The Ice Dragon by George R. R. Martin

December 18, 2014 Reviews 3 ★★★★★

The Ice Dragon by George R. R. MartinThe Ice Dragon by George R. R. Martin
Illustrated by Luis Royo
Published: December 1st 2014 by HarperCollins
Format: Hardcover, 128 pages
Genres: Fantasy
Source: Publisher
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5 Stars

An enchanted tale of courage and sacrifice for readers young and old.

From ancient times, the ice dragon was a creature of legend and fear. When it flew overhead, it left in its wake desolate, frozen land. No man had ever tamed one.

Adara frist glimpsed the ice dragon as she played in the snow long after the other children had fled the cold. But Adara was not afraid: she was a winter child, born during the worst freeze that anyone could remember. In her fourth year she touched the dragon, and in her fifth year she rode upon its 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 destruction.

A wonderful short story that lacks none of the magic, wonder, and darkness of a GRRM book, The Ice Dragon will capture the imaginations of many readers.

Born in the coldest winter in living memory, Adare is an outcast in her own home. She likes the cold, being cold in both body and temperament herself, and spends the winter months outside. It’s here that she befriends a legendary ice dragon.

The friendship between Adare and the ice dragon serves to remind us how lonely she is. Even her father can’t bring himself to bring himself to hug her and she has very little in common with her siblings. I think this is a wonderful story of two very different individuals who understand each other like no one else can.

The Ice Dragon is dark and grim and sad. There is a war going on in the North between two Kings, and Adare’s uncle Hal is a dragon-rider in the army. He leaves every summer to help keep the enemy back, but they are coming closer every year and the summers are getting shorter and shorter. War threatens to reach Adare’s sleepy farming village, and wounded soldiers trudge by with missing limbs or horrible burns from dragon fire. This imagery may be confronting for younger readers.

Luis Royo has superbly brought the ice dragon to life in his detailed illustrations. They’re all in black-and-white but the book’s cover gives us a glimpse of how beautiful they would be in colour. It doesn’t take away from their magic though and they enhance the story superbly.

The Ice Dragonis a super quick, gorgeous book that every fan of George R. R. Martin will like. My only note of warning is don’t let its small size fool you: just because it’s short and illustrated doesn’t mean it’s a children’s book.

3 Responses to “The Ice Dragon by George R. R. Martin”

  1. Rochelle Sharpe

    I just finish reading this with my son who is nine – the cover said it could be enjoyed by all ages, but I do think it was a little too old for him. I did skip over a few bits when reading it to him that I felt were too graphic in detail, and asked him if it was getting to scary (especially with the scene were the dragons were fighting) but he said it was fine. So I’d say it isn’t for all ages. But I really enjoyed it.
    Rochelle Sharpe recently posted…Review: The Bane Chronicles.

  2. Kirstie

    I read The Ice Dragon last year shortly after reading Dreamsongs (I must have been on an RR kick, because I did that after reading all the Song of Ice and Fire books ;p ) and loved it. One of my favourite things was (mild spoiler alert) that the ice dragon was actually an ice dragon in every facet of its existence. I also loved the concept of the winter’s child being cold in so many ways.

    I listened to it via audiobook though, so never got to see any awesome illustrations. I might try getting my hands on this version for Xander when he’s a bit older. I definitely agree it’s not for the young children. Double digits I’d say, depending of course on the individuals maturity level.
    Kirstie recently posted…The Good News About Why I Haven’t Been Posting

    • Shaheen

      Thanks for stopping by! I haven’t read anything by GRRM except for the Song of Ice and Fire books and now The Ice Dragon. I want to slowly read his other things (I own most of them!)

      The pictures are great 🙂

      I think children can enjoy it, but it’s certainly not a book aimed solely at children. The reason I stressed the point is because I saw many reviews saying how inappropriate it is for children – people bought it to read to their kids and then were upset with it – and I didn’t want anyone reading my review and thinking ‘this would be great for my three-year-old!’

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