Mercedes Lackey's "Five Hundred Kingdoms" series present new viewpoints on classic fairy tales. In this case, "The Snow Queen" is based on the Hans Christian Andersen tale of the same name.Godmother Alexsia reigns over the Palace of Ever-Winter and the lands of the north. She uses her mirror magic to watch over her region through reflective ice ... and thus finds out that another woman is using her title of Snow Queen and doing tremendous evil. So, Aleksia must leave the Palace and enter into an adventure for the first time in her life.The tale is filled with strong female characters, such as Alexsia and Kaari (a young woman whose sweetheart is stolen away and imprisoned by the false Snow Queen). This is a book that I would feel comfortable offering to a young teen because of its positive portrayals of women in difficult circumstances. Those much younger may find some of the more sensitive imagery disturbing.Entertaining and well-written, as Lackey's books tend to be.