Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Ice - Sarah Beth Durst
This is another book that caught my eyes and when I read the summary at back cover it hooked me on the spot :)
When Cassie was a little girl, her grandmother told her a story about her mother who made a deal with the Polar Bear King and was swept away to the ends of the earth - which Cassie now knows was a nice way of saying that her mother died. Cassie lives with her father at an Arctic research station, and she has no time for make-believe. Then on her eighteenth birthday, Cassie comes face to face with a polar bear who speaks to her. He tells her that her mother is alive and imprisoned in the troll castle. He can bring her back-if Cassie will agree to be his bride.
This is the beginning of Cassie's own real-life fairy tale, one that sends her on an incredible journey to the land east of the sun and west of the moon. Can she survive the brutal odyssey in search of the true love, or will everything she cares about be lost to her forever?
The North Wind's Daughter
Once upon a time, the North Wind said to the Polar Bear King, "Steal me a daughter, and when she grows, she will be your bride."
Four year old Cassie clutched her quilt and stared at her grandmother. Tall and straight Gram looked like a general. She perched stiffly on the edge of Cassie’s bed. She had a mahogany cane in her left hand. Tonight, Dad was away from the station, which meant Cassie would hear a story. Gram never told it when Dad was home. It was the only story she ever told.
“And so, the Polar Bear King kidnapped a human child and brought her to the North Wind, and she was raised with the Norht Wind as her father and the West, South, and East Winds ahs her uncles. She grew into a beautiful, but lonely young woman. One day, while the Winds were gone (as they often were), she met a human man. She befriended him, and it wasn’t long before they fell in love.
“When the Polar Bear King came to claim his bride, she refused him. Her heart, she said, belonged to another. ‘I would not have an unwilling wife,’ he told her. ‘But your father had made a promise to me.’
“Knowing the power of a magic promise, the North Wind’s daughter sought to counter it with her own bargain. ‘Then I will make a promise to you,’ the North Wind’s daughter replies. ‘Bring me to my love and hide us from my father, and when I have a daughter, she will be your bride.’ And so the Bear carried the North Wind’s daughter to her human husband and hid them in the ice and snow.
“Angry, the North Wind tore across the land, sea, and sky. But he could not find them. For a long while, the North Wind’s daughter and her husband were happy.
“In time, the woman had a child. Passing by, the West Wind heard the birth and hurried to tell the North Wind where his daughter could be found. With the strength of a thousand blizzards, the North Wind swooped down onto the house that held his daughter, her husband, and their newborn baby. He would have torn the house to shreds, but the woman ran outside. ‘Take me,’ she cried, ‘but leave my loved ones alone!’
“The North Wind blew her as far as he could – as far as the castle beyond the ends of the world. There, she fell to the ground and was captured by trolls.” Cassie heard the bed creak as Gram stood. Her rich voice was softer now. “It is said than when the wind howls from the North, it is for his lost daughter,”
Cassie blikned her eyes open. “And Mommy is still there?”
Gram was a shadow in the doorway. “Yes.”
At first, I thought it's the story like Beauty and the Beast. Besides, the tag line of the book is "Would you risk everything for a fairy tale". And me, have a weakness for fairy tale, and the only fairy tale that came to my mind while reading the summary was Beauty and the Beast. And boy how wrong am I!!
After reading it for a while, I must confess that I can not wait to know how it will end, so I skipped to the end and...yeah I realize that this is not the story of Beauty and the Beast. So I resumed my reading. In the middle of the reading, there is one scene that I'm quite familiar with it and instantly I remember the story of Eros and Psyche (that's why I wrote the article about Eros & Pscyhe before, so I don't have to tell it again in here). Now I know what this story is based on! Or at least that was what I thought.
But then again....when I wrote this post, I read the book again, the part where praises were given about this book, I read one part where it wrote about fairy tale called "East of the Sun and West of the Moon". I looked it up on wikipedia and guess what...Ice was based on this fairy tale from Norway. WHAT?! BUT on the bright side (to cheer me up), wikipedia ALSO put Eros & Pscyhe along with this fairy tale. So I guess I'm not so wrong hahaha...
About the book. I love the story! It is a love story. I love how Cassie and the Bear relationship grow from distrust to friendship to trust and to love. I love how the Bear show his love for Cassie, how gentle he is and how big his love for Cassie. And when the Bear was captured by the trolls, in turn I see how Cassie will do almosty anything to get Bear back to her.
Althought it's a love story, like any good love story, there has to be more than just love in the story. If not, it will get boring! Ice also tell about munaqsri, or guardian of the souls. Munaqsri are the caretakers of the souls. Every living thing need a soul and everything that dies gives up a soul. Munaqsri are the ones who transfer and transport those souls. The Polar Bear King is a munaqsri for the polar bears. Munaqsri played quite a large part on this book and kind of part of the solution.
And the view...wow! You can almost feel the cold of the ice, the beautiful view, the forest and feel how the wind howl at you :)
And I finished this book just in one day hehehehe....it showed how much I enjoyed this book! You can 'see' how Cassie and Bear enjoy each other company, how they missed one another, how the love between them grow. You can see the fight between them, although not so much, and you can see how Cassie struggle and tried her hardest to get to Bear. It's all in this book, love and the fight for what (or who) you love.
Another wonderful story!