Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Traveling to Teens Tour- Ice by Sarah Beth Durst
Ice by Sarah Beth Durst
"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."-summary from Amazon
Durst's latest fairy tale offering is very different from her previous two books. This retelling is more atmospheric and darker in tone than the Wild stories, and it's a fantastic and compelling read. The prose is so descriptive, but never overly so or too flowery or boring; every bit of it is necessary and helps to create this wonderful world for Cassie's adventure. While I've never heard of the original tale, that doesn't really matter here and I still really enjoyed the novel. Cassie is a strong, capable, and witty heroine and one that readers can look up to and root for; the emotions she goes through before and during her journey are realistic and really pulled me into the story and into her shoes.
The ending though is a bit rushed and abrupt, and of course, being a fairy tale retelling, predictable as well. But the predictability doesn't take away from the reading at all because throughout the novel, there's always the HOW that needs to be answered and it's a doozy. It's definitely not something I expected to happen and it was just amazing to follow along on Cassie's adventures. I do wish more time had been spent on the ending and giving the reader a bit more time to come out of this world after the climax. It seems like the climax happens and then boom! the story's over and I'm not fully prepared for it.
This is also a book I could totally see as a movie and I so hope it gets optioned. It's a wonderful, breath-taking novel and with a blurb from YA fantasy queen Tamora Pierce, how can you go wrong?
PS This is my 200th post here! YAY!! :)