I didn't expect the quality of the prose or the depth of the writing to be equal to those of Jane Austen, but I did expect them to be as good as one w...moreI didn't expect the quality of the prose or the depth of the writing to be equal to those of Jane Austen, but I did expect them to be as good as one would expect from any standard work of writing for adults. In this I was disappointed. Still, it was a somewhat entertaining read. It seemed kind of pointless that so much of it was the exact same events told in Emma but less eloquently from the perspective of someone else in the same room (although at least, since Jane Austen thought of them, they make an interesting story), but the events and characters that were unique to this book were more interesting. I did enjoy seeing how Mr. Knightly might have come to realize his feelings for Emma, and I enjoyed the sweet (if improbable) relationship for one of the few characters from Emma who doesn't end up married in that book. It's not a great book, or even a really good one, but it was an easy and somewhat enjoyable read. I plan to read at least one other book in the series (if you can call it a series), with the hope that it will diverge a bit more from what Austen already showed us, but even if it doesn't it will still probably be pleasant.(less)
I loved this book. It's a well written and interesting story of great quests, of forbidden love, of magic, of medieval Iceland, and of people who don'...moreI loved this book. It's a well written and interesting story of great quests, of forbidden love, of magic, of medieval Iceland, and of people who don't even know how lonely they are until they find each other. I found this enjoyable and easy to read, and the story was entertaining, moving, and satisfying.
Ice Land tells a few intertwining stories from different points of view, all of which eventually end up as one story, taking place in Iceland in AD 1000, when the people and the culture of the land were in the middle of a great change. The heroine and narrator is the Norse g-ddess Freya, who goes on a quest for a magical necklace that she hopes will allow her to save her people and her land from the danger she feels is coming. Fulla is a beautiful young girl whose grandfather is desperate to arrange an advantageous marriage for her, although she longs to marry for love. Dvalin is trying to help his sister--even though doing what she asks of him means a perilous journey to face what he dreads--and trying to find peace and enjoyment in the life he has half chosen and half been forced into. Meanwhile, Mount Hekla in southern Iceland is rumbling...
The alternative points of view did jar me at first, especially because one of them, Freya's, is a first person narration, while the others are the odd combination of third person and present tense. But I quickly got used to it, and it was no problem. The writing is very good and clear and the dialogue is modern and understandable without being so undeniably current that it takes you out of the story. There are interesting and sympathetic characters with depth, good characterization, and realistic and understandable motivations. The setting of the scene is done well; the story truly felt like it took place in the past and I could easily picture the Iceland in which these people lived.
Ice Land is a great and different take on a Norse myth, with much more depth, detail, passion, interest, and humanity than the surviving story (reading it made me get out a book of Norse mythology to compare). It's also a great look at life in medieval Iceland at a time when the old religion and Christianity were facing off, an exciting fantasy adventure story, and a very satisfying love story. (less)