Monday, October 5, 2009

Ice by Sarah Beth Durst

I referenced Sarah Beth Durst's new book, Ice, a few months ago when highly recommending her fun commentaries on fairy tales available on her website at Obscure Fairy Tales.

Well, tomorrow is the official release date for Ice so now is the time to give it its own post. First of all, Ice is a retelling of East of the Sun, West of the Moon, a favorite fairy tale of many and very popular with authors since its length and content provides so much imagination fodder.

Unfortunately, I haven't read the book yet, although I am a big enough fan to have preordered it and it arrived late on Friday. My weekend did not accommodate getting a single book read despite my hopes otherwise. I have started it and can easily say this will be one of my favorite novelizations of the popular tale. (And, yes, there have been a few retellings of this tale in recent years.) The modern setting, the incorporation of science, the light touch of humor and a few other surprises along the way made the book highly readable.

Here's the official description from the publisher:

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.

Sarah has an excerpt for reading on her website.

The reviews from Booklist and Kirkus, as well as other authors and online reviewers, are positive. So what are you waiting for? Go find a copy to read.

Of course, if you haven't read them, I highly recommend Durst's clever and fun books, Into the Wild and Out of the Wild. Those use fairy tale tropes and storylines and star Rapunzel's daughter. (Out of the Wild is also temporarily bargain priced in hardcover for those wanting to try it.)

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