Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow

 
5.0
 
4.7 (6)
1936 0
Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow
Age Range
10+
Release Date
January 08, 2008
ISBN
1599901099
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Editor reviews

1 reviews

Beauty and the Beast, Scandinavian Style
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
0.0
Life is cold and bleak in the Northlands and it has been for years. Pika doesnt remember when it was warm. Pika means girl, which is the equivalent of having no name. She is poor. She is the youngest of seven children. Her favorite brother, Hans Peter, has recently returned from an extended sea voyage faded, sad and gray. He spends his days carving strange figures out of wood. The third and, according to lore, lucky brother, Askeladden, would rather spend his days cavorting. He doesnt appear to be so lucky. Her mother dotes on Askeladden and complains about everyone else.

When the pika was twelve, a white reindeer was seen in the village. Anyone capturing the reindeer will be granted one wish. All the pikas brothers and sisters, except Hans Peter, run outside and join the search. The pika searches as well, and soon encounters the reindeer stuck in the brambles. Rather than capture it, she frees it and, in return, it grants her a wish. Unlike most people who wish for wealth and beauty, the pika wishes that the reindeer cure her brothers malaise. However, this wish is beyond its power. Unable to grant her true wish, it gives her a name, a very important attribute (and which will also keep her safe from trolls). Unbeknownst to her, it also grants her the ability to talk to animals.

When the pika was sixteen, a great white bear, isbjorn, was seen. Its pelt would bring the family a fortune and Askeladden hunts for it during a blizzard. While he was away, the door to their hut burst open to reveal a massive white figure. It was the isbjorn, itself. In return for granting her family wealth, it demands that the pika go away and live with him in a palace for a year. Over the objections of Hans Peter and her father, the pika accepts and is wisked away on the back of the bear to an ice castle in the far north. Thus begins an odyssey that will test her strength&and her wits.

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow is a marvelous Scandinavian version of Beauty and the Beast, set in the cold north. Similar to Edith Pattous East, another wonderful book, this tells the story of a girl and a beast, living in an ice palace at the top of the world. Of course, the pika grows to love the isbjorn, but in order to keep her love out of the grip of the evil troll princess, she must outwit the princess. The characters are wonderful. The descriptions bring the action and scenery alive. This is a beautiful story and a must read. One of my 2008 favorites.

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User reviews

6 reviews

 
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Pretty close to perfect
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Misty (Book Rat)

The lass leads a lonely life.  She lives in a remote little Norwegian
village that is blanketed by a strange, never-ending winter.  Her mother
refused to name her, and she is largely disregarded by all but her
father and her beloved eldest brother, Hans Peter, who seems to the lass
to be hiding a deep pain.  But when the lass is blessed with the
strange ability to be able to speak to animals, her life begins to
change.  People of all kinds seek her out for help -- and then, so does
an isbjorn, a massive polar bear with a trouble and a loneliness
of his own.  When the isbjorn promises the lass that her family
will be wealthy if she will agree to live with him in a remote castle
for a year, the lass agrees and finds herself in a strange palace of
green ice, waited on by even stranger servants.  But the plush
surroundings mask a dark secret, and soon the lass must decide to risk
everything she has ever wanted for something she never knew she could
have, and embark on a fantastic and daunting journey that has the
potential to change the world in which she lives in this well-wrought
retelling of the tale "East of the Sun, West of the Moon".





It's hard to write about something when it's either very bad or very
good, so this will be a (fairly) short review:



There is very little I didn't love about this story.



Something to understand about me: I am a tabber.  I have a crazy amount
of those little post-it flags in just about every color, and as I'm
reading I tab things I like or want to be able to find again.  There are
no tabs in this book -- I flew through it too fast, and was too
absorbed to reach for the tabs.



Jessica Day George followed her passion and chose to study Norway, and
that passion shows.  She crafts a story that is layered and has depth
beyond what is generally seen in a fairy tale or retelling.  The
traditional elements are there: the downtrodden heroine who, it turns
out, has some pluck; the rags to riches; the fantastic element; the
danger and tension; the family dynamics, good and bad, and the sort of
"karmic" balance -- everything works together to create one of the
strongest retellings I've ever read.  George's love of Norway and fairy
tales help her create a rich and believable base for a story that shines
and flows beautifully.  Things are well developed and rich.  It is very
visual and alive, and thoroughly enjoyable.  The romance-aspect was
enjoyable and not at all creepy, which I was initially worried about.



The only drawback for me was that, compared to the rest of the story,
the end felt a little rushed and underdeveloped.  It wasn't a complete
bust by any means, but after so much layering and depth, I would have
liked to see that followed through to the conclusion; an opportunity to
pack in a bit more oomph was missed, but this should not at all keep you
from picking up a copy.  Now.



The "Beauty and the Beast"-esque story that is "East of the Sun, West of
the Moon" has captured many writer's pens lately, but I have trouble
believing that any of the other retellings will top George's.

Originally posted: http://bookrat-misty.blogspot.com/2010/03/sun-and-moon-ice-and-snow-by-jessica.html

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Cozy Fantasy
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by WilowRaven

I have to say, it took me a few chapters to really get into this story.
It very much has the feel of an old fairy tale. Our protagonist,
un-named by her mother at birth, is called Lass by her affectionate
older brother Hans Peter. They live together, with the rest of their
large family, in the frozen north. On the day the great bear, an
isbjorn, comes to take Lass away, the family's fate is sealed. Lass
must spend a year and a day in the Ice Palace - full of fantastical
creatures and a mystery night time visitor.
There are many layers to
this tale and Lass is a wonderfully strong young girl. I really liked
this book. A few points did bother me though. The ending was rushed - I
loved the time Lass spent in the Palace of Ice and would have liked the
telling of her time in the palace east of the sun and west of the moon
to have been more detailed. Also, I felt that the troll queen and
princess weren't quite as horrible as we were led to believe.
All in all, a great YA fantasy - 3.5 out of 5 stars

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East of the Moon, West of the Sun
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Lexie

I have yet to meet a re-interpretation of my favorite fairy tale 'East
o'the Moon, West o'the Sun' that hasn't pleased me greatly and Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow (SaM, IaS)does not fail. As a quick comparison to the other two novel length adventures I've read on the fairy tale, East by Edith Pattou and Once Upon a Winter's Night by Dennis L. McKiernan, the story follows a similiar path.

Poor
family with many kids, wintery climate, enchanted white bear, evil
Troll Princess and plucky, resourceful lass. The manner in which these
cornerstones are brought about however is the real fun. I will, more
then likely, be doing reviews for both books seperately some time soon
and then will do a true comparison review of the three.

Pika, or
lass as her beloved older brother Hans Peter calls her, is the youngest
child of Frida and Jarl. Frida rejects Pika, going so far as to not
even name her (a horrifying occurance since unnamed children can not be
baptized and are more easily snatched by trolls) and thrusts the
responsbility of raising her into her oldest daughter's hands. Pika
doesn't spend a lot of time lamenting this fact--merely takes it as is
and does her best to stay out of her mother's way. I thoroughly
disliked Frida, I'm not even certain she was meant to be liked at all.
She was greedy, selfish and later in the story as their luck changes,
downright ruthless. She had more in common with the troll queen and
princess then she did her own family.

Aside from Hans Peter,
Askeladden ('lucky third son' according to the myths) is featured more
heavily then the other siblings. Later in the story one of her older
sisters has an important role, but for the most part they are merely
there and only occasionally show up. I was grateful for this since
remembering 8 other names--and their importance to the story and family
dynamic--might have fried my brain. The few random newbites are more
then enough and their cameo appearances are short.

Not mentioned
in the backcover blurb/synopsis is the fact that Pika can communicate
with animals. The importance of this--and ramifications of this--aren't
entirely felt until the latter half of the second part, but is
important none the less.

At the risk of gushing, I had no
problems with this book. It was a fun, enthralling read from start to
finish that would keep a teen girl or adult entertained. There is
nothing particularly racy involved and only the mildest sort of
violence (mostly perpetrated towards the trolls by their own hands).

((reprinted with author's permission))


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East of the Moon, West of the Sun
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Lexie

I have yet to meet a re-interpretation of my favorite fairy tale 'East
o'the Moon, West o'the Sun' that hasn't pleased me greatly and Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow (SaM, IaS)does not fail. As a quick comparison to the other two novel length adventures I've read on the fairy tale, East by Edith Pattou and Once Upon a Winter's Night by Dennis L. McKiernan, the story follows a similiar path.

Poor
family with many kids, wintery climate, enchanted white bear, evil
Troll Princess and plucky, resourceful lass. The manner in which these
cornerstones are brought about however is the real fun. I will, more
then likely, be doing reviews for both books seperately some time soon
and then will do a true comparison review of the three.

Pika, or
lass as her beloved older brother Hans Peter calls her, is the youngest
child of Frida and Jarl. Frida rejects Pika, going so far as to not
even name her (a horrifying occurance since unnamed children can not be
baptized and are more easily snatched by trolls) and thrusts the
responsbility of raising her into her oldest daughter's hands. Pika
doesn't spend a lot of time lamenting this fact--merely takes it as is
and does her best to stay out of her mother's way. I thoroughly
disliked Frida, I'm not even certain she was meant to be liked at all.
She was greedy, selfish and later in the story as their luck changes,
downright ruthless. She had more in common with the troll queen and
princess then she did her own family.

Aside from Hans Peter,
Askeladden ('lucky third son' according to the myths) is featured more
heavily then the other siblings. Later in the story one of her older
sisters has an important role, but for the most part they are merely
there and only occasionally show up. I was grateful for this since
remembering 8 other names--and their importance to the story and family
dynamic--might have fried my brain. The few random newbites are more
then enough and their cameo appearances are short.

Not mentioned
in the backcover blurb/synopsis is the fact that Pika can communicate
with animals. The importance of this--and ramifications of this--aren't
entirely felt until the latter half of the second part, but is
important none the less.

At the risk of gushing, I had no
problems with this book. It was a fun, enthralling read from start to
finish that would keep a teen girl or adult entertained. There is
nothing particularly racy involved and only the mildest sort of
violence (mostly perpetrated towards the trolls by their own hands).

(Reprinted with permission from author)


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OMG
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by stephanie

I LOVED Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow. It was amazing and definitely worth my time!

What I loved about Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow was the plot. I loved the idea of having a girl being able to talk to animals and have a way with them. I find the idea of talking to animals fascinating and have often wished that I can do the same. How much easier would it be if I could talk to my rabbit or even my turtles? Definitely makes my life easier!

What I found interesting about Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow is the amalgamation of a huge variety of stories: Beauty and the Beast with the enchantment, Cupid and Psyche with Lass forbidden to look at the man who lies next to her at nights face and The Snow Queen with Lass going on a quest to save the man she loves. And after surfing the net, I found that Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow is actually a retelling of East of the Sun, West of the Moon which goes to show that this classic tale is a story filled with snippets of other classics.

The writing was wonderful as well. Vivid details that allows the readers to basically imagine exactly what goes on. The characters were amazingly descriptive. My favorite has to be Lass wolf. He is so funny and extremely witty. I loved how Jessica managed to capture exactly what a wolf would say if he/she could talk. And I loved Lass as well. Shes courageous and resourceful because she is able to go off with a polar bear for a full year and a day. Im not sure if I would be able to do that. And shes resourceful when she manages to trick the trolls and winning back her prince.

Overall, Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow was spectacular and I am now a die-hard Jessica Day Georges fan.
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A great tale of magic, love, and adventure.
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Tasha

When a simple woodcutter Jarl and his wife Frida have their ninth child, Frida is displeased that it is another girl. In fact she is so displeased that she doesn't even give the child a name. The child is simply called "pika" (Norwegian for girl) or "lass." One day her brother Askeladen comes running in with news that the fabled white reindeer has been spotted. Whoever catches this creature will be granted a wish of anything they want. When the lass finds the reindeer trapped in brambles, she isn't overcome with greed, instead she is overcome with compassion and frees the reindeer. When asked what her wish will be the lass picks one of the simplest wishes out there, a name. The reindeer whispers to her the most beautiful name and also bestows upon her the gift of speaking to animals. She loves her gift of speaking with animals, but never shares her beautiful name with anyone, not even her favorite brother Hans Peter. Then, during one of the worst snow storms ever, an isbjorn (a great white bear) tumbles into the lass's cottage and asks her to come stay with him in a palace for a year and a day. The lass is leery, but the bear promises her family great riches in return for her company. Not wanting to disappoint her family the lass agrees and sets of on a journey with the isbjorn and her faithful pet wolf Rollo. When the lass reaches the palace she is amazed. The palace is made of ice and she can tell it holds many secrets. The biggest secret is the identity of the man that comes and lays in bed with her every night. One night the lass is overcome by curiosity and looks at the mysterious sleeper. Little does she know this cost her the loss of her loved one. Determined to find her true love she travels east of the sun and west of the moon until she finds him. Will she get her love back, or will her efforts be in vain?

This was an amazing fairy tale. The book was very well written and the story line was awesome. I have never read the Norwegian fairy tale, East of the Sun, West of the Moon, that this book is based on, but nonetheless this was an amazing re-creation. I loved how the lass was such a simple character, yet she was so special. There were many mysteries intertwined into the book, which made it even more entrancing. If you can just imagine The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe mixed with The Princess Academy you've pretty much got Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow. I highly recommend this magical book to anyone looking for a great read. Bravo to Jessica Day George on a book very well written and a hard to forget story!
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