Monday, October 22, 2012

Review: Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow - Jessica Day George

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George
Genre: YA, fairy tale retelling
Published on January 8, 2008
Published by Bloomsbury
Pages: 336
Read From: 10.9.12 - 10.13.12
Final Rating: 4/5 strawberries

When a woodcutter's daughter known simply as "the lass" agrees to accompany a great white bear to his castle, he believes she has made a wise decision. After all, the bear has promised her family untold riches in exchange for a year of the lass's company. Although she is given every luxury, the lass feels more a prisoner than a guest, and it's not long before her contentment turns to unease. One by one the servants disappear, and the less suspects the bear knows more than he's telling. In her quest to learn the truth, the lass unwittingly sets in motion a chain of events that take her on a windswept journey beyond the edge of the world, to fight for the man she has only just discovered is her true love.


Cover Blurb: Not my favorite. I don’t mind the side profile of the lass; side profiles are fine. There’s just something about the cover that doesn’t match the magic of the book itself.

What I Liked: The lass is one of those strong, intelligent, resourceful protagonists that I love so much. Her mother is wonderfully horrid, and her brother Hans Peter easily liked, with his gentle sadness and affection for his sister. Rollo, the lass’s wolf companion, lightens the mood of the story a bit with his cynical humor, and Eramus the faun was just adorable in the same way Mr. Tumnus is.

What I Disliked: The fact that the protagonist had no name did rather bother me. There are a very, very few Authors who can pull this off - Mark Helprin is one of them. And I guess Jessica Day George is another, because after a while, it became a very minor annoyance. The fact that it took the lass so long to realize that the isbjorn was an enchanted person bothered me more. After spending so much time with him and the fact that he lived in a palace, even if it wasn’t technically his, that would have been my first suspicion. And as much as I loved the isbjorn, I kind of felt that I didn’t get to know him as well as I would have liked.

Believability: Not really applicable.

Writing Style: As always, the Author’s style is pleasing and always as a hint of humor to it. My opinion is that this book ought to have been written in first person, but third person doesn’t lessen the magic of it at all. It is my opinion that this is one of Jessica Day George’s better written stories. Her descriptions really bring the harsh beauty of an ice landscape to sharp reality, and she helpfully provides a pronunciation guide in the back for many of Scandinavian names and words.

Content: None.

Conclusion: The story does just kind of end after the lass has conquered the troll princess and they've all escaped. But somehow it suited the story. It was an exciting, fast, and romantic conclusion. All in all, this was one of the better retellings of East of the Sun, West of the Moon that I've read in a long time. The characters and writing style were all very good.

Recommended Audience: Fans of fairy tale retellings, more of a girl-read than a guy-read, any age.

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