Genre: YA, fairy tale retelling
Rating: 5/5 stars
Synopsis:Blessed--or cursed--with an ability to understand animals, the Lass (as she's known to her family) has always been an oddball. And when an isbjorn (polar bear) seeks her out, and promises that her family will become rich if only the Lass will accompany him to his castle, she doesn't hesitate. But the bear is not what he seems, nor is his castle, which is made of ice and inhabited by a silent staff of servents. Only a grueling journey on the backs of the four winds will reveal the truth: the bear is really a prince who's been enchanted by a troll queen, and the Lass must come up with a way to free him before he's forced to marry a troll princess.
Thoughts on the Overall Book: I've never not liked one of Jessica Day Geroge's books and this one has turned into a new favorite. It was just lovely in every way her stories usually are and was a very enjoyable read.
Cover--Yea or Nay: I do like the cover, it's not bad, but it's not super interesting either nor does it look like the girl. I think it should have the ice palace instead.
Characters: The Lass, as she is named (or not named really) is a lovely character, and very typical to Jessica's heroines. They are always heroic when they need to be, but never have an attitude and and very kind and quietly strong. I personally like when the reader never knows the name of the character; it's an interesting ploy, and where I can see how some people might find it annoying, I think it's oddly poetic. Especially in fairy tale like books. I guess it wouldn't work for everything. I also always love Jessica's heroes. And I LOVED the Lass's older brother Hans Peter. He was a tortured character done right, and I just loved his obvious love for his little sister, pretty much being the only one who paid her attention. Her mother and father weren't terrible, in fact, I liked her father, he was just busy, but her mother was always wanting more and ill contented and stuck up on one of their other brothers who was really a jerk. And then of course, I loved the Bear (Asher, as we find out his name is) I loved the slight Beauty and the Beast feel to this story, and while not as angry as the Beast, he was still another tormented, slightly brooding hero who was done right and not all annoying and lame. The trolls were gross and fun to hate, and of course I loved The Lass's pet wolf Rollo. He was adorable :) In short, a typically lovely cast!
The Romance: Very sweet and subtle as Jessica's books are wont to have. Not only did we get to see the Lass's romantic plot line but I also liked the one for her brother too.
Writing Style: As always, Jessica Day George gives us a fantastic retelling with such lovely writing that pulls the reader immediately into the story and the plight of the characters. I have always instantly fallen in love with her characters because she has such an easy and human way of describing them. And the language always sounds so much like traditional fairy tales too, like something you can easily read aloud. I'm not as familiar with this story as others but it seems like a good rendition of it, and I loved it very much.
Accuracy/ Believability: Not applicable.
Problems/What bothered me: Nothing to report!
Conclusion: 5/5 stars. I always enjoy reading her books and I really hope she writes more retellings because they are always so good!
Recommended Audience: Girl read ages 13 and up. If you like retellings, definitely give this one a try!