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review: “ice” October 6, 2009

Posted by Katie in reviews.
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Ice by Sarah Beth Durst.
Margaret K. McElderry // Hardcover // 320 pages.
Reviewed from Hardcover provided by the publisher.

Cassie’s always heard her grandmother tell the story of her mother and the Polar Bear King — how her mother made a deal with him and it backfired, leaving her swept away by the winds. And she’s always believed that it was a fairy tale, meant to warm the nights in Alaska. Until one day, Cassie sees a polar bear magically disappear before her eyes and the veil between her world and the fairy tale world melts away.

I have a confession to make. I actually liked this book more than the “Into the Wild” and “Out of the Wild,” Durst’s first two YA novels. And I didn’t think that I would. I wondered how Durst would be able to create a likable character out of Bear, and that there might be an awkwardness to Cassie and Bear’s relationship.

Cassie’s a smart, likable, capable heroine in the true style of Tamora Pierce’s heroines. (Throw-back to my youth, guys!) I never felt sorry for her because I knew she’d figure it out, that she would be able to change her own circumstances and rise up on top. So, the book didn’t hold as much tension or suspense as I thought it might. That’s okay. I liked being as ease with Cassie leading the way and taking my time with the book.

The re-telling of “East of the Sun and West of the Moon” is wonderfully re-imagined and seamless. The modernization of the world adds a new dimension to the fairy tale, one that today’s YA readers will easily relate to before falling into the fairy tales aspects.

Fairy tale re-tellings are becoming a popular trend in YA literature, and libraries should definitely add “Ice” to their booklists and shelves.

SWAN Catalog
Sarah Beth Durst




1. historyofshe - October 6, 2009

Ooo! Interesting! I loved the Tamora Pierce Protector of the Small series. Your mention of her makes me want to reread them!

2. Jen - Devourer of Books - October 9, 2009

I feel like I’ve been seeing this all over, it looks good!

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