Illustrated By: Luis Royo
Publication Date: October 21, 2014
Publisher: Tor Teen
Reading Level: Young Middle Grade
Reading Level: Young Middle Grade
Pages: 128 (Hardcover)
Source: From Publisher for Review
The Ice Dragon is an enchanting tale of courage and sacrifice for young readers and adults by the wildly popular author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Song of Ice and Fire series, George R.R. Martin. Lavish illustrations by acclaimed artist Luis Royo enrich this captivating and heartwarming story of a young girl and her dragon.
In the world of A Song of Ice and Fire the ice dragon was a creature of legend and fear, for no man had ever tamed one. When it flew overhead, it left in its wake desolate cold and frozen land. But Adara was not afraid. For Adara was a winter child, born during the worst freeze that anyone, even the Old Ones, could remember.
Adara could not remember the first time she had seen the ice dragon. It seemed that it had always been in her life, glimpsed from afar as she played in the frigid snow long after the other children had fled the cold. In her fourth year she touched it, and in her fifth year she rode upon its broad, chilled back for the first time. Then, in her seventh year, on a calm summer day, fiery dragons from the North swooped down upon the peaceful farm that was Adara’s home. And only a winter child—and the ice dragon who loved her—could save her world from utter destruction.
This new edition of The Ice Dragon is sure to become a collector’s item for fans of HBO’s megahit Game of Thrones.
GAME OF THRONES is on my must-read binge list for January intercession, so when I was given the opportunity to read the re-released version of George R. R. Martin's middle grade supposedly set in the same world, I was in. Before I begin this review, I have to say that Luis Royo's gorgeous illustrations on the cover and nearly every page are beautifully haunting and purchasing a copy of this book is worth being able to see the pictures alone.
Martin's writing is also beautiful. This is a middle-grade short story that can be read in under an hour, so it almost has a novella-like feel for elder readers. Furthermore, it reminds me a dark fairytale or piece of folklore. It has that type of whimsical yet moral vibe to it. If you are into fantasy and want to read a book that almost feels as if it is a children's bedtime story about courage, love, and embracing one's true nature, then this is a solid recommendation for you. I say this because this story is lacking great depth. It skims the top of the surface and tells you a beautifully written tale while a unique plot, but it doesn't delve into the plot and examine anything. It's simply there.
The story is that of Adara, a young girl who carries the winter inside her because she was born during the harshest of winters. Because of this, she can communicate and even tame the ice dragons that her world is so fearful of. When enemy dragon-riders attack her town and family, she must give away her secret and protect her family before it is too late.
The ending of this novel is what I both love and hate. I love it because it's what gives this story such a folklore-esque vibe, but I dislike it because it almost seems abrupt. Really, the entire story had a lot of potential to be expanded on, but it simply wasn't. The ending, though, definitely needed more explanation to it. While I found myself smiling after the very last page, I was also left with many questions and a crushing sense of dread that I won't get those questions ever.
All in all, I would say that I enjoyed this. It definitely satisfied me and I did find this to be a memorable read. I just wish there was a bit more depth and explanation to the tale. However, the exquisite art and young vibe of this story will allow it to appeal to younger readers. This is one of those books that will be more appreciated by its target audience than slightly elder generations, though fans of George R. R. Martin will find themselves smiling at his beautiful writing and unique lore creations.
Tor was kind enough to provide three beautiful hardcovers for a giveaway! This is a US only giveaway! Enter below and may the odds be ever in your favor. ;)
FTC Disclaimer: I received no compensation of any kind in exchange for my honest review.