Sunday, December 22, 2013

Review: Ice

Title - Ice
Author - Sarah Beth Durst
Genre - YA Fairy Tale/ Re-telling
Published - October 6th 2009
Publisher - Margaret K. McElderry Books
Format - Kindle


When Cassie was a little girl, her grandmother told her a fairy tale about her mother, who made a deal with the Polar Bear King and was swept away to the ends of the earth. Now that Cassie is older, she knows the story was a nice way of saying her mother had died. Cassie lives with her father at an Arctic research station, is determined to become a scientist, and has no time for make-believe.

Then, on her eighteenth birthday, Cassie comes face-to-face with a polar bear who speaks to her. He tells her that her mother is alive, imprisoned at the ends of the earth. And he can bring her back — if Cassie will agree to be his bride.

That is the beginning of Cassie's own real-life fairy tale, one that sends her on an unbelievable journey across the brutal Arctic, through the Canadian boreal forest, and on the back of the North Wind to the land east of the sun and west of the moon. Before it is over, the world she knows will be swept away, and everything she holds dear will be taken from her — until she discovers the true meaning of love and family in the magical realm of Ice.


I’ve been curious about Ice for a while and with the holidays decided it would be a perfect time to read it. Cassie lives in the arctic with dreams of being a researcher of polar bears. All her life growing up Cassie’s grandmother told her stories about her mother, talking polar bears, far off castles, and trolls. Cassie had no idea the stories are real until she encounters the largest polar bear on record. When her grandmother attempts to take her off to Fairbanks away from the bear Cassie heads off into the arctic to confront him.

When he tells her that her mother is alive she makes the deal that will change her life forever. Heading off with the bear to be his bride living in his ice castle she doesn’t expect to be happy but she is. At first she expected to only stay long enough for him to save her mother but she soon starts caring for Bear. As he spends his days on the ice taking care of the real bears Cassie starts to get lonely. When he returns she asks him to take her home.  Returning to her home is bittersweet while her mother has returned Cassie doesn’t know her and soon misses Bear. When she figures out a way he can save more bears she sneaks out returning to her life with him determined to go on the ice with him.

Cassie’s life with Bear is about perfect she even agrees to let him sleep in their bed. Things are great for the two until the night when she decides to sneak a look at his human form. Bear has refused to reveal his true look but hasn’t told her why. When he finds her looking at him he tells her he must leave it was part of his terms with the trolls to free her mother. Now he must marry the troll princess. Determine to have her Polar Bear King once more Cassie heads off for the castle east of the sun west of the moon.

Cassie is one of those characters you can really connect with and fall in love with. Bear comes off as a great guy even if he does have a furry coat but it’s for a real reason not some creepiness. Cassie finds her soul-mate in an unlikely way and risks her life to bring him back to her. Cassie does meet a few characters who frustrated me a little but they were meaning well.

I’ve always been a huge fan of the East of the Sun, West of the Moon fairy tale so when one of my favorite authors wrote her own retelling I knew I had to pick up a copy. I really enjoyed Cassie’s character she was easy to connect with I couldn’t help cheering her on as she travelled to the castle. Plus what’s not to love about Bear he’s the good guy just doing the right thing in love with Cassie. The author has introduced a couple unique concepts into the story which I really enjoyed. I think the whole idea for the trolls is awesome but I won’t spill what it is. I also like the idea of the polar bear being a munaqsri which is a being who gives souls to those born and takes from those who pass away. I thought the concept for the book was very well done. The author has created a beautiful story filled with action, adventure, romance and troll princess. Ice is a clean book teens as well as adults will enjoy. Plus anyone who loved the fairy tale East of the Sun, West of the Moon this is a must read. I loved the book and I know I’ll be reading it again. 
5 out of 5 stars

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