Character Spotlight: Kona Dennel

Hello, hello!!! *waves wildly*

Gilded in Ice by Sarah Pennington comes into the world today! It’s the second Bastian Dennel P.I. book, Jazz Age Fairytales, and I love it a lot.

I’m not doing a review, but I do want to mention here how much I love the setting of these stories and the fact that this isn’t just a Snow White & Rose Red retelling. There’s another fairytale in there, though I won’t mention which one. It took me some times to know for certain. (Besides, if you read through the blurb all the way you’ll find out anyway. Obviously, I didn’t.)

So, no review, instead I’m just going to let Sarah tell you about Kona. She’s an awesome character and one of Bastian’s sister. Enough from me though.

It was a strangely human expression, and Kona recalled what Bastian had told her about some cats. “Are you one of the fair folk? Tell me or I definitely won’t let you in.”

The cat blinked at her and made a rolling rrrrrr noise before sniffing at the door crack. Maybe she’d been mistaken a moment ago. Or maybe she hadn’t. But she sighed and pushed the door open anyway. “Fine. You can come in, but if you don’t behave, I’ll throw you out. Or Maman will. And if you’re a leaf-ears and you make trouble, I have iron knitting needles, and I will use them. Understand?”

Portrait by H. S. J. Williams. Isn’t it gorgeous?

Kona Dennel is no fool. Practical and good-hearted in equal measure, she knows well how to navigate her life in the city of Innsjøby, even if she isn’t as familiar with the city’s darker side as her brother is. Her quiet, steady loyalty makes her a friend to be counted on — as does the stubborn streak that catches many people by surprise. She’s used to hard work and isn’t afraid of a challenge, and so she’s generally willing to take life as it comes.

“I see you’ve discovered the woes of being in the green.”

“It was easier before.” There’d been no question of her or Roselle leaving home until they were either married or had work worth leaving for. No question of college when their father’s debts hung over the family, though Roselle had saved what she could over the last two years since they’d graduated high school. Living with their family was safer than living on their own in any apartment they’d be able to afford, and as long as they were at home, their paychecks meant their parents didn’t end up on the straw forever. But now the whole situation had turned upside down, and opportunity’s door had opened just enough to taunt Kona with the fact that she wasn’t walking through it.

That said, it’s easier to take life as it comes when what comes is what you expected. While Kona is as happy as anyone about her family’s recent good fortune, she’s not happy about the uncertainty it’s cast over her future. She and her twin sister, Roselle, had made their plans: they’d stick together and work to help the family as long as they could. And she’s happy with the life she had, with her work at the Snowbell Bakery and her evenings with her family. But now that Roselle’s pursuing her dreams of higher education, Kona finds herself left behind and off balance. She knows there’s more out there — but what out there does she want?


Character art of Kona is by the lovely and talented Hannah Williams. Find more of her art on her website, Facebook, and Instagram!

Gilded in Ice

Book Description: Bastian has two new missing person cases. One is cold. The other is his own sister.

Since his success solving the Midnight Show disappearances, Bastian Dennel is sitting pretty. And with the new high-profile cold case that just got dropped in his lap, he’s pretty sure things will stay that way for a while. But when he finds out his sister has gone missing without a trace, he’s determined to find her and bring whoever’s responsible to justice — even if his only lead is a stray cat with a knack for vanishing unexpectedly.

Kona Dennel’s plans have already been upended, so when the talking cat she’d befriended asked her for help breaking an enchantment, she didn’t see any reason not to say yes. She didn’t expect to be trapped in a frozen mansion or to be drawn into conflict with a mysterious lady of the fair folk. Even the cat is hiding more secrets than she realized. It’ll take a skilled detective to untangle this web . . . but since Bastian isn’t here, Kona will just have to do it herself.

Secrets abound, and the one creature who knows the truth isn’t talking. Can Bastian and Kona outwit a fae who’s been at this for centuries? Or will thawing out the long-frozen truth drop them in over their heads?

A magical mystery reimagining Snow White and Rose Red and East of the Sun, West of the Moon in the jazz-age world of The Midnight Show.

Purchase it here!

Add it on the Goodreads

If you haven’t yet read Book 1, The Midnight Show, It’s very good and you need to rectify that omission.

Purchase Book 1

Sarah Pennington has been writing stories since before she actually knew how to write, and she has no intention of stopping anytime soon. She is perpetually in the middle of writing at least one or two novels, most of which are in the fantasy and fairy tale retelling genres. Sarah’s first published work, Blood in the Snow, received a perfect score and Special Unicorn status in Rooglewood Press’s Five Poisoned Apples contest. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys knitting, photography, and trying to conquer her massive to-be-read list. Find her online at: Author Site || WordPress Blog || Blogspot Blog || Goodreads || Facebook || Amazon

1 Comment

  1. Sarah

    Thanks for sharing! I’m so glad you enjoyed Gilded in Ice!

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