Title: The Ice Dragon
Author: George R.R. Martin
Illustrator: Luis Rayo
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: This edition: October 21, 2014 (originally published 1980)
Genres: Young Adult – Fantasy
Format: Purchased Hardcover
This was definitely an interesting find when I opened up the Barnes & Noble website to look at new releases for teens. I saw “The Ice Dragon” by George R.R. Martin on the list and was stunned. His books are usually geared toward adults with his much more adult writing and views, considering his biggest bestseller of the moment is the “Song of Ice and Fire” series, better known as the “Game of Thrones” series.
When I first picked up the book (like literally held it in my hands) I was shocked at how small it was. It’s a story of under 120 pages about a girl named Adara who was born during the terrible winter that is also set in the “Song of Ice and Fire” series. Her mother died giving birth to her, and as she grows up she is unlike any other child because she doesn’t throw tantrums, doesn’t make a fuss when she’s hurt, and barely smiles. She is a “winter child,” as said by her father.
It tells the tale of Adara and the ice dragon, a large beast unlike the fire breathing dragons of the dragonriders that her uncle is a part of, and how the two become friends of sorts. She would ride the dragon for long periods of time, and each time the ride would last longer – as did the winter.
The story heralds a war and a sacrifice of a dragon protecting one who’s heart is frozen until dire circumstances and her family’s safety thaw her heart and she sets to fight back. Though she is only seven years old when this happens, I felt that the sacrifice she wanted to make was sweet and brave of her.
I also felt that this story missed something. I wished that she and the dragon had escaped to colder lands to be together, but at the same time I feel that the story was trying to accomplish at telling the tale of how important family is and how much love you should have for one another.
The illustrations by Luis Royo are lovely and very detailed, and the whole book is done in a blue ink, including the typography. I wasn’t expecting so much detail in what could be considered a children’s book, but it was nice nonetheless.
I’m also not sure that I would classify this as a teen book, but I wouldn’t quite place it at children’s. Maybe middle grade to teen age. It was a quick read, it held deep meaning, and I enjoyed it.
I rate the book 4/5 stars.