For readers familiar with the wonder that is George R R Martin (which is approximately two thirds of the world’s population), it should come as no surprise that this book is an utter delight. Adara is a child born in the dead of winter, and according to some, she has ice in her veins instead of blood. Her own father calls her personality “cold”, as she has, or displays, no true warmth to another human being.
And this is true, up to a point. Sweet, young, naive, but beautiful Adara knows love. It comes in the form of an ice dragon, which she first befriends on her fourth birthday. Since then, the two souls (one human, the other a dragon) have been inseparable. The problem is, the rest of Adara’s family hates and fears the Ice Dragon. Adara’s uncle, Hall wants the family to move away from the farm, as he knows a vicious war is coming. Adara’s father is a lover of tradition, so he has no intention of giving away everything his heart and soul holds dear. And of course Adara’s does not want to move, either, for fear of losing touch with her soul mate.
The book is a treat to read. Some sections of text approach the quality of a timeless fairy tale. For example, taken from page 31 of the hardcover release:
’When the ice dragon beat its wings, the cold winds blew and the snow swirled and scurried and the world seemed to shrink and shiver. Sometimes when a door flew open in the cold of winter, driven by a sudden gust of wind, the householder would run to bolt it and say, “An ice dragon flies nearby.”’
And speaking of the book itself; it too is a joy to behold. The illustrated hard cover version comes with a slightly padded cover and the sketches are some of the most stunning you will see anywhere. The image taken from the cover alone is worth the cost of admission and throughout the book are imaginings that span full two pages and which are truly breathtaking.
Back to the story: the world can not remain a fairy tale for ever. There is an ongoing war in the book’s universe, and this time it features dragons as the weapons of choice instead of nuclear powered missiles, or hand guns, or even (dare I say it) religion.
So we can safely assume that young Adara’s friend has a role to play in the upcoming events. I recommend those interested in finding out precisely what, pick up this wonderfully crafted novella from the genre’s grand master to see how it all turns out.