Monday, September 15, 2014

Review : Ice by Sarah Beth Durst

*Warning: This review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Publication date: 10.6.2009

Pages: 320

Source: Own

The Story:

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.

via -- Barnes & Noble

RatingFOUR Gold Stars!!!

My Review: One word: MAGICAL

Next to story involving werewolves/wolf-shifters, I love retellings of fairy tales. And Ice is a retelling of one of my favorites, The Polar Bear King. Sarah Beth Durst's writing is enticing and sucks you in while being able to maintain the fairy tale with a new twist.

I love it!

Cassandra "Cassie" Dasent lives in a Arctic research station with her father, head scientist, and remembers the fairy tale about the Polar Bear King that her grandmother would tell her. But being of scientific mind, she doesn't believe or have time to play make-believe. Until, her 18th birthday hits and everything changes.

"Once upon a time, the North Wind said to the Polar Bear King, 'Steal me a daughter, and when she grows, she will be your bride'" [page ix].

Then again, that will happen when you start having conversations with a polar bear. Who speaks back. And knows who she is.

All along Cassie has believed her mother to be dead until the polar bear informs her of otherwise. He tells Cassie that he can bring her mother back, on one condition: Cassie must agree to leave her family behind to live one mile north of the North Pole and be the Polar Bear King's wife.

"I am the polar bear," he said, "and you are my bride" [page 30].

With an escape plan in place, Cassie agrees to marry the Polar Bear King so that she may bring her mother home and run off at first chance. Only, after spending time in Bear's castle, her means to an end becomes a months-long stay. Cassie never expected it to be so comfortable and easy with Bear. She never expected all the wonders of his world to be so enticing.

As the days turn into weeks, weeks into months, Cassie finds it increasingly easier to find excuses not to return back to the research station where her father and the mother - she did not even know and for whom she risked her freedom - wait for her. For starters, Cassie is still pissed at her father for the deception around what actually happened to her mother.

Settling into the Bear's breathtaking ice castle seems easy at first, until Cassie begins to question everything. Everything she thought she knew, everything she thought she wanted. Restless and lacking purpose, Cassie's resolve to return to her family strengthened -- running home where she thinks all the answers are. But leaving Bear behind is not as simple a task as she thought it would be.

After deciding to leave home once again, Cassie returns to the ice castle and gives Bear another chance. Maybe together as a team, she can find the purpose she needs to stay. But even with the most well-laid plans, inevitable hitches can set them off track.

After breaking a promise to the Polar Bear King, Cassie's world is once again turn on its head. Alone and not knowing who she can trust, she must find a way to make amends. Brave and persistent, Cassie must embark on a hard going trek across the Canadian forest and on the back of the North Wind against conniving creatures and wicked, yearning trolls ... while she must also take a journey of growth, test of will and to get back what she has lost. Pushed to the limits Cassie will stop at nothing to make things right.

Easily, Ice has made my Fave List. If you are a fan of fairy tales or a story with some magic, Ice is for you.

***Check out Sarah Beth Durst's website for more information about her and the Ice: HERE

Happy Reading!


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