Review : Ice

Ice by Sarah Beth Durst
Pages : 308
Genre : YA, Fantasy
Stand Alone
My Rating :

What it’s about :

On the day of her 18th birthday, Cassie comes face to face with a talking bear who makes her the following deal : if she’ll agree to marry him, he will bring back her mother, imprisoned away since Cassie has been a kid. Cassie has no idea what she’s in for when she says yes; in the following months, her life will be turned upside down more than once, taking her across the Arctic and testing her will in many ways.

Magical. Enchanting. Breathtaking. Adventurous. Surprising. Poetic.

Those are only few of the many words I could use to describe my experience of Ice. I loved, loved, LOVED it – even more because I hadn’t expected to.

I discovered Ice last year, reading reviews of it on various blogs, and thought it looked interesting enough. I still had some doubts it was a book for me though, as I am a very capricious reader when it comes to fairy tales. I’m not sure why, but not all re-tellings work well for me. Plus, talking animals, when written seriously, have a tendency to come off as ridiculous (to me, anyway), so it was with great skepticism that I pulled Ice from the bottom of my TBR pile.

From the start I loved Cassie. She’s the kind of main character I enjoy : she’s strong, not whiny, intelligent. She has a head on her shoulders and is ready to do anything for those she care about. She’s dedicated in a way that is admirable, which doesn’t mean that she’s perfect or never worried. She felt complete to me, and very real.

This realness in Carrie’s character was important in a world that suddenly reveals itself as filled with magic. It allowed me, as a reader, to really discover this magic through her eyes, and to understand (to some degree) what she was going through. I was especially worried about the “falling in love with a bear” part, since other readers had mentioned how weird it was, how unbelievable. It worked for me though. It’s definitely a personal feel; I liked Bear and found him to be very “human”, and the fact that he could change into a man at night reinforced that impression.

The author also did an amazing job of describing the Arctic. I could feel the cold through the pages, imagine the landscape of infinite white, the ice castle Bear created and all the places Cassie visits. I did felt the action was going in circles a bit at some point, when Cassie talks to a spirit, who brings her to another spirit, who brings her to another spirit… but in the end, it was only a small piece of the novel.

I loved Ice, and already can’t wait to read more from the author. Also, isn’t that cover just gorgeous?

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11 responses to “Review : Ice”

  1. Lauren says :

    So glad to see you enjoyed this one, as it was one of my favorites back in ’09! Oh, and I agree with you about Cassie. She was strong and not whinny one bit, one of the best kind of characters to read about. You should definitely consider reading Sarah’s Enchanted Ivy now. It’s just as fantastic as this one and even better in some aspects!

    • kay says :

      Oh, I’m really happy to hear that! I have Enchanted Ivy on my TBR pile, I ordered it right after finishing Ice! Can’t wait to read it.

  2. christina says :

    I am always weary of books that have talking animals. I just have a problem suspending my disbelief. Hearing that you generally do as well, but still loved this book, might be the nudge I need to pick it up. The cover IS beautiful and it sounds like a wonderful fantastical fairy tale.

    • kay says :

      I think I was able to deal with Bear (and other animals) because they are spirits choosing an animal shape, rather than talking animals. I hope you enjoy it if you do pick it up!

  3. Meg says :

    Well! Definitely not a book I would have picked up on my own, but I trust you completely. Adding it to my TBR!

  4. bermudaonion says :

    Fairy tale re-tellings don’t usually work for me either, but you’ve made me curious about this one. And, wow, what a cover!

  5. Ladytink_534 says :

    Oh I’m so glad to hear that this is as good as I think it might be. I think I remember reading a similar fairy tale when I was a kid so I’ve been curious about it ever since I heard about it.

  6. toothy says :

    i haven’t heard of this book before, but i’m glad i ran across your review of it! adding it to my wishlist now.

  7. Karine:) says :

    I didn’t know about this book… my bad 😉 I’ll try to find it, I tend to trust you!

  8. fromheretoforever says :

    have you read East by Edith Pattou? It has a similar premise to this – bear turning into a man overnight, the girl is forbidden to see him as a man. The girl is in a different situation, and possibly a bit younger than the one in this book. It’s one of my favorite books, I think you’d enjoy it 🙂
    PS Ice sounds awesome as well! and the cover is striking.

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