Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Ice Dragon by George R.R. Martin

Available on Amazon!
Holy shit! Did you read something other than a gardening or crochet book?!
Yes! And I am so glad. Most of the reading I've done in the past few months has involved research of some kind; mostly into gardening, housing, or crafting. While these are all subjects I will continue to read about, I'm happy to find myself with time again for a genre I have always loved and sorely missed: fantasy.

After hours of searching for free books using only "dragon" as my keyword, I came across The Ice Dragon in my public library's "digital" section. Having satisfied my requirement that my next read at least loosely be about dragons— and with the added bonus of this being written by George R.R. Martin— I set to reading. As this was written by Martin, I mentally prepared myself for an epic saga that would span at least the next several weeks of my life. Instead, I quickly discovered that this is a short story that lent itself to about an hour of relaxing.

You mean it wasn't a digital brick?
Surprisingly no! There are a number of things I expect from a book written by George R.R. Martin, including:

  1. a massive roster of characters to keep track of.
  2. torture. Torture everyone.
  3. the imminent death of all of your favorite characters. I realize they were all idiots, but they were my favorite idiots.
Instead what I got was a short story about a little girl, born in the coldest Winter, who loved an ice dragon better than her own family. 

Adara, our main character, was never like other children. She never cried or fussed, and rarely smiled. She was born cold, during the harshest Winter anyone in her world could ever remember. She remained physically and emotionally cold during her earliest years, preferring to play alone in the snow than spend any time with other children. Adara's greatest hope was to someday leave her father's farm with the ice dragon that frequently appeared to her during the winter. That hope was killed when war and fire breathing dragons decide to start shit at the farm.

Though set in the world of his Song of Ice and Fire series (anyone up for a little Game of Thrones?), the story is too short to inundate you with hundreds of characters. There is no torture, and your favorites do not die. I don't think this story has any relevance to the events set in Game of Thrones, though, since it appears this all happened hundreds of years prior— in the time when dragons were still plentiful in the world. The book also contains some lovely illustrations by artist Luis Royo. Check out his gallery; it's beautiful. That being said, he also has several images that are not safe for work, so you've been properly warned. I'm not going to spoil this read for you guys, though. It's a short and entertaining. I highly recommend it! The Ice Dragon is worthy of your attention.

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