“Kingdom Cold” is a bit of a stylistic olio. The opening chapters introduce a Medieval Fairy Tale setting with characters molded in modern terms. The Princess is on a hunger strike, and soon tops it by getting drunk at the wedding feast and throwing up in the hallway. These are very modern, realistic people, dealing with the usual fairytale problems in modern ways, much like many kids’ movie scripts.
Then we meet the villain, and he is straight out of an Asterix comic book, all stereotypical vanity and self-congratulation, checking his profile and telling himself how handsome he is. He would be the perfect comic villain if he wasn’t killing so many people. We are left wondering if we’re supposed to laugh or cry.
Another problem comes from the point of view switches. Yes, some stories switch POV with each chapter, but they are usually written in a more objective style. In a plot-driven story, the switches are there to show what happens to each person. In this book, everything is subjective, inside the heads of the characters, and we are forced to jump from one to the other rapidly. Very confusing.
The characters are definitely the strength of the story. Princess Charlotte and Prince Young are sympathetically comic most of the time until the chips are down, when they manage to pull themselves together and come through. They almost bridge the gap between the comedy and the horror in the story, but never quite manage.
In all, a good plot, but I don’t think the author knew exactly where it was supposed to be going, and as a result she left the readers behind.
A good attempt at a novel, but in need of an overall plan.