Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow


Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow
By Jessica Day George
  A secret of a frozen palace reveal a love she never imagined...
  I can certainly say that this is one of my favorite fairytale retelling! Jessica’s Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow contains so many fairy tales in it! Unlike her other fairytale retelling, this book has less romance and more magic. (Probably more creatures than magic.) Splendid retelling indeed! I kept surprised by how this book was written and amazed by so many stuffs inside the book.
  She'll journey east of the Sun and west of the Moon...to fight for the true love she's only just discovered.

  Blessed—or cursed—with an ability to understand animals, the Lass had always felt estranged from her family, who struggle to make a living in the windswept north. So when an isbjorn (polar bear) seeks her out and promises that her family will be provided for if she accompanies him to his castle, she doesn’t hesitate. But the great white bear is not what he seems, nor is his castle. Slowly the Lass unravels the mystery of the bear’s enchantment and the spell connecting him with the strange symbols carved in the castle’s icy walls. But on a journey to a place where the four winds fear to travel, the true horror of the bear’s spell is revealed, and the Lass’s courage-and love-will be tested.
  Here are some fairy tales I found inside the story: East of the Sun and West of the Moon, Beauty and the Beast, Geek mythology. As you can see from the title, the book is mainly adapted from East of the Sun and West of the Moon, while the others are the fairy tales that you can see inside it. Started with the short one: Greek Mythology. The part that Lass lit up a candle to see the true form of Asher is originally from Cupid and Psyche. 
  Psyche was the most beautiful maiden in her time that all men admired her and wished to court her, even some human being said that Psyche even more lovely than Venus. Venus is offended, and commissions Cupid to work her revenge. However, instead of hurting Psyche, Cupid fell in love with her. He told Psyche’s family to marry her to a husband so that her family won’t be destroyed by a terrifying monster. There, Psyche was treated like a queen, yet she was told not to look at her husband and nor could she visit her sister. Psyche began to miss her family after months past, she begged her husband to allow her sisters’ visit. He agreed. When her sisters came, they were jealous about her wonderful palace and the beautiful gowns she owned. Her sisters told her that perhaps her husband was a snake or a monster...blablabla. 
  Being scared by her sisters, Psyche decided to peek at her husband, yet when she saw the face, she was amazed by the young handsome face. In astonishment, a drop of wax fell on Cupid. Angry about her dishonest, Cupid left her and returned to Venus. Psyche felt ashamed and decided to find Cupid again, but Venus hid Cupid and gave Psyche a hard task to complete: picked up the ashes on the ground by one hour, visited the underworld and took some eternal medicine from Persephone…. She told Psyche that the medicine had the power to gain beauty. After being tortured by Venus, Psyche believed herself wasn’t as beautiful as usual, so when she decided to put some medicine on her. But it turned out, it wasn’t a beautiful antidote, rather a sleeping curse. So Psyche felt into a long sleep. Cupid now was finally healed after the wax dropped on him, so he set off to find Psyche. When he found her sleeping, he wept away the medicine on her eyes and woke her. Cupid took Psyche to the Olympus and asked Jupitar to make Psyche as his wife. Jupitar agreed, and Venus could no longer oppose their marriage. 
  Similar ha? It seems that the fairy tale love to pick subjects from mythology.As for the Nordic fairy tale, East of the Sun, West of the Moon...actually, what I heard before was another version, so I'm here to tell you the story! (I like it very much! If you compare to those Anderson's fairy tale, you'll find them more happy and delightful.) 
  Once, there was a young widow with three beautiful daughters. The eldest said that she would marry a baron. The second daughter implied that she would only marry a duke. After listening to her sisters, the youngest daughter sniffed at their choices and said she would marry a bull. 
  Few years after, a really came and asked the eldest daughter as his wife, then the second daughter was taken by the duke. After her sisters' marriage, the youngest daughter started to be afraid, but when the bull finally came, she chose to face it and left with him. The bull was really kind, he spoke to the girl gently, and when the girl was hungry, she took food from his right ear and drank from his left ear when she was thirsty. (Err...from ears? That's so weird and disgusting! But this is a fairy tale...) 
  One day, another bull came to challenge. The bull placed the girl in a safe place and told her not to move, if he won the battle, he would come back and find her. He also said that he was a prince and cursed by the witch. The girl was so worry that when she saw the sign of the bull won, she jumped up and down happily and took a step, completely forgotten the order. Because she moved, the bull could no longer find her.
  When the girl realize that, she was really sad, since she had already fall in love with him. She set off a journey to find the bull. During her journey, she met an old woman, who gave the girl three nuts, told her to open the nut when there's no solution. Later on the journey, she needed to cross an ice mountain, in order to get the ice shoes to go on, she worked at the store underneath the mountain. There, she learned plenty of skills. When she finally reached the witch's palace, she found out that the witch was going to married the prince. Feeling depressed, the youngest daughter opened a nut, which bumped out a little woman sawing. The witch saw that and agreed to exchange with a night to accompany with the prince. At midnight, the youngest daughter tried to wake up the prince, but useless...she kept crying. The next day, the girl opened another nut, which also appeared a tiny woman, but spinning. Another night past, this time, the prince still fell asleep. Yet however, the next morning when he woke up, the prince felt someone crying next to him at night. So this time, he pretended to sleep and didn't drink the wine given by the witch. With another magical nut opened, the youngest daughter successfully earn the last night with the prince. And since the prince wasn't under cruse this time, they finally met. They came out a plan to change the witch's wedding. And lived happily ever after... (Sorry guys...but I forget the last part of the story, but I remember it's a bit like East of the Sun, West of the Moon. Perhaps a part of the ending that defeated the witch is at a carriage?)
  So, when I first read The Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow I thought it was an adaption of this fairy tale. As it turns out, both of the stories are similar, but both great. There’s still golden spinning fairy tale that is put inside the story, but sadly, I never read of it…so I can’t tell you the story. And the “Beauty and the Beast” part, I think it’s inside the East of the Sun, West of the moon, so I’m not going talk about it her. (Has anyone never hear of Beauty and the Beast? I don’t believe that.) In addition to those fairy tales, this book also reminds me some of the contemporary novel ingredients. The Golden Compass and Narnia. The ice bear is so much alike to the armored bear. (Is that really what they called? I forgot it! Just something like armored or armor…) And the ice palace reminds me the white witch. And the magic creature inside also both appeared at Narnia and Greek Mythology, like Fauns, Centaurs... Isn’t that fascinating? You can expect more than one fairy tale inside a single fairytale retelling. Besides, Jessica Day George created some wonderful characters and some awful supporting roles. I love lass so much! She’s kind and smart, it’s sad that she never get a name from her mother. (Such an unpleasantness.) And the isbjorn…just as wonderful as Galen. (The great soldier from The Twelve Dancing Princesses, also a fairytale retelling by Jessica Day George.) I really enjoy this book. And hope you’ll like it as well!
P.S. This must be the longest review I’ve written by far…

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