BooksReview

Review: "The Ice Dragon" is a Game of Thrones story for all ages

Cynthia Ayala ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Untamable, dangerous, lethal. That was the ice dragon that flew over the land of the North, leaving bitter cold and ice over the land. No one could tame it, except one young girl who was born in the worst freeze the North had ever seen. George R. R. Martin, bestselling author of the famous A Song of Ice and Fire series, brings to life this fantasy short story for children. Re-released on October 21, 2014 by Tor Teen, this novel is illustrated by Luis Royo, who brings to life the work of George R. R. Martin.

A Game of Thrones novel made for both children and adults, The Ice Dragon is a novella set in the world of Ice and Fire. The story is about a village up in the North where the dreaded ice dragon lives. As a dragon of the Wild and Cold, the creature frightens the people of the land – everyone except young Adara, a child of a cold winter with the bitterness of the cold within her.

“The Ice Dragon” cover. Source: Tor Teens

This tale is quite the adventure tale that is also incredibly suitable for parents to read as they tuck their children into bed. It’s fantastical tale about a child seeking beyond the dragon’s rough exterior, who can “tame” the fearful ice dragon though friendship and kindness.

The above sentiment makes this unlike any other Song of Ice and Fire novel out there. Not only is the reading is easy and could afford a place in the children’s section of the bookstore but the story is short, sweet, and imaginative. Any adult reader of the Song of Ice and Fire series would enjoy this tale because the texture is so different than what fans of Martin are used to.  It’s a short story, told with incredible detail with the fewest words. Yes there are wars, fire breathing dragons, men with missing limbs within the short story, but that doesn’t make it less of a children’s book.

Illustration from "The Ice Dragon". Credit: Luis Royo
Illustration from “The Ice Dragon”. Credit: Luis Royo

What’s more is that upon every page are these beautiful illustrations by Luis Royo. The illustrations are duo-tone drawn with an icy blue finish that captures the cold yet warm texture of the story being told. The artistry mirrors the land of the North but with a softened edge. The artwork is very smooth, very vibrant, and beautiful. It also works to bring the story to life for young readers. As mentioned above, this is a great tale to share if you’re a parent. This is also a great starter novel for young readers, not only because of the artwork but because of the way Martin tells the story. It’s simple, easy to read, and captivating and the artwork only brings the story to life even more for all ages.

This may be a short story, but it’s delightfully sweet. There is so much warmth between the young girl Adara and the ice dragon, as well as so much warmth throughout the story. Of course, there are some tragedies, but the way they are constructed isn’t frightening in the least, and while some scenes are sadder than others, the ending is beautiful. All the events make the ending tender and heartwarming.

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