Author: Sara Beth Drast
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
When Cassie was a little girl, her grandmother told her a fairy tale about her mother, who made a deal with the Polar Bear King and was swept away to the ends of the earth. Now that Cassie is older, she knows the story was a nice way of saying her mother had died. Cassie lives with her father at an Arctic research station, is determined to become a scientist, and has no time for make-believe.
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
I had this on my most-wanted list/wishlist on Goodreads for the longest time and I was actually gifted it this last Christmas from my family. I was SO happy to read this book, and I don't believe I heard anything bad about it.
It started out sounding really interesting. The prologue was the telling of the fairytale about the Polar Bear King finding a daughter for the North Wind. The North Wind promised the Polar Bear King that if he did this, his daughter would be his wife when she was old enough. We later learn this daughter is of some importance in the story and that the fairy tale is no fairy tale at all - they're factual events.
I was really excited for this story because it was so unique, which probably made my disappointment even more bitter. Cassie, the main character, agreed to wed the Polar Bear King in order to save her mother and then planned on going back to living her life normally. However, she falls in love and then becomes pregnant. And she's only 18. I found such a strong resemblance to Twilight's romance in this, that I nearly chucked the book out the window. I only finished it for a read-a-thon I was participating in.
The plot was so pointless that I was almost bored. (Sorry! It's just how it came across.) There was also no way to connect to Cassie because the book moved SO fast. A chapter into the story and she's already met the Polar Bear King. There needed to be a foundation built so the reader could connect with Cassie and actually care about what happened to her.
There were little moments in the story that I liked and thought cute, but nothing to redeem the book as a whole. I wouldn't recommend this to kids, nor to my older friends. Fantastic idea, but the execution failed.
I gave it two sporks.