Blessed—or cursed—with an ability to understand animals, the Lass (as she’s known to her family) has always been an oddball. And when an isbjorn (polar bear) seeks her out, and promises that her family will become rich if only the Lass will accompany him to his castle, she doesn’t hesitate. But the bear is not what he seems, nor is his castle, which is made of ice and inhabited by a silent staff of servents. Only a grueling journey on the backs of the four winds will reveal the truth: the bear is really a prince who’s been enchanted by a troll queen, and the Lass must come up with a way to free him before he’s forced to marry a troll princess.
Beth says 5 Stars...
Maybe I'm a little bit biased because I adored another one of George's books. I had extremely high expectations for this one, and was not disappointed at all. I'll be honest and say that I really didn't know a great deal about the actual fairy tale when I picked up the book, but after I finished it I had to find out more. George stays true to the fairy tale and just flushes it out, creating a much richer and more vibrant world than before. Everything becomes so much deeper and three dimensional, with the original story a part of a greater whole. The writing was just as I expected; beyond lovely and enthralling. The icy and sparse world was rendered so beautifully that it felt both barren and glorious. I was able to picture things so vividly.
The characters were interesting, particularly those that were not human. I loved the mythology of the trolls and bears, and felt that it was well explained for the length of the book. Also, I enjoyed that it was revealed over time and not dumped in all at once. Other authors should take note of this novel technique (bad pun, I know). The only thing that I can see detering some readers is the stilted and somewhat formal language, particularly in the dialogue. I think that it works very well to create distance between the world of the book and the world of the reader, but I can see it being a little bit of a problem for some people.
Overall I thought this book was great. I'm really excited about George's new book and can't wait to pick it up. It'll be interesting to compare this to Ice by Sarah Beth Durst (which I have) because it seems that they took the story in completely different directions. I'd recommend this to anyone looking for a bit of magic and glacial beauty this winter.
Book from Library