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Monday, November 06, 2006

George R.R. Martin and The Ice Dragon

While fans of George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series await A Dance With Dragons, they can content themselves with a children's book set in the same world. This very short book is based on a novella written several years ago that George R. R. Martin (whom I interviewed earlier this year) has updated and recast to be appropriate for a young audience.

The Ice Dragon is still a melancholy tale, but it is also one that contains a great deal of beauty and symbolism:

As a chapter book, it is shorter and a quicker read than a Lemony Snicket book, but longer than Mary Pope Osborne's Magic Treehouse books. My son was instantly engrossed in it, though once he put it down, he was slow to return to it. I can't say that I was particularly moved one way or another by the story. I appreciated its style and some of the ideas expressed, but it wasn't one that I found nearly as compelling as the adult novels. However, I am not the book's audience.

The story is beautifully illustrated with pencil drawings by Yvonne Gilbert. The pictures manage to capture the somber tone and help to further bring Adara and her family to life.

Given the plethora of dragons present in the novel, this is a story that takes place either many years before the Song of Ice and Fire series or long after where the story currently is. It's not something that matters much as it isn't a story of kings or great battles. It is the story of a small girl and of a family that is determined to live on the land to which it belongs. Read more.


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