Gifts from Gwyn's grandmother on his ninth birthday open up a whole new world to him, as he discovers he has magical powers that help him heal the breach with his father that has existed ever since his sister's mysterious disappearance four years before.
Original publication date
As Snow Spider starts out Gwyn has been given five rather unusual birthday presents (A scarf, a brooch, a broken wooden horse, a whistle, and a bit of seaweed)...items which initially seem like the silly gifts of a grandma whose maybe gone a little dotty, but which ultimately serve as his entrance into a whole new world. As it turns out, Nain is right, Gwyn IS descended from a long line of magicians and it is through these gifts that he can reclaim this birth right.
It all starts with the offering of the broach, which brings him the mysterious spider Airanwen, a very special spider indeed. There are elements to Snow Spider that seem common with most children's fantasy stories...Gwyn's father is mean to him on his birthday because he blames the boy for his sister's disappearance four years earlier, he's got a plucky best friend, and while the adults in this story are largely caring, Gwyn is offered lots of opportunities to be out on his own and be the hero of his magical little story.
Overall, The Snow Spider is a wonderfully magical start to a new series and we are eagerly awaiting the next installment (due out this month). I give Snow Spider five stars; it's a short read that manages to deliver a fantastic story that leaves the reader wanting more!