One of the more unexpected joys of Disney’s Frozen 2, which would go on to become the highest grossing animated feature of all time, was how well it deepened and expanded the mythology and mystery of the Frozen world. But a new book looks to explore those mysteries more fully. Ahead of this weekend’s virtual edition of Frozen Fan Fest (which will include, amongst other things, a trailer for the upcoming Olaf-centered short film “Once Upon a Snowman”), we are so thrilled to bring an exclusive excerpt from Frozen 2: Dangerous Secrets: The Story of Iduna and Agnarr by Mari Mancusi.
We reached out to Mancusi, who told us that Frozen fans should expect “a lot of questions you might have left over from Frozen 2.” “I think that’s just the beginning. This is more than just a prequel. It’s an extension of the Frozen universe and readers will find many themes from the films carried over into the book. Iduna and Agnarr’s story is beautiful, yet tragic and I think readers will recognize a lot of Elsa and Anna in both of them,” Mancusi explained. “Just, full warning, keep a box of tissues nearby. I still can’t read the end without tearing up and I wrote the book!”
Mancusi added: “I hope fans will fall in love with Iduna and Agnarr as much as I did when writing about them.”
Find out more about Frozen 2: Dangerous Secrets: The Story of Iduna and Agnarr during this weekend’s Frozen Fan Fest (it’ll be available everywhere on November 3). And without further ado, your exclusive excerpt:
I was on the verge of leaving when I heard a weak cry. Whirling around, my eyes widened as I spotted a crumpled figure splayed out against a large boulder. Blood seeped from a cut in the person’s head, pouring down the rock, darkening the earth below. There was so
much blood that it took me a moment to recognize him. But when I did, I gasped.
It was the boy. Agnarr. And he was badly hurt.
I glanced back at my forest. I knew I needed to return there, to our side, to find my family. To shelter in safety with them until the spirits were appeased and the battle had ceased. But what if I abandoned Agnarr and no one came for him? The crackling of the flames roared louder; the heat curled the hair on my arms. The air was filled with thick smoke. And he was in no shape to get to safety on his own.
Suddenly I heard voices calling my name from somewhere
within the forest. My family was looking for me, I realized. They sounded worried. I needed to get to them, let them know I was all right. Let them lead me to where it was safe.
But then Agnarr would die.
I stared down at him, paralyzed by indecision. He looked pale as death, but I could see his chest rise and fall with shallow breaths. He was alive, but for how long? There were no Arendellians around. Even if they were looking for him, they might not find him before he lost
too much blood. Before his lungs filled with smoke and he couldn’t breathe.
But—just maybe—I could save him.
My mind raced; I was torn. I thought back to the forest. The fighting between his people and mine. That made him an enemy, even if I didn’t know why.
I looked down at his drained face. And yet . . . he was also just a boy.
An injured boy who would die if I didn’t do something.
A tree behind me creaked, fire snapping at its limbs. A branch broke, crashing from above. On instinct, I threw myself at Agnarr, rolling him to the side just in time to avoid the fiery brand. It hit the ground where he’d been lying only seconds before, and the dry brush
around it flared up.
I inhaled deeply, making my decision. Lifting my raw voice to the sky, I sang for Gale, calling for the Wind Spirit the same way I always did. “Ah ah ah ah!”
For a moment, I heard nothing, and I began to worry the spirit was too wrapped up in whatever was happening to answer my call. But at last there was a rush of wind and a breeze that floated around me questioningly. I let out a breath of relief.
“Help us, Gale,” I begged.
The Wind Spirit obeyed, scooping both of us up into its embrace and sweeping us across the forest in a fierce rush. For a moment the boy’s eyes fluttered and I wondered if he would regain consciousness. He muttered something softly that I couldn’t quite hear, then passed
“Come on,” I said to the wind, my heart beating fast in my chest. “We have to hurry.”
Gale picked up the pace, rushing us faster away from danger. As we flew, my eyes darted around the woods, desperate to find someone—anyone—who could help us.
It was then that I saw the group of Arendellian horses and wagons, piled high with injured people hacking andsputtering, rubbing their eyes, their skin caked with soot. It appeared they were about to evacuate the area.
“There!” I pointed for Gale. “Put him down in that wagon.”
The Wind Spirit obliged, sweeping us forward and dropping us gently onto the wagon. As Agnarr’s back settled against the cart’s wood, he murmured something again. I leaned over him, trying to hear what he had to say. Suddenly, everything went dark. I reached up, surprised to find an Arendellian cloak over my head, covering almost my entire body. Gale must
have thrown it over me. But why?
Danger was approaching.
My ears pricked at the sounds of footsteps, loud, and of more than one person approaching. I held my breath, my heart pounding so hard I wondered if I’d crack a rib. The wagon rocked, as if someone had stepped onto the front of it. Then, to my horror, it began to move.
I struggled to peek out from under the cloak. I needed to jump out of the wagon while I still could. Run back to the safety of the forest. But there, riding behind the wagon, were three Arendellian soldiers armed with sharp swords.
“Do you see any of those traitors?” one of them asked the others, his eyes darting suspiciously in all directions, his voice rough from inhaling smoke.
“If I did, I wouldn’t be standing here talking to you,” stated the middle one, with dark hair in total disarray.
“I’d slash them all down where they stood.”
“I can’t believe it! We came in peace! We built them a dam! And this is how they repay us? With sorcery? Trickery?” the third shouted, his horse dancing under him as it felt his tension.
My heart panged in horror, refusing to believe the soldiers’ hateful words. We were a peaceful people. We’d welcomed the Arendellians to our land. Accepted their gift of the dam. Why would we rise up against them now? As for magic or sorcery—we didn’t have any. We usedonly the gifts given to us from the spirits. The elders had been very clear on that from the first day we met the Arendellians.
At that moment there was another gust of wind. At first I thought it was Gale, maybe rushing in to save me from my fate. Instead, a thick, heavy mist seemed to drop from the sky, settling down onto the earth like a giant wall behind us. It blocked out the forest, from sky to
ground, as far as my eyes could see. the wagons ground to a halt. The soldiers called out
in alarm, staring at the shimmering gray fog in dismay.
“More black magic!” one of them muttered, making strange patterns with his hands, as if to ward off whatever it was. “Evil sorcery!”
“Let’s get out of here,” the other barked. “Before it comes for us, too!”
My heart lurched. What was happening? My home! My family! Trapped behind some kind of wall—and I was on the wrong side. I had to return before it was too late. Or was it already too late? If I showed myself now, the soldiers might declare me a traitor. But if I didn’t, I might lose my entire world. Panic flared inside me. What should I do?
Suddenly, I felt a flutter of movement beside me. I glanced over. Agnarr had woken—though maybe not completely. He blinked, looking at me with sleepy greeneyes. For a moment our gazes locked. My heart thudded. I shook my head, glancing back at the growing mist and
letting out a small moan. Agnarr took my trembling hand in his and squeezed so lightly I could barely feel it. Yet at the same time, it was as if I could feel nothing else in the world.
“It’s going to be okay,” he whispered. With his free hand, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a small wrapped square. I opened the paper tentatively, revealing a tiny block of that brown stuff I’d tasted in the tents. Shocked, I returned my gaze to Agnarr, who smiled.
“Chocolate makes everything better,” he whispered.
Then his eyes closed again and his breathing slowed. He’d fallen back asleep. But his hand remained in my own as the wagons rolled on, away from the mist. Resigned, I settled down under my cloak, slipping the block of chocolate into my mouth. Its sweetness could only be rivaled by the warmth of Agnarr’s hand. Like it or not, I was going to Arendelle. But as to whether it would be okay?
Only Ahtohallan knows.