|Title: Singer in the Snow
Author: Louise Marley
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication: Firebird, 2005
On the planet Nevya, summer is a rarity only seen once every five years. Mankind’s only hope rests with those that have the Gift, the ability to channel psi through music. Those that are Gifted use their ability to warm the air, providing much needed heat on the frozen planet.
Emle is a Singer with a problem; she cannot channel her psi to warm the air. She thinks all is lost when she is suddenly assigned to aid the new Cantrix Mreen, one of the most talented when it comes to channeling her psi. Cantrix Mreen is not without her problems, though, as she is mute. Emle is there is help the Housemembers of Tarus her form of sign-language. They face the challenge together, but not without fear as a startling discovery is made. One of the children is Gifted and her stepfather wants to exploit that for his own gain. Through the struggles Emle has to face her own inadequacies and come to terms with her psi.
Emle proves to be a heartwarming protagonist as she faces the struggle of working with the most talented Cantrix in light of her deficiencies. Befriending the staff of Tarus, she becomes endearing in her want to help. The story line is riddled with twists and turns, with an underlying suspense. As the novel proceeds Emle becomes stronger in her attachments to the staff. There is subtle foreshadowing throughout that leads to a twist towards the end that really pushes Emle to her limits. The foreshadowing was simple and did not give away the twist too early in the story, which I greatly appreciated.
The writing flowed well and the events played out realistically. The characters were well formed and had varying personalities that are very realistic. I really liked how music was used to heal and warm those around the Cantrix, which draws parallels from our world. The ending was fulfilling, showcasing that determination and perseverance can overcome any obstacle. I could have used a bit more action since that is what I usually read, but this was still an interesting read.