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Once Upon A Bookshelf

Where Fiction and Reality Meet

The Ice Dragon

Author: George R. R. Martin
Illustrator: Yvonne Gilbert
Originally Published: 1980
Courtney’s Edition: 2006
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates (TOR)

The Ice DragonAdara is the youngest of three siblings. She was born during the worst winter that anyone could remember, and for some reason could never really feel the cold like other people do. So when it is said that no one can tame or ride an ice dragon, it is not a surprise that Adara does.

She spends her summers waiting for the winter, and spends all winter riding her Ice Dragon.

Then one summer, an invading country threatens everything Adara knows – her father wants her to travel south with her uncle (and it is warm in the south, so Ice Dragons are never seen). Instead, she plans to run away with her Ice Dragon.

This was an absolutely adorable story! How have I not read this before now? Heck, how have I not read anything by George R. R. Martin before now? I loved it, positively loved it. It was adorable and cute and heartbreaking.

You know what? It still surprises me when there is death and whatnot in childrens books. It shouldn’t, because there are a lot of children’s stories that deal with death, and sometimes other stuff that can be just as scary, but because a lot of the ones I read when I was growing up didn’t go into it, it always comes as a bit of a shock to come across death… but to read about a seven year old girl watching her uncle and his dragon die… and then to have her dragon freeze the people who have invaded her family’s farm and THEIR dragons to death… it’s just not something I ever expect.

Not that that took away from my enjoyment – not at all. Because the story was more about the relationship between Adara and her Ice Dragon… and who wouldn’t want a bond with a dragon like the two of them seem to share?

The one random thing I did, however, dislike about this book: did not like what they did with the upper case letters of the font used for the chapter titles. It made them hard to read and was somewhat distracting from the story itself. Would’ve looked more elegant without all the extra little flourishes. Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for flourishes. Love them normally. But not in situations like this. Case and point: while the image below says “The Rising Cold,” it really doesn’t look like a “C”…. so I read “The Rising Gold”, and couldn’t for the life of me figure out what gold had to do with the chapter after reading it.


(Plus, I absolutely love that font and it doesn’t need to be dressed up to look lovely.)

Bottom Line: Adorable!! Anyone who loves a touching children’s story that includes dragons should read this – but most especially should read it in the winter time. Because Adara is a winter child.

Posted by Courtney Wilson @ 7:13 pm March 2, 2009.
Category: Children's
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  • Chris

    I’ve been wanting to read this one for so long! I’m shocked that I haven’t read it. I definitely recommend Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series if you want to read more of him!

  • Court

    Chris – I’m shocked you haven’t read it as well! lol. I definitely want to be reading more of him, so I’ll be picking up the Song of Ice and Fire series. :)