Published by Bloomsbury Australia on December 10, 2013
Genres: Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
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When a great white bear promises untold riches to her family, the Lass (as she's known) agrees to go away with him. But the bear is not what he seems, nor is his castle. To unravel the mystery, the Lass sets out on a windswept journey beyond the edge of the world. Based on the Nordic legend East of the Sun, West of the Moon, with romantic echoes of Beauty and the Beast, this re-imagined story will leave fans of fantasy and fairytale enchanted.
Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow is a fairy tale set in a snowy Norwegian village featuring an ice palace, enchanted bears, and a girl without a name who can talk to creatures. Inspired by Norwegian folklore and the fairy tale titled East o’ the Sun and West o’ the Moon, Jessica Day George takes us on a magical adventure full of fantasy, talking creatures, trolls and a Princely romance.
The story starts out at a Woodcutter’s house where we’re introduced to the ninth child of the family who is simply referred to as pika (which means girl) or lass. Disappointed by her birth, the parents didn’t even bother to name her. One day, she discovers that she can speak with her wolf Rollo and understand him, and this becomes known far and wide. They are visited by an enchanted polar bear who promises wealth for her family, in exchange for the girl to live at his ice palace for 1 year. So they set out to live in the ice palace for a year, where she uncovers mysteries and secrets.
The sheer beauty of the writing is breath taking, with an enchanting, poetic quality about it. It is atmospheric and whimsical, adding vivid scenery to the magical world that its set in. We are taken through fantasty scenarios including a Woodcutter’s house filled with nine children, mountains full of snow, an ice palace with fantasy creatures as servants, and a troll-filled palace.
Wind does not need translation. It speaks the language of men, of animals and birds, of rocks and trees and earth and sky and water. It does not eat or sleep, or take shelter from the weather. It is the weather. And it lives.
The girl is largely unremarkable, she is curious and makes silly mistakes like not heeding the warnings told to her by the palace inhabitants. She flies to a troll palace all on her own and places herself at risk. There isn’t much that is memorable about her, aside from her ability to speak to animals and attachment with her wolf companion.
While I enjoyed the magical, enchanting tale, the romance was definitely under developed and could have been done better. Simply because there’s a prince, he has to be handsome and fall in love with her, even though they barely talk to each other throughout the book. It wouldn’t be a fairy tale without this however, I just didn’t want to be shocked when “I love you” spilled out.
I’ve never heard of the original tale it was based off before, but thoroughly enjoyed the wintery, snowy atmosphere in this fairy tale. The magnificent landscapes, magical creatures and whimsical writing takes you to another place and I would recommend Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow to anyone who loves a good fairy tale.
Thank you to Bloomsbury Australia for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.
Rating: 3 out of 5