Why did I read this book? Because by January 26 I was one book away from having read 5 books in the month and my competitive side kicked in and pushed me to grab something quick so I could round out the month with 5 books. Who am I competing with, you ask. Well, I have no idea. But that Goodreads reading goal I had set for myself at the beginning of the year sure niggles me.
George R.R. Martin’s Ice Dragon is an illustrated children’s book set in an imaginary world about a young girl’s friendship with a legendary creature. It’s a bildungsroman since we follow the protagonist, Adara, as she interacts with the fabled Ice Dragon throughout her life.
Adara was born during one of the fiercest winters in her land and is considered a winter child both because of when she was born as well as her constitution. She is withdrawn, keeps to herself, and hardly exhibits any warmth toward others. Even her skin is cool to the touch. There is conflict between Adara’s country and the land in the north. As Adara gets older, the tension increases between the two lands and the war draws closer to Adara’s village. But with the help of the Ice Dragon, Adara just might be able to stop the war’s progression.
I didn’t know what to expect when I began reading so I just went with it. The story was okay and so too the characters and pace and all those things. The writing was good, of course, and the storytelling was great. Martin sure has a talent for drawing the reader into the worlds he creates. Unlike his other books, I didn’t connect deeply with these characters, but that wasn’t a bother for me because the story is quite short.
My only assumption prior to reading the story is that it would be set in Westeros. But I wasn’t sure prior to starting the book and after reading it, I’m still not sure. The only similarities I see are the presence of dragons, the harsh winters, and a king in the north, which isn’t much to go on.
The story is a bit sad though, and I wondered if it’s a trademark of Martin’s to include some sort of tragedy in his stories, even in a children’s book. So far, this is the only novel outside of his Song of Ice and Fire series I’ve ever read so I don’t know if he has written more uplifting tales. Though, in a way I see this story as uplifting because it shows how a little girl’s faith in what she believes in helps to save her family.
It’s a quick read and I read it quickly so I’d have 5 books completed in January. I refuse to do that again because it made me rush and not give as much consideration to the writing and the story as I usually do. However, The Ice Dragon was an okay read and I do recommend it if it’s something you want to read.
As mentioned above, it is illustrated throughout. I wasn’t a big fan of the illustrations because they seemed scratchy to me. But I liked the colors Royo uses for them — white and light and dark blues — because it ties into the winter theme of the book. Only on the cover and the end pages is there a blush of light yellow. I also liked the illustrations of landscape. I think the scratchy style fits those best so I spent some time staring at them.
Here are a few illustrations from the book: (If it’s blurry, click to see a larger, clearer one.)