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Adult fans will find neither gore nor sex, but kids will find an evocative original fairy tale with an unexpectedly complex...

In a clear attempt to capitalize on the wild popularity of the HBO series Game of Thrones,Martin’s 1980 novella sees a second repackaging with new illustrations by Royo, replacing the 2006 edition illustrated by Yvonne Gilbert.

No alterations have been made to the story, aside from setting it all in blue type. Adara, a motherless “winter child,” loves the ice dragon that visits her every year. A cold, contained little girl, Adara keeps to herself, her grieving father and older siblings just as happy to be too busy for her. She gives all the emotion she withholds from her family to the ice dragon, first touching it at age 4 and riding it at 5, all in secret. As this is the world of Game of Thrones, war is being waged all around, though Adara’s remote northern country remains largely untouched, save for the annual visits by her uncle, who rides a fire dragon for the king. But the war eventually comes to them the year she turns 7, when the enemy’s dragonriders overpower the king’s and begin to burn everything in sight—till Adara and her ice dragon fly. Like the type, Royo’s lush ink-and-wash illustrations are all set in blue, heightening the icy feel. They sprawl across spreads, complementing the generously leaded text and providing ample resting place for readers’ eyes. Despite the war and destruction, this is very much a children’s story, told in a distantly folkloric tone that evokes the stylings of Jane Yolen.

Adult fans will find neither gore nor sex, but kids will find an evocative original fairy tale with an unexpectedly complex protagonist . (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 21, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-7653-7877-4

Page Count: 130

Publisher: Tor

Review Posted Online: Nov. 7, 2014

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Life in the seaside village has been hard for Adrianne and her family, even before the arrival of the mermaid. Since Papa’s death, they’ve been living with horrible Auntie Minnah, the village boys ignore Adrianne in favor of wealthier and prettier girls and the villagers despise the whole family. Adrianne gets the opportunity for her dream job, but as soon as things start looking up, the Windwaithe Mermaid comes, summoning Adrianne and terrifying the superstitious villagers. Now Adrianne needs to make a choice between a magical life of undersea romance and the poverty and degradation she knows on land. It ought to be an easy choice, but perhaps not. Lucky, lucky Adrianne. Her magical adventure will bring out her true potential—as a girl who is “quite attractive” and whose outer beauty is now visible both to herself and to the handsome boys of the island. Readers obsessed with paranormal romance could do worse, but they probably won’t remember this for very long. (Fantasy. 10-12)

Pub Date: July 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-09734-5

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 2, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2010

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The scion of a once-prominent, wealthy family, Hector Bell engages in ingenious bartering and wishful thinking to support his wife and sons, Cyrus and Darius, on the decaying estate, while he writes stories no one wants to read. Now it’s time to present the town with the Bell Gift, a requirement of the original land grant, but unlike his forebears, Hector has nothing to give. Exasperated by Hector, Cyrus is preparing to head off to university and study engineering, but his younger brother, Darius, longs to solve their father’s dilemma. When a small earthquake opens up a cave on the estate, Darius thinks he’s found the answer, but each step brings new challenges. He’ll need inventive ideas, resourcefulness and most of all help from his friends to meet them. Much of the pleasure in this ode to “life [as] what happens while you’re busy making plans” lies in Hirsch’s dry, understated humor and his subtly charming characters, who are willing to put up with one another’s foibles and eccentricities, however annoying, for the sake of friendship. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-935279-65-5

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2010

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