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128 pages, Hardcover
First published January 1, 1980
Take me away, take me to the land of always-winter.
The ice dragon was a crystalline white, that shade of white that is so hard and cold that it is almost blue. It was covered with hoarfrost, so when it moved its skin broke and crackled as the crust on the snow crackles beneath a man's boots, and flakes of rime fell off.So Adara and the Ice Dragon, these two creatures of winter, form a special relationship over several winters. That is, until the outside world in the form of the ongoing war changes circumstances forever and Adara is forced to make some very difficult and life-changing decisions.
Its eyes were clear and deep and icy. Its wings were vast and bat-like, colored all a faint translucent blue. Adara could see the clouds through them, and oftentimes the moon and stars, when the beast wheeled in frozen circles through the skies. Its teeth were icicles, a triple row of them, jagged spears of unequal length, white against its deep blue maw.
When the ice dragon beat its wings, the cold winds blew and the snow swirled and scurried and the world seemed to shrink and shiver. Sometimes when a door flew open in the cold of winter, driven by a sudden gust of wind, the householder would run to bolt it and say, "An ice dragon flies nearby."
And when the ice dragon opened its great mouth, and exhaled, it was not fire that came streaming out, the burning sulfurous stink of lesser dragons. The ice dragon breathed cold. Ice formed when it breathed. Warmth fled. Fires guttered and went out, shriven by the chill. Trees froze through to their slow secret souls, and their limbs turned brittle and cracked from their own weight. Animals turned blue and whimpered and died, their eyes bulging and their skin covered over with frost.
The ice dragon breathed death into the world; death and quiet and cold.