The Ice Dragon
By: George R.R. Martin
Format/Source: Hardback; my purchase
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.
Okay, after watching season 7 of Game of Thrones, I had to pick up this book 😛
Firstly, the illustrations in this book are stunning. The sketchings of the dragons, the use of blue (actually, everything in this book is blue: the font of the text and the colour of the sketches)–the book just exudes winter cold. I love it. But going back to the illustrations, Luis Royo does a wonderful job in bringing the scenes to life, his hand reminds me a bit of Alan Lee’s work: delicate lines, but full of detail.
The story itself was interesting, about a true winter child who was different from her siblings and who truly relished the winter time. Because she really felt at home in the winter time, she found a connection with an ice dragon, whcih was really cool. The story shows the realities of war as well and the sadness that comes with Adara’s uniqueness from her other siblings which makes me wonder whether this really should be deemed for…what was it, middle grade? Interesting to know the bleakness can extend from his adult books to his children’s books. But anyway it’s a straightforward but touching tale about family and individuality and the horrors of conflict and the magnitude of sacrifice. In the context of the greater lore of A Song of Ice and Fire, I wonder when this story occurs, in what part in the history of Westeros. Dragons are abound during this period, but I wonder if this takes place during the height of the Targaryen dynasty or at the start or at the end…
(Err, I just looked it up online and apparently GRRM refuted this?)
In any case The Ice Dragon is a short but wondrous tale with gorgeous illustrations and just screams winter all around (to the delight of this winter-loving reader). If you’re already undergoing some severe withdrawal after the season finale of Game of Thrones, this book will ease it (if only for an hour or so) 🙂