Author: Jessica Day George
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pub Date: January 2008, Bloomsbury USA
Source: Received as a gift
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Blessed—or cursed—with an ability to understand animals, the Lass (as she’s known to her family) has always been an oddball. And when an isbjorn (polar bear) seeks her out, and promises that her family will become rich if only the Lass will accompany him to his castle, she doesn’t hesitate. But the bear is not what he seems, nor is his castle, which is made of ice and inhabited by a silent staff of servants. Only a grueling journey on the backs of the four winds will reveal the truth: the bear is really a prince who’s been enchanted by a troll queen, and the Lass must come up with a way to free him before he’s forced to marry a troll princess.
I really do enjoy Jessica Day George's books. She has such a way of storytelling that makes it almost impossible for me to put her books down -- of course, there are the demands of the rest of my life that prohibit me from reading for hours on end! Once again, George is retelling a fairy tale -- this time it is the Nordic legend East of the Sun, West of the Moon. I was not at all familiar with this legend before reading this book, but that in no way kept me from enjoying how George brought this story to life.
If I had to put my finger on just what it is about George's stories that I like so much, I think there is just some inherent magical quality to her writing. Perhaps it is that fairytale-like, happily-ever-after element, but her books always seem to resonate with me, no matter what the particular story is. I will say this book started off just a little slow for me, as I had to gain a better understanding of the characters and the Norwegian influences. But once events really started moving, this story was very easy to get lost in.
I absolutely can't wait for my daughter to reach an age where she can read George's books. I know I would have loved them as a Tween/Young Adult. They are so imaginative -- the stuff dreams are made of, if you will. One helpful feature that I wish I had known about as I was reading is that there is a helpful glossary of Norwegian terms. If you decide to give this book a try, be sure to keep the place marked for quick reference!
Overall, if you have enjoyed any other books by Jessica Day George or perhaps Shannon Hale, I think you won't be disappointed by Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow. No one quite reimagines fairytales like Jessica Day George does!