Magical triplets must go on a quest to save their parents—and their island—in this series opener.
Though never referred to as princesses (nor are Freya and Magnus, their crown-wearing parents, called king and queen), Hanna, Magda, and Ida live in a castle in the Nordic-esque island kingdom of Nordovia. In a prologue, their parents go on a quick overnight trip only to be captured by their mother’s evil sister, Veronika, the Shadow Witch, who wishes to usurp Freya’s powers and her role of Keeper of the Lights (the Everchanging Lights, a special magic that protects the island). When their parents don’t arrive home for the girls’ birthday—a special one, as 12 is the age they come into their own magic gifts—the party is canceled and searches are launched. That night, the sisters’ special snow globe comes to life, as their mother uses it to warn them about Veronika and tasks them with retrieving her power, hidden on the island in three orbs. They trade their glittering gowns and velvet dresses for practical gear and, with their magical polar bear cub, set out to retrieve the first. They succeed by using their powers, which they discover along the way. Though the story is heavily front-loaded with exposition, the pacing’s quick. The attractive artwork throughout uses fine, delicate lines and depicts main characters as White, though crowd scenes show diversity. Sequel The Crystal Rose publishes simultaneously.
There’s something for everyone in this series opener: Arctic animals, magic, pretty gowns, adventure. (Fantasy. 7-11)
– Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2020