The Ice Dragon
by George R. R. Martin
Adara is a cold little girl, in more ways than one. This is a matter of heartbreak to her widowed father, a big strong farmer who amazingly bursts into tears when he explains to his brother that his youngest child can never love him. But Adara does love the winter. She loves building ice castles, and playing with the ice lizards (that die when anyone else touches them), and especially the huge ice-dragon who visits her every winter, during a series of increasingly long and deadly cold winters.
Meanwhile, men like Adaras uncle are riding small, fierce fire-dragons into battle against a neighboring kingdoms invading army. But the enemy is gaining ground, and finally they push their way as far as Adaras family farm. It is there that one very little girl and her rare friend make a brave, desperate stand against the invading armys fire dragons.
This small, simple book, richly illustrated by Yvonne Gilbert, is nevertheless one I would not recommend for very young children. It could be too scary and violent for them. But for somewhat older children, this is a fantasy story of moving lyricism and profound brevity.
Recommended Age: 9+
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