Then, on her eighteenth birthday, Cassie comes face-to-face with a polar bear who speaks to her. He tells her that her mother is alive, imprisoned at the ends of the earth. And he can bring her back -- if Cassie will agree to be his bride.
That is the beginning of Cassie's own real-life fairy tale, one that sends her on an unbelievable journey across the brutal Arctic, through the Canadian boreal forest, and on the back of the North Wind to the land east of the sun and west of the moon. Before it is over, the world she knows will be swept away, and everything she holds dear will be taken from her -- until she discovers the true meaning of love and family in the magical realm of Ice.
- ISBN-13: 9781416986430
- ISBN-10: 141698643X
- Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
- Publish Date: October 2009
- Page Count: 308
- Reading Level: Ages 12-UP
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 55.
- Review Date: 2009-10-19
- Reviewer: Staff
Durst (Into the Wild) skillfully integrates a contemporary girl into an updated version of the tale East of the Sun and West of the Moon, balancing the magical with the modern. Cassie grew up hearing the story of the Polar Bear King and the North Wind's Daughter. On her 18th birthday, she discovers it wasn't a fairy tale—it was the true story of her own missing mother, and now the Polar Bear King has come to claim Cassie for his bride. But if that part of the story is true, than the other part is, too: Cassie's mother lives. Cassie marries Bear in exchange for her mother's rescue, but finds he's more than an animal—he's a “munaqsri,” responsible for the transport of souls. Cassie accidentally betrays Bear's trust and he is forced to leave her, sending Cassie on a harrowing adventure that takes her beyond the ends of the earth to save Bear and restore the essential balance of nature. While one of Cassie's many tribulations goes on a tad long, her quest for self-worth, independence, maturity and love, is twisty, absorbing and satisfying. Ages 12–up. (Oct.)