The Snow Queen
This is the latest offering in Mercedes Lackey's Five Hundred Kingdoms series, and in addition was the first book in the last couple of months that I've read and couldn't put down.
As with all of the series, The Snow Queen looks at a particular fairytale or fairytale convention from an unusual point of view: That of the magical agent who enables the tale and gives us the happy ending, be it a Fairy Godmother, sorceress or some other magical figure. As a result, the story is filled with all of the details and thought needed to have the situation be resolved and the characters involved come out as better people.
Unlike some of the other books in the series, such as The Fairy Godmother (the very first book in the series), I couldn't outright identify the fairytale the story is centered on this time. Not that it mattered, The Snow Queen was definitely a very good read. I'm just kind of curious, because the last book had elements of Russian tales and also bits from Japan and the Middle-East incorporated into the story.
The whole series is one where the magical system is well thought out and makes sense as a coherent whole, but also leaves room for new things to be shown in upcoming books as well.
Perhaps The Snow Queen isn't the highest of literature, but it was a good read regardless, of the sort where you know there will be a happy ending. The question is, "how is it going to get to that happy ending?" I certainly enjoyed finding out the answer.