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EAST by Edith Pattou

EAST

By Edith Pattou

Age Range: 11 - 15

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-15-204563-5
Publisher: Harcourt

Using multiple narrators, Pattou expands the Scandinavian folktale “East of the Sun and West of the Moon” to epic length—adding little to the original. A white bear appears at a poor Norwegian farmer’s door, promising a reversal of the family’s fortunes in exchange for worrisomely fearless Rose. Away goes Rose on the bear’s back, to a subterranean palace in “Fransk” where, eventually, she learns that the bear is an enchanted human prince. When he’s swept off by a troll queen who’s fallen in love with him, Rose, aided by a drunken sea captain, an Inuit shaman, and others, travels to the Arctic’s far reaches to confront her, whereupon she conveniently destroys herself, leaving Rose and the bewildered prince free to settle into a happily-ever-after. Rose is a sturdy character inside and out, some in the supporting cast show engaging foibles, and the pace does pick up in the second half—but only fitfully does this achieve the intensity of feeling or vividness of setting that drives the best of the recent flurry of retold romances. (glossary) (Fiction. 11-15)