Frozen 2: Forest of Shadows by Kamilla Benko

This entry is part 1 of 15 in the series Disney Princesses

A review by Emma Streeton

The Story

Frozen 2: Forest of Shadows begins with Elsa absorbed in her role as queen of Arendelle. Anna wants only to be helpful, supporting both her sister and her kingdom. She is struggling to see where she fits in, looking for the role she should play since Elsa’s coronation. Then a mysterious sickness hits Arendelle, delaying Elsa’s grand tour. Anna feels this is the perfect opportunity to finally help. With good intentions, Anna spins a little magic of her own found from a secret room. She may have just set loose something far more sinister than she realized. The chain of events that unfolds sends the sisters off on an epic race against time, an adventure that challenges their relationship.

Where this tale fits

Having not seen Frozen II, I didn’t know this tale is the bridge between the first and second movie. I have watched Frozen and I think the author has done an amazing job of writing the characters’ personalities, capturing their voices and staying true to the original movie. Although this is between Frozen and Frozen 2, I have no doubt that, if this story had been made into the Frozen 2 film, it would have been a huge success.

Review

What I loved most about this book is that the heart of the story revolves around Anna. We really see her character flourish and mature. Through her character and the events that unfold we see a lot of important and positive messages delivered to the reader. Most notably the message of facing your fears and accepting them.

I was never bored reading this book, which was a pleasant surprise from a book aimed at a younger audience. The author successfully but subtly introduced complex themes such as immigration and same-sex marriage into the story. It will be great to see Disney movies feature more of this representation in the future and Benko certainly shows them how to here.

Forest of Shadows is a delightful, magical adventure! It’s always lovely when you pick up a book with minimal expectations and pleasantly journey through fast paced action with mystery and adventure in every chapter. I intend to read this with my daughters and I want to stress that you do not need to be a Frozen fan to enjoy where this story takes you. This book is action-packed and there’s always something new. A few themes lean a little towards Young Adult. As I did, I recommend parents try the book for themselves before sharing the quest of Anna and Elsa with their young ones. I bet the child in you will struggle to put it down after a few chapters!

Frozen 2: Forest of Shadows. Elsa and Anna stand in a forestThe wrap

I picked up Frozen 2: Forest of Shadows with the intention of just reading a few chapters to see if it was suitable to read aloud to my daughters. I did not expect it to be as good as it was. The story grabbed me immediately so I ended up reading the whole book without the company of my two junior bookworms! I recommend reading any of the twisted tale collection by Disney publishing if you enjoyed this novel.

Book details

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
ISBN: 9781368043632
ISBN: 1368043631
Publisher: Disney, distributed by Scholastic Australia
Format: paperback, 416 pages
Ages: 9-12
Illustrator: Grace Lee
Category: children, fantasy, adventure 

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