Audiobook Review: THE ICE QUEEN by Alice Hoffman

Format: Audio; 5 CDs; 6 hrs
Narrator: Nancy Travis
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Released: April 1, 2005
Source: Borrowed from the Library

From the best-selling author of Practical Magic, a miraculous, enthralling tale of a woman who is struck by lightning, and finds her frozen heart is suddenly burning.

Be careful what you wish for. A small town librarian lives a quiet life without much excitement. One day, she mutters an idle wish and, while standing in her house, is struck by lightning. But instead of ending her life, this cataclysmic event sparks it into a new beginning. She goes in search of Lazarus Jones, a fellow survivor who was struck dead, then simply got up and walked away. Perhaps this stranger who has seen death face to face can teach her to live without fear.

When she finds him, he is her opposite, a burning man whose breath can boil water and whose touch scorches. As an obsessive love affair begins between them, both are forced to hide their most dangerous secrets: what turned one to ice and the other to fire. A magical story of passion, loss, and renewal, The Ice Queen is Alice Hoffman at her electrifying best.


I listened to the audio format of THE ICE QUEEN, and once again Nancy Travis gave an amazing performance and captured the magic, passion, and sorrow of Alice Hoffman’s novel. THE ICE QUEEN is a dark fairy tale about a lonely librarian who learns the hard way to be careful what she wishes. Wishes do come true, but not always with the desired outcome. From the beginning, the story had a dreamlike quality that held me captive. Hoffman always delivers gorgeous imagery and stunning prose, and I think she outdid herself with this novel.

This is the fourth book I’ve read by Alice Hoffman, and it’s also the saddest. It started sad and got sadder, but such was the tale of a morose, lightning-struck librarian and her obsession, a man named Lazarus who cheated death. Had I not been listening to this while in the car with other people, I would have been a sobbing mess the last 30 minutes for sure. Even so, the ending left me hopeful, and I’m so glad I gave THE ICE QUEEN a listen. Thank you to RJ @ Art @ Home for the recommendation!

Rating: 4 Stars