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The Compulsive Reader: Ice by Sarah Beth Durst

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Ice by Sarah Beth Durst


Cassie Dasent has always lived in the remote Arctic research station where her father is a scientist studying the movement of polar bears. She loves the cold and ice and never wants to leave, but on her eighteenth birthday, her father and grandmother try to make her do just that. But before they can whisk her off to Alaska, a gigantic speaking polar bear approaches her, luring her away toward the North Pole with tales of fairy tales and a mother who really isn't dead. Cassie is hesitant, but soon she finds herself on an amazing adventure around the top of the world, risking everything for those that she loves.

Sarah Beth Durst's novel Ice is one of the most engaging, imaginative retellings of the old fairy tale East of Sun, West of the Moon around. Durst mixes breathtaking magic and wonders with modern day technology and conveniences to craft an unexpected, entertaining, and engrossing tale of love, friendship, and sacrifice that is both adventurous and romantic. Cassie is a daring, obstinate character who is hesitant at first when it comes to love, but when her true love is wrenched away from her, she confronts the obstacles facing her head on, and tirelessly works to get him back, learning the true meaning of love, both familial and romantic, in the process. Ice is as much a fairy tale as it is Cassie's coming-of-age as she balances a myth-like romance with modern day values and ideas.

Durst also employs the use of spectacular and beautiful imagery to describe the brutality and the majestic beauty of the Arctic, and even the boreal forests south of the land of ice. Her words capture the danger, the excitement, and the exhilaration of adventure and true love, making for a spectacular, unusual read you will never want to finish. I simply adored this book, and cannot wait for Durst’s next one.

Cover Comments: I simply adore this cover. The blues in it are gorgeous, and I love the contrast of Cassie's hair. Though you can't really see it in the photo, in real life the cover has a very neat iridescent finish that makes it look even more magical and snow-like. This is a perfect, beautiful cover, and the picture to the left doesn't do it justice.

8 comments:

Rhiannon Hart said...

So glad you liked it! I just bought this one and can't wait to read it.

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

This sounds really good. I love reading fairytale retellings. You got me sold.

Angiegirl said...

Thanks for this great review. I'm intrigued as I'm still on the hunt for the perfect retelling of this fairy tale. Have read a few and have yet to find it. Looking forward to checking this one out!

celi.a said...

I can't wait to read this one! Great review - very lyrical in and of itself. :)

Rivka said...

Ah! Totally excited about this - that is swiftly becoming my favorite of all fairy tales, and I am devouring all the retellings of it I can find ... Super-super excited!!!

Emily said...

I'm so excited about reading this book after seeing it spoken of so highly. I think it's going to find it's way onto my Christmas list actually. Great review!

Lana said...

I enjoyed Ice as well - I loved the descriptions of the Arctic and the ice castle. And while I found Cassie's obstinacy a bit tiresome at times (how often can you simply demand from magical beings that they help you and have them say yes with no wrangling for something in return?), I did love her determination in remaining her own person within her love story and in finding Bear. She definitely had grit!

I enjoyed your review, so I've linked to it here.

Anonymous said...

A retelling of the story of east of the sun and west of the moon that I loved was called East. If you liked Ice than you will like East by Edith Pattou. I haven't read Ice yet, but I definitely plan to.