Book Review: Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow (2008) is an original YA fairy tale written by children’s author Jessica Day George. In this once-upon-a-time, a little Norwegian girl with no name, simply called “the lass,” is granted a special gift – to speak to animals – by a magical white reindeer.

The lass is a woodcutter’s daughter, and the youngest of nine children. Her family lives in a cabin in the forest, their Northern land under a strange curse that keeps it perpetually wintertime. The lass adores her eldest brother, Hans Peter. But since his voyages at sea, he has returned withdrawn and sad. When an enchanted isbjørn, or polar bear, asks the lass to stay with him for one year in an ice palace, Hans Peter urges the lass not to go. But the lass agrees to accompany the isbjørn anyway. After all, how bad could a year in a palace be?

From the first sentence, I was hooked to this story. I was fascinated when the lass arrived at the ice palace, and by the mysteries of why she was brought there, who was the strange visitor to her chambers at night, and where the palace had come from. In the third act, the lass rides the four winds and encounters a troll kingdom to rescue her love. Creative, romantic and imaginative, Sun and Moon… is a unique and solid, old-fashioned fantasy for young adults and the young at heart.

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