Literary Friday: Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow

Synopsis according to Goodreads:
"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 anisbjorn (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."

I picked up Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow on a whim at a book sale last year, because the blurb intrigued me. And I'm so glad I did! This is a masterful retelling of several fairy tales, and a beautiful blend of myth and reality. 

The Lass is a great character, though in classic fairytale fashion she's defined by her actions and bravery as opposed to her personality. Every element of this story is like a fable, which makes it quite an adventure story with a bit of whimsical and a shadow of the grotesque.

It was a compelling story, even knowing how it must end, primarily because the author fleshes out the world in a very sensual way (and by that I mean sensory, not sexual). She provides enough detail to bring to life a Norse-esque/Polish-esque/Romanian-esque culture that is somehow not foreign at all....but she doesn't bog down the forward momentum with too many details.

I definitely recommend this book for fans of fairytale retellings and mythology, those who enjoy a non-epic fantasy story, fans of northern European cultures and stories, folks who like female heroines who are brave and bold and self-assured, and anyone wanting a relatively quick read that is also meaningful.

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