The Ice Dragon by George R.R. Martin

The Ice DragonI am always on the lookout for interesting reading when the family visits Half-Price Books.  And given my ever-growing TBR pile, most often shorter works. With that in mind, I picked up: The Ice Dragon by George R.R. Martin at recently.  I thought it might be a good story to read to my daughter.  Plus, I have always loved dragon stories; and I figured this would be an easy way to introduce myself to the writing of George R.R. Martin.

Last night I needed some bedside reading but didn’t feel up to starting some of the non-fiction that is next in the pile.  So I grabbed this children’s story and read it in one sitting.

It turned out to be a rather simple story, but a creative and entertaining one.  Here is the plot summary from School Library Journal:

Seven-year-old Adara was born during the coldest chill of the coldest year ever, a chill that killed her mother during the girl’s birth. Ever since then, she has been a remote and chilly child, living for winter when the ice lizards come out and forming a bond with a mysterious ice dragon. When war comes and dragon-riding invaders threaten her home and family, the ice dragon helps her to thwart them, leading to its own demise.

The writing is simple like the story, but it has the sort of depth well written stories always seem to have: the sense that there is a great deal more to the world that the author isn’t sharing.  The medieval world that makes up the setting is recognizable but just mysterious enough.  Dragon’s as battle vehicles are not unique obviously, but the ice dragon with a connection to the weather is a unique hook.  The characters are not well developed but Adara’s past, and the resulting conflict with her family, adds enough tension and suspense that the minimalist storyline nevertheless pulls you forward.

All in all, I enjoyed The Ice Dragon.  It has the feel of a legend passed down through the oral tradition – simple but poetic and touched by both beauty and tragedy.  It is a quick sketch from a author who normally deals in the epic format.

It piqued my interst enough that I plan to read Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire.

Barnes and Noble video with the author below.

About the author

Kevin Holtsberry

I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season - oh, and watching golf too).

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3 Comments

  • Martin in an outstanding author, and I was extremely impressed with the first couple books of the Song of Ice and Fire series. *However,* I have to say that the more recent books have been disappointments. Not because quality has deteriorated, but because the books have become, frankly, perverse. All those interesting, sympathetic characters you learn to like in the first volume? Martin is going to either a) kill them off in the cruelest possible manners, or b) turn them into monsters.

    Just a word of caution.

  • Martin in an outstanding author, and I was extremely impressed with the first couple books of the Song of Ice and Fire series. *However,* I have to say that the more recent books have been disappointments. Not because quality has deteriorated, but because the books have become, frankly, perverse. All those interesting, sympathetic characters you learn to like in the first volume? Martin is going to either a) kill them off in the cruelest possible manners, or b) turn them into monsters.

    Just a word of caution.

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