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review 2017-06-12 01:41
Beautiful story about grief, and living while grieving
The Ice Dragon - George R.R. Martin

The fantasy elements are as fascinating and compelling as the story of a family who loses their mother, Beth, during childbirth.   Adara, Beth's youngest daughter, is cold, and distant, and born during winter.   The titular ice dragon comes each winter for Beth, getting closer and closer to her even as Adara withdraws more from the world, and especially her family. 

 

She doesn't smile or cry, and the only thing that brings her joy is her ice dragon.   Even when the 'why' of her coldness is revealed - a small secret, but one that is traumatic to her - she has been this way.   Perhaps she's always sensed the lack of her mother, and how her birth ushered in Beth's death.   (This isn't spelled out, but it doesn't have to be; it doesn't really matter in the end.   The trauma of overhearing why her father treats her differently seems vastly more important to how she grows up this way, to be honest, and that seems to be a tipping point: when she touches and starts riding the ice dragon.)

 

I don't believe this is set on Earth, but rather in a medieval type setting on a world quite similar to Earth.   It's not just the dragons, but the fact that Adara's hometown is never really placed in anything other than incredibly vague terms.   It gives the town a sense of otherworldliness when combined with the fantastical elements. 

 

Regardless, it seems a rather typical lifestyle for a medieval farmer, and I like how grounded in reality this world is without tying it down to our world or another.   It's beautiful, full of both pain and hope.  Although I kinda wanted the ending to be different at the beginning and throughout the end, in retrospect this was the perfect ending. 

 

And just a final note about the art.   First of all, I got this book for, I think, a dollar at Readercon this year, and it's a first edition with the poster by Royo on the back of the dust jacket.   Secondly see the art on the cover?   That's the same artist who does the illustrations inside.   (It's all pencil work/ink work in a blue tone, with a dark blue typeface to match, and all the illustrations are some of the most lush, gorgeous pencil/ink work I've ever seen.   Royo has been a favorite artist of mine for a while, and I think anyone who reads this book will understand why.)

 

I'm glad I finally got around to this book.   It's absolutely lovely, with sparse, but gorgeous prose, and it only took about an hour or so to read.   I think I like it more than Song of Ice and Fire, in fact!

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text 2016-02-01 20:55
2016 Reading Challenge- End of January Update
Revolutionary Heart: The Life of Clarina Nichols and the Pioneering Crusade for Women's Rights - Diane Eickhoff
The Complete Sherlock Holmes 2 - Arthur Conan Doyle,Kyle Freeman
The Ice Dragon - George R.R. Martin
A Short History of Byzantium - John Julius Norwich

Instead of renumbering my list when I insert books into the list from my initial post on January 1, I've decided to denote new additions with ->.  My primary goals is to get through the 40 books on the list to help lower my TBR pile.

 

1) Revolutionary Heart by Diane Eickoff
2) The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Volume II by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
-> The Ice Dragon by George R.R. Martin
3) A Short History of Byzantium by John Julius Norwich
4) Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett
5) A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin- REREAD
6) The Crusades Through Arab Eyes by Amin Maalouf
7) Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
8) Hogfather by Terry Pratchett
9) Nixonland by Rick Perlstein- REREAD
10) The Invisible Bridge by Rick Perlstein
11) Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
12) Jingo by Terry Pratchett
13) The Sworn Sword: A Graphic Novel by George R.R. Martin, Mike S. Miller, & Ben Avery
14) Legends II: Dragon, Sword, and King edited by Robert Silverberg- REREAD of The Sworn Sword
15) Marlborough: His Life and Times I by Winston Churchill
16) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
17) The Last Continent by Terry Pratchett
18) How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill- REREAD
19) Marlborough: His Life and Times II by Winston Churchill
20) Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
21) Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett
22) A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin- REREAD
23) The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba
24) Mockingjay (THG #3) by Suzanne Collins
25) The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett
26) The Gifts of the Jews by Thomas Cahill- REREAD
27) Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham
28) The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
29) The Truth by Terry Pratchett
30) Warriors I edited by George R.R. Martin- REREAD of The Mystery Knight
31) The Black Count by Tom Reiss
32) The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
33) Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett
34) Desire of the Everlasting Hills by Thomas Cahill- REREAD
35) The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. 1 by Edward Gibbon
36) Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavendra
37) The Last Hero by Terry Pratchett
38) A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin- REREAD
39) The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. 2 by Edward Gibbon
40) The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
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review 2016-01-19 23:03
Ice Dragon
The Ice Dragon - George R.R. Martin

Martin Writes Fantastic Children's Novella

 

“The Ice Dragon” is wonderfully written children’s story by master fantasy author George R.R. Martin, he of Game of Thrones fame.  This short novella follows Adara who always longs for winter because of her affinity to the cold and ice as well as her big friend, the titular ice dragon.  But then Adara’s idyllic life comes to an end when the war her nation is involved in arrives in her town.  However, Adara and her big friend save her father and siblings allowing them to escape but not without consequences.

 

This well-written and beautifully illustrated novella is perfect for young readers and is ideal for parents and children to read together.

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review 2015-08-12 00:47
The Ice Dragon by George R.R. Martin
The Ice Dragon - Yvonne Gilbert,George R.R. Martin

 



Description: 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.
The Ice Dragon marks the highly anticipated children's book debut of George R.R. Martin, the award-winning author of the New York Times best-selling series A Song of Ice and Fire and is set in the same world. Illustrated with lush, exquisitely detailed pencil drawings by acclaimed artist Yvonne Gilbert, The Ice Dragon is an unforgettable tale of courage, love, and sacrifice by one of the most honored fantasists of all time.




War and Castles and Dragons, what's not to like. Also available on youtube

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review 2015-08-02 14:32
George R. R. Martin - The Ice Dragon
The Ice Dragon - George R.R. Martin

This is a lovely little book that has quite the fairy-tale-feel to it, in that the characters don't have that much of an individual personality and the setting is pretty unspecific, both time- and location-wise. It's really quite a charming little tale - I mean, it's got dragons in it, how can it NOT be?!

 

Still though, it's very different from the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, and even though it's apparently supposed to be set in Westeros, I could basically see this taking place anywhere (... By which I mean "in any fantasy world"). As part of the fairy tale genre, this is an excellent read, however :-)!

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