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ICE by Sarah Beth Durst

ICE

By Sarah Beth Durst

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 6th, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4169-8643-0
Publisher: McElderry

This slipstream novel unites tropes of fantasy, science fiction and adventure by including nods to Asbjørnsen/Moe and Perrault tales and scientific research and plunging a courageous but reckless teen heroine into the Arctic wilderness. Cassie, the redheaded, impulsive daughter of a research-station director in the Arctic, follows a huge polar bear until he abducts her to make her his wife. The complex narrative involves Cassie’s husband, the shape-shifting polar bear, who is taken by trolls to imprisonment in a castle East of the Sun and West of the Moon, and various spirits native to the Arctic landscape who either help or hinder her in her quest to rescue Bear from captivity. The plot catapults from crisis to overheated crisis and comes to a resolution that will satisfy romantic teens. However, the mash-up of science, folklore and mythology (and the novel’s loose interpretations of Inuit spiritual beliefs) causes problems with the suspension of disbelief, while the severe physical challenges that the pregnant Cassie survives with baby intact strain credulity. Fans of fairy-tale retellings are the natural audience for this story. (Fantasy. YA)