George, Jessica Day. 2008. Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow. Bloomsbury.
Long ago and far away in the land of ice and snow, there came a time when it seemed that winter would never end.
Our heroine is the ninth child and the fourth daughter. Her mother was so angry when she was born that she refuses to bless her with a name. She's called "pika" which means girl. For most of the story, however, we know her as Lass. This child is a blessing--a great blessing--to her oldest brother, Hans Peter. The two are special buddies. He teaches her something that will prove very useful: the written language--the carvings--of the trolls.
Our story really begins when she agrees to go with the white bear. The white bear is isbjorn, enchanted, and he has agreed to give her family riches and riches and riches galore if she will go away with him to live in his castle for one full year. The family is so poor, that it would be unforgivable (at least in her mother's eyes) for her to refuse his request.
Her time with the bear will not be easy. Everything is so strange, so odd, so obviously enchanted and magical. She's accompanied by her wolf, Rollo. I seem to have forgotten to mention that she's able to communicate with animals. (Another long story on how she got her wolf, and how she got blessed with the power to understand and communicate with animals, and how she got a secret name.)
This review isn't going like I had planned. For a novel that was written so beautifully, so smoothly, this review isn't doing it justice. You're just going to have to trust me that the novel is worth reading. Our heroine is brave and strong and full of heart.
Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow is a novelization of the fairy tale East of the Sun, West of the Moon. (At least in part. It's also similar to the myth of Cupid and Psyche and the tale of Beauty and the Beast.)
Another review: here, here, here, and here.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews
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