I have read several different retelling of the traditional “East of the Sun, West of the Moon” fairytale (also known as the Eros and Psyche myth), the most notable ones being East by Edith Pattou and Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George. This myth is one that really works for me. Now, having read Ice by Sarah Beth Durst, I’ve found another really great retelling of the story.
Ice is the most modern take on the traditional story that I’ve read so far. Cassie lives with her father who is a scientist at an Arctic research base. She’s spent her entire life on the ice, and she knows no other “normal home.” Ever since she was a little girl, her grandmother told her a story about how her mother made a deal with the Polar Bear King and was swept away, never to be found again. As Cassie grows up, she understands that this was just a nice way for her grandmother and father to tell her that her mother had died in a tragic accident.
Then, on her eighteenth birthday, Cassie spots the most impressive polar bear she’s ever seen out on the ice, and sets off in chase of it in order to tranquilize it and tag it for research. However, her world is completely shattered when the polar bear speaks to her and tells her that he is the Polar Bear King, and that her mother is still alive, trapped at the ends of the earth. He will rescue her mother on the condition that Cassie agrees to become his bride.
I very much enjoyed Ice. At first, I wasn’t too sure about Cassie as our protagonist. I didn’t like her all that much, but once the adventure really got under way I thought she was a great heroine.
The romance was nicely paced and through it, the reader really got to know the personalities of both Cassie and Bear. I thought it was romantic, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and altogether very well done.
Great new take on a traditional story.
How did I get this novel? From the library
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Fairytales, Romance
Author Website: http://www.sarahbethdurst.com/