Shaking Things Up in The Snow Globe

The Snow Globe by Jenna Nelson



Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Author: Jenna Nelson
Published: September 2015
Publisher: Purple Arcana Publishing
Pages: 434 {paperback}

Originally posted on Goodreads

Initial Thoughts Upon Finishing

This really was such a fun book! I loved the idea of a world existing within a Snow Globe (well, sort of, you’ll have to read the book to work that one out exactly). The adventures were just awesome! I almost want to say this reminded me of Peter Pan (adventure-wise) mixed in with the chaotic politics of the Falling Kingdoms series. Which is a pretty mind-blowing mix. I NEED BOOK TWO THOUGH, SOMEONE PLEASE MAKE IT HAPPEN.

The Snow Globe

SO. This book is all about Sondrine’s complicated trip into a snow globe and the sudden responsibility she’s shouldered with. It is such a fun adventure! The book takes place in England and then in Winterhaven which is the city/kingdom/place that exists within the snow globe. It really is as cool as it sounds.

“Just as the sea molds the earth’s shape, wind sands the mountains into gentle valleys, and flames of a fire disperse seedlings into the soil, something must die before wakening another.”

Sondrine is a young girl who is orphaned and living with her horribly horrid aunt. She works in a curio shop where they sell bits and bobs and also medicines. Her aunt has basically arranged a marriage for Sondrine with a man/boy that she really doesn’t like. Typical England, eh?

Sondrine also has magical abilities. This is something that her aunt keeps under wraps but Sondrine is known around the place for doing magic tricks, as entertainment. Which was particularly cool. I loved the little ice sculpture she makes at the beginning.

When a mysterious man comes into the shop and offers a snow globe in exchange for some medicines, Sondrine agrees to buy it off him. AND THAT’S WHERE THE FUN STARTS. After being sucked into the snow globe, Sondrine finds herself in a complicated and confusing world filled with mysterious people, magic, evil monarchs and Alice in Wonderland-like horrors.

The plot was fantastic, with Sondrine being destined to be the only one who could defeat this evil queen lurking in the shadows with her magic. I so want to explore her magic more and see just how much she can do (and I totally couldn’t help but picture the queen as Helena Bonham Carter).

I really enjoyed everything that happened in this book and I certainly loved the Alice in Wonderland feels I got from it. I loved that there was magic involved and I cannot wait to continue the series.

My reaction when I finished this book

Creepy Magic

One of the best aspects of this book, for me, was its setting. I loved that Nelson has imagined what if there was a world inside a snow globe? Now, I know that *technically* speaking that’s not quite accurate (and you’ll understand when you read the book) but I like to think that the world really was working magically within a snow globe.

Me, trying to explain this book to my family

I really enjoyed the king and the evil queen who were both as horrible as each other – it’s absolute madness and the tyrannical rule of the king was terrifying. I do wish that we’d spent more time exploring what the lives of every day people were like under the rule of this king; everyone seemed sort of okay with what he was doing, whereas I feel that people should have been more scared.

How the king treats everyone

I did love all the politics that was happening inside the castle though, and I particularly thought Snap and Lark were fantastic (those are characters, by the way). The fact that people had magic in Winterhaven as a common place talent was AWESOME. I loved seeing the different ways in which the magic had manifested in different people.

I also really loved the Sylphs, but you’ll need to read the book to find out more about them.


The characters were really quite good in this book. I loved the roller coaster that we go through with them all, whether emotionally or the really trying challenges they come across.

Shh, this is relevant

Sondrine, as a protagonist, I thought was fantastic. I thought it was great how torn she was over wanting to get back to reality – but in fact, Winterhaven is very almost a preferable alternative to her life, I mean, what does she have to lose by not returning to England? Nothing. I liked how she cared deeply and passionately about the people she befriended, and I particularly loved that she had her moral compass working perfectly the whole way throughout.

I thought the king was a horrible character, and the scenes within the castle where we see and find out what happens to his subjects and the children working in the castle was depressing. I’m extraordinarily interested to see what happens in the political scene in book two . . .

Shán was a very interesting character. I quite liked him from the start, although there were some moments when I thought he was a little crass. I think he does have a good heart though even if he is quite literally the worst at expressing his feelings. I just really want to know what’s going to happen to his character in the next book! Whenever that is coming. There better actually be a book two, or I shall cry.

Shán being a sass monster

Honourable mentions are Zhang the Elder and Guernsey. Both were lovely elder-like figures offering lots of advice and knowledge; I loved the Gandalf-like position they each filled, being the wizened characters swooping in with knowledge and brains when needed.


I think that’s about all I need to say for this book. I really enjoyed the reading experience and I am completely in love with the setting. This also gets extra Kirstie Brownie points because a dragon does pop in for a scene or two. I super want to continue the series because I think things are only going to get better from here on in – BRING IT ON.

View all my reviews



 You might also like . . .

If you enjoy fantasy stories with tyrannical monarchs who enjoy beheading people, Falling Kingdoms is for you.

If you like books that fall down the rabbit hole, Splintered is for you.

Speaking of beheading and rabbit holes, you might also like The Looking Glass Wars.

 Have you read this?

Let me know what you think!

End Note

~~ Kirstie ~~

4 thoughts on “Shaking Things Up in The Snow Globe

  1. Alice in Wonderland in a snowglobe? Yes, please! This sounds delightful! Why haven’t I heard about this book anywhere else? I love authors who can give you a really strong and magical “what if” question as a concept to center great characters and marvellous plots on. It sounds like The Snow Globe really delivers on all of its potential!

    Liked by 1 person

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