Friday, December 18, 2009

Book review: Ice by Sarah Beth Durst

Ice by Sarah Beth Durst
Pages(hardcover): 308
Published: October 2009
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Reading Level: Young Adult

Description from Goodreads:
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.
My opinion of this book:

First of all Ice must have one of the most beautiful covers ever! I just love it, and the picture don't do justice to the cover it's even prettier in reality.

I guess I'm a bit slow for not noticing that Sarah Beth Durst actually got her inspiration for Ice from the Norwegian folktale East of the Sun, West of the Moon. I actually did not know that this story was much know outside of Norway, but I guess I was wrong *blushing* So the inspiration for the story was well known to me and I enjoyed the twists and elements(some from Inuit/Eskimo myths nicely weaves into the story) Sarah Beth Durst had done to to make Ice her own story.

I'm not a big fan of ice and cold but the descriptions in Ice almost made me believe that I loved it(that's a pretty great achievement by the author). To illustrate here's a description from the first page in Ice:

Ice crystals spun in the Arctic air. Sparkling in the predawn light, they looked like diamond dust.
One cannot help but fall for Durst's wonderful character the Bear King, named Bear. Bear is no ordinary polar bear king(if that at all qualifies for ordinary), he is also their munaqsri. And yes, before you ask munaqsri is a real word, it's A munaqsri is a giver and a taker of souls, he gives souls to the newborn and takes souls from the dying. That means that Bear has a great responsibility, if something happens to him what will happen to all the polar bears?

Sadly I have to say that I didn't quite connect with the,Cassie, the way I hoped to. I enjoy having a strong emotional tie to the maincharaters when I'm reading a story. Cassie actually annoyed me at times. Why, oh' why couldn't she just do as I wanted her to do? LOL.

I enjoyed reading the book and there were some twist and turns so I never was really sure how this story would end. I actually shed a few tears during the last few pages. Why do you say? Oh no, my lips are sealed!

The first thing that sprung to mind while reading Ice was the Norwgian film from 1991 called The Polar Bear King, I actually remember seeing it on the cinema with my sister and my parents. Not sure how many out there who have seen it so here's a little taste(they speak English):

My rating of this book:
3.5 out of 5 stars.
If you have reviewed this book let me know and I'll post a link to your review below.
Want another opinion on this book? Check out these reviews below:
  • Wondrous Reads: "Ice is a magical, compelling story that is perfect for reading in the middle of a snow-filled winter." 

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