Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow

This absurdly cold weather has made me alternately long for stories of heat and sun for contrast and those in frigid settings, possibly to make the weather seem less wearying and more romantic. So I reread Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow - a perfectly freezing tale that fits the cold mood.

It is a gorgeous retelling of the Nordic fairy tale, East of the Sun, West of the Moon, which is on the more complex end of the fairy tale spectrum. Jessica Day George introduces the heroine only as 'lass' because her cruel mother refuses to name her when she was born. Despite her namelessness (which, in Nordic legend, makes her an easy target for trolls), the lass becomes famous in her town because of her gift of understanding animals. This talent attracts an isbjørn, an 'ice bear,' to her village; he asks her to live with him in an ice palace for one year to break the curse placed on him. Between that moment and the 'happily ever after (and yes, there is one),' the lass endures many adventures, from troll weddings to enchanted wine to riding the North Wind.

This book is so wonderful. I love fairy tale retellings anyway, and this particular one is fascinating and under-told. Ms. George creates a beautiful and frightening story but one with a delightful dose of humor and spirit. Her heroine is much more three-dimensional than I think many fantasy heroines are and the language is gorgeous.

If you are looking for a classic fairy tale with a wintery feel, this is your perfect story.

What books do you read when it's freezing outside?


Sally said...

I love this book! So incredible. The lass is such a cool character - I love her spunk and determination. I also thought the twist with the prince bridegrooms thing was really fascinating.

The cold weather makes me want to snuggle in my bed with some hot tea and something romantic. I've lately picked up an old favorite because it never fails to make me happy when I read it. Great review!

CLM said...

If you don't know Beryl Netherclift's The Snowstorm, you would like it. Three children, mysterious, adventure-filled house in England, snow storm...

Anonymous said...

Abortion is part of the decay inflicted by the gods in the latter half of the 20th century as we approach the Apocalypse::::
- Free sex
- Explosion in gay sex
- Abortion
- Legalized greed/immorality
- The internet. Whereas TV was a phenominally destructive new temptation on the landscape it doesn't hold a candle to the internet. Some people will waste their whole lives. And its timing was deliberate.

"It's too late to pray." Sign of Woodbridge Church Kansas. And it may be true for some. Examine pimps who prostitute 10 year old girls in the ghetto.
Of course, if you want even a shred of a chance to save yourself the Buffalo Bills did experience the Fourth Reich and realized a comeback of Biblical proportions.
I am failing. But it is because of the god's defense tactics. Fuck absolute power. I hate losing.

Budget problems. Cut the military. Bring them home and end the wars. Let these countries experience self-determination and decide their own future. Didn't we learn this lesson in Vietnam???
Unfortunnately, the gods use the United States as one of their tools, using the spread of democracy to level the playing field and prepare the planet for a global event.

So many people don't care about global warming. They don't care about the Federal deficit/debt (outside of partisanship) and they don't care earning $400k for an $80,000/year job will eventually bankrupt the country. They have awarded themselves $400k pay and retirement packages, loading up their friends on the payroll during the boom 90s through the real estate bust while all services which the program were intended to fund now get cut to pay for it.
These people are often common public university labor. Not Ivy League, not private university.
This labor isn't good enough to command the salaries they are earning. And they understood this when they applied to the public university they settled on.
You can't expect a top-tier salary with a second-rate education.
They think they are going sometime during/at the end of this life, and disregard the poor souls who are left behind.
These are the people who will be here in the United States when bankruptcy is declared and society deteriorates into chaos. And they will deserve the anarchy which ensues.

Continuing the push for privatization, reinforced and supported recently with enormous public sector salaries and retirement packages.
Once achieved the gods will utilize the corruptive predisposition of the private sector economy, as seen with the sub-prime/bailout fiasco, to initiate economic catastrophy and initiate the bankruptcy proceedings of the United States.
Whether the cure for cancer/diseases or the permanant resolution of economic misery, before the gods remove these motivations to pray we will experience an inordinate deluge of each element, with economic misery being perhaps the dissallusion of the united States with bankruptcy.

The gods used the Italians to ruin life in the 20th century.
The gods used the Italians to ruin life in A.D. with The Church.
The Church controlled Western Civilization. As the largest land owner in Europe they controlled the monarchies. They were responsbile for slavery, revenge for African invasion and rape of Italy. They created religious discontent, ultimately leading to the disfavored dumping ground known as the United States.