cecilia's Reviews > Ice

Ice by Sarah Beth Durst
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Feb 05, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: blue-covers, unique-covers, faces-covers, favorite-covers
Read in January, 2009

ICE is a well-crafted fairy tale retelling of East Of The Sun, West Of The Moon that blends together reality and fantasy in a way that left me breathless. I would easily re-read this again to catch the nuances and understand the fairy tale world that Sarah Beth Durst has built from what I assume to be Eskimo mythology. The Polar Bear King is actually a munaqsri, which can be described as a soul caretaker who retrieves souls from the dying and delivers it to the newborn. Every living thing has a munaqsri, but a munaqsri can only do so much and cannot be in all places all the time. Hence, there is always the possibility of losing the soul if you arrive too late at a death or losing a newborn because you do not have any soul to give.

The relationship between Cassie and Bear was wonderful to watch as they came to terms with each other. Bear always knew he would marry Cassie when she came of age, but he did not anticipate her strong will and stubbornness. On the other hand, Cassie had to accept the fairy tale possibility and also come to terms with marrying a polar bear whose human face she has been forbidden to see. Bear was incredibly patient, and Cassie was very adorably stubborn.

They had great chemistry, and my heart melted when Cassie finally admits that she does indeed love Bear. When she loses Bear to the trolls, Cassie sets out on an impossible rescue mission without knowing where the ends of the world might be or how to even get there.

There is so much packed into ICE that I am actually tempted to re-read it again because I'm getting really excited :D The richness in detail both real and fantastic, the strong heroine who runs to save her love, the supporting cast who brought both humor and terror to the story, the amazing ending that ties everything together in an unexpected way - I highly recommend ICE to any fairy-tale fanatics, especially if you enjoy Robin McKinley's Beauty retellings!
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