Published: September 14, 2009
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genres: Young Adult, Retelling, Romance
Read January 31 to February 2, 2015
GoodReads ~ Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble
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.
After reading Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow, I decided to search for more East of the Sun, West of the Moon retellings. There aren't very many, as it isn't as well known as other fairytales, and it often gets lumped together with Beauty and the Beast, even though they have multiple differences. But anyways, during my search, I found this book, and it was pretty good.
Cassie grew up with a fairy tale that her grandmother always told her, too bad she didn't know that it was true. Her mother was the girl raised by the North Wind who chose not to marry the polar bear, instead promising him her daughter: Cassie. Now that Cassie is eighteen, she must marry him. And she marries him so that her mother will be freed from the Troll's castle, where she has lived for almost all of Cassie's life.
I liked this book quite a bit. I loved the relationship between Cassie and Bear. There was tension, as would be expected when she is pretty much forced to marry him. However, they do eventually get along, and eventually Cassie agrees to get that marriage goin', if ya know what I mean.
(Sorry, I had to.)
Cassie eventually wants to know what Bear looks like in the dark, so she shines a flashlight at him while he sleeps.
And, yes, he really is a human. However, now that Cassie has seen Bear's face, he must marry the Troll Princess. Cassie must travel across the frozen tundra for months searching for the castle east of the sun and west of the moon.
I don't want to give too much away, but it has a pretty good ending. However, I still had a lot of questions.
Is Bear still a polar bear?
Will their potential children be bears or humans?
Where are they going to live, as the castle is gone?
There were a couple others, but those were the main questions. I do wish that the ending was a bit more clear, because it was slightly confusing. But I still liked it.
I liked her pretty well. She wanted to save her mother, even though she never really met her. I loved how she was so determined and didn't give up when things got bad. However, I didn't really like how she was all of a sudden totally in love with Bear.
He was OK. Pretty persistent when it came to wanting kids. Calm down dude, she's 18.
Overall, it was pretty good! I will say that I preferred Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow out of the two. I just would have liked for the ending to have a bit more to it. It seemed rushed.