When Cassie was a little girl, her grandmother told her a fairy tale about her mother, who made a deal with the Polar Bear King and was swept away to the ends of the earth. Now that Cassie is older, she knows the story was a nice way of saying her mother had died. Cassie lives with her father at an Arctic research station, is determined to become a scientist, and has no time for make-believe.
Then, on her eighteenth birthday, Cassie comes face-to-face with a polar bear who speaks to her. He tells her that her mother is alive, imprisoned at the ends of the earth. And he can bring her back -- if Cassie will agree to be his bride.
That is the beginning of Cassie's own real-life fairy tale, one that sends her on an unbelievable journey across the brutal Arctic, through the Canadian boreal forest, and on the back of the North Wind to the land east of the sun and west of the moon. Before it is over, the world she knows will be swept away, and everything she holds dear will be taken from her -- until she discovers the true meaning of love and family in the magical realm of Ice.
Ice was an magical, adventurous, and lovely fairy tale. From Cassie's trek through the icy Arctic, to running through a magical forest where all the trees want to stop her from escaping, or a magical palace made of ice, Ice sure takes the reader on a whirlwind adventure. When I started the book I had assumed it would stay in the icy landscape but I'm glad it didn't, that probably would have started to get boring after awhile.
At first I loved Cassie as a character but once she encounters Father Forest, she starts to come off as extremely selfish with a one track mind, and pretty reckless as well. I mean yes, this is a book and a fairy tale but it was still painful to read. I did love the chemistry and devotion that Cassie and Bear felt for each other though. I totally bought it and loved their scenes together.
Adventure isn't my go-to genre but I had a great time reading about Cassie's adventure. I found all the magical elements of the story to be rather exciting. I especially liked the idea of the munaqsri (a soul giver and taker when someone or something is born or dies) and how each species had its own. Durst has created a rich world to draw from in Ice and I was definitely impressed!
Genre: Young Adult
Review copy provided by publisher