Illustrated by Luis Royo
Published: December 1st 2014 by HarperCollins
Format: Hardcover, 128 pages
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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.