Monday, June 14, 2010

Review: Ice by Sarah Beth Durst

Title: Ice
Series: N/A
Book #: N/A
Author: Sarah Beth Durst
Source: Library
Published: 2009

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.

(taken from

Amber's thoughts:
Like many others, I've read other books that tell the story of the Ice Bear King and the troll castle.  Compared to the others, this retelling is filled with more romance. It also combines fantasy and adventure to spin a beautiful, magical tale. While I wouldn't say it's my favorite, it was definitely a outstanding piece of young adult literature. 

Cassie is one of the most stubborn and determined characters I've ever encountered. Brave and spunky, this girl brought the story to life. I will admit that sometimes her determination (a.k.a. pigheadedness) got on my nerves. Still, I like it when the main character has a backbone. Strong and capable, Cassie is admirable heroine. 

Much of the romance was behind the scenes. I don't want to spoil anything for those of you who haven't read it, but I wish that I could have seen more of the bond between Bear and Cassie. The bits of it that I did read about were sweet and enjoyable. The love story developed slowly into something beautiful. I thought the pacing was brilliant and made their relationship all the more believable. I mean, it wouldn't have been very realistic if Cassie immediately fell head over heels for a talking bear. Later on, Bear's devotion to Cassie helped make up for the whole "arranged marriage" bit. 

Ice is a wonderful tale of sacrifice and devotion. From the very beginning, I was drawn into the beautiful world of the Arctic and enchanted by magical castles and talking bears. For those of you that enjoy a romantic, fantastical read, this is your book. 


Unknown said...

Oh, I love the sound of this one. Almost makes me want to pick it up right now.

Alyssa Kirk said...

I agree she could get a bit annoying and the quest went on a bit long for me, but overall I too thought this was pretty good!

Unknown said...

oh this reminds me of the polar bear king it was a movie in the 90s i think i used to watch as a kid. Sounds Good !
Jessica’s Vision

Eliza Mellark said...

I've never the Ice Bear King and troll castle, and the blurb made me skeptical. Then I read your review, and it may have convinced me to read it ;)