhall
Author Reputation Press

"’How can someone be cursed and blessed at the same time?’"

No matter where she is, Miriam Hirte has always felt displaced. Nobody in her little medieval peasant village can say from where she came. She's also always felt cold, both physically and emotionally. This sets her apart as the subject of damaging rumors that she is a witch. Is this gossip at all related to the local legend of the Ice Princess, a royal infant cursed before her birth and sent away by the grieving, newly widowed king shortly afterward? From an early age, Miriam feels driven to find her father and dispel the curse that literally chills her. Her superstitious neighbors hunt and hound her so relentlessly that even the short journey to his castle is perilous. Thus, loyal, idealistic young carpenter Michael Carver proves a Godsend as a protective companion to help her through her travels. Can his simple, steady love at least warm lonely Miriam's frozen heart?

Mendenhall's writing is as fanciful and effervescent as the fairies and dragons that populate her tale. Dialogue authentic to the Middle Ages is consistent throughout and is sure to delight fans of historical fiction and romantic fantasy alike. No specific country is named as the setting, allowing readers to imagine for themselves where the kingdom might be. The book offers a resourceful female protagonist who is not conventionally beautiful. Miriam's sense of alienation from her neighbors seems responsible for her marked preference for sheep, leading her to spend her early adulthood herding them. Her counterpart, Michael, is a sensitive daydreamer with a maimed leg but without fear of appearing weak when he must ask for help, even from a woman. The characters, unusual for those in a fantasy, practice Christianity. Bible verses or quotations from Christians such as Bunyan, Spurgeon, or Saint Teresa of Avila conclude each chapter.

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