Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ice by Sarah Beth Durst

Ice, by Sarah Beth Durst is a retelling of one of my favorite fairy tales: East of the Sun, West of the Moon. In this version, Cassie is a young woman working with her father in an arctic research station near the North Pole. She's grown up hearing the fairy tale of how her mother was the North Wind's daughter, and when she fell in love, the Polar Bear King tried to hide her from the North Wind. When the Wind found her, he whisked her away to the land of the trolls.

Now Cassie's understanding is that this is a stand-in story for her mother's death, until one day she meets an enormous polar bear, and her understanding of the way the world works, and her own place in it, will be put to the test.


It took me a little while to get into Cassie's super-scientific mindset, but when I did, I unreservedly loved this book. Although it could easily be aimed at middle-level readers, there is enough depth of characters and plot to appeal to more mature readers, as well. I also really loved Durst's reinterpretation of the trolls and their place in the story (as someone who enjoys more ambiguous "bad guys"). I only wished for another chapter or two at the end! It was a 2009 Andre Norton Award finalist, as well, if my review isn't enough to convince you!

Read more about Sarah Beth Durst and her other fairy tale books at her website.

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