Unnamed and rejected by her mother, a girl (known as the lass) jumps at the chance to leave her meager home after a great white bear offers her a deal: if she accompanies him to his ice palace for a year and a day, he will reward her and her family with wealth. At the palace, she is waited on by an odd assortment of creatures, including salamanders and a selkie, but there are sinister undercurrents beneath the luxury, leading to a series of horrifying deaths. George has adapted Norse myths and fairy tales to create this eerily beautiful, often terrifying world in which animals talk, trolls marry humans only to destroy them, and weather forces are actual characters. Mystery, adventure, the supernatural, and a touch of love are woven together to create a vivid, well-crafted, poetic fantasy for readers who have enjoyed works by Robin McKinley and Esther Friesner or who are ready to move from Gail Carson Levine’s fairy-tale adaptations to more sophisticated fare.
I love this book, for more than just being awesome. The reason I love it is because of the fairy tale it is based off of. The fairy tale is called 'East of the Sun, West of the Moon', and I had never heard of it before I read this book. For all of you who have never heard of it, here is a short sumerization: Nameless girl goes with bear to save her family from poverty, someone sleeps with her each night, finds out it is bear, goes east of the sun and west of the moon to save him from the troll queen. And now on to the book.
When she was born a girl, our protagonist's mother doesn't name her. And as it is the mothers job to name children, she is just called 'Lass'. Living in an impoverished family, she agrees to live with a poler bear, or isbjorn, for a year. She travels on his back to his palace. Every night someone sleeps in her bed. When she finds out it is the isbjorn, turned human at night, the troll princess kidnaps him. Lass must then travel east of the sun, west of the moon to save him. (hmmm, that sounds a lot linke the original tale.)
With mystery, romance, adventure, fantasy, and a 'Beauty and the Beast' feel this is a wonderful book. And I mean, come on, who wouldn't want to ride a polar bear?
|I want it!!!!!|
|We own this picture, except bigger|
Sensuality: Mild (even though someone sleeps with her the bed is REALLY big)
Adult themes: Death, love