I was one of those kids who stayed up late on a school night, desperately trying to finish a book by the light of my GameBoy Advanced Worm Light. Few books have left me with that feeling in adulthood and yet with Dangerous Secrets: The Story of Iduna and Agnarr I found myself transported back to my childhood, flipping through the pages and tearing up (more than once) after midnight on a Tuesday night.
Dangerous Secrets is a New Classic Disney Fairytale Romance
Dueling narratives is no easy feat, yet Mari Mancusi manages to capture the two distinct voices and effortlessly moves between their points of view. We know so little about Elsa and Anna’s parents from the movies, but Mancusi brings them to life in new ways, creating a story that is equal parts love and longing and acceptance and responsibility. You can even pinpoint key traits from Iduna and Agnarr that we eventually find in their daughters.
Iduna is brave and strong, but bound by the concepts of duty like Elsa; whereas, Prince Agnarr is idealistic, driven by love, and hopeful like their daughter Anna. There are mentions of eating chocolate, playing in trees, and exploring hidden rooms and mountain peaks. Mancusi masterfully crafts two characters that you can easily imagine as the parents of beloved characters.
Conceal, don’t feel is a consistent sentiment throughout the novel for both characters. Iduna must conceal her fears about her secret being discovered, while Agnarr must conceal his true feelings for Iduna while faced with the prospect of a loveless marriage to another. I cannot fully express just how tangible the yearning was, but I yearn for more young adult books to write yearning as well as Mancusi does. Their love story spans decades and this book conveys it with such grace and skill, that Readers will find themselves hooked from the first few pages.
While Dangerous Secrets was clearly designed to fill in the backstory of Anna and Elsa’s parents, it has been crafted in such a way that it can exist as its own standalone. It may have a tragic ending, but Iduna and Agnarr make for such steadfast and loving protagonists that I can easily imagine their story becoming a child’s favorite fairytale among a shelf of classics.
Dangerous Secrets is a must-read for fans of Frozen and lovers of fairytale romances alike. Mari Mancusi has expertly transferred the world of Arendelle to the page and created something truly magical in the process. Iduna and Agnarr’s romance deserve a place alongside Belle and the Beast, Snow White and her Prince, and Cinderella and Prince Charming.