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The Ice Dragon by George R. R. Martin

The Ice Dragon (1980)

by George R. R. Martin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
What a lovely captivating story set in a world we know and love!


Set long before the events of A Song of Ice and Fire, The Ice Dragon follows the story of Adara, a young girl who is different to everyone else in her family. Born in the middle of winter, Adara is a winter child that does not fear the dragons that fly over her farm. Then one day Adara finds an ice dragon, and each winter they take to the skies. But Westeros is at war, and it is only a matter of time before fire breathing dragons appear in her village, bent on destroying everything in their path.


Having been a fan of George R. R. Martin’s work for a number of years, I went into reading this with some very high expectations, and it did not disappoint. The Ice Dragon is a beautiful children’s story that is thoughtful, provoking and wonderfully written,

The plot is a fairly simple one, but it’s fantastically executed and filled with lots of subtle elements from the series that so many adore. Adara is great, she’s fearless, staying out longer than any of the other children during the winter months, playing with lizards and approaching the ice dragon all alone. She stands out, sets herself apart from the other children and her brothers and sisters, and while she seems misunderstood by her family, she really is a fantastic character that you instantly empathize with.

This has probably been said in many reviews of The Ice Dragon, but the illustrations are astounding, I found myself getting distracted from the story many times in order to inspect them. They make the whole book feel cold and icy, it really adds to the whole atmosphere of the book.

It’s a sweet enjoyable story about a little girl that sacrifices her desires in order to save her family. It’s intelligent, thought provoking and lavishly illustrated. It may not be entirely for children, - there are some gory head-splitting scenes - but all in all a wonderful little book. I for one hope Martin delves into children’s writing again, if The Ice Dragon is anything to go by, it’s sure to be a wonderful book! ( )
  ColeReadsBooks | Jan 22, 2015 |
A very slight tale, marketed as being in the Game of Thrones 'verse, although it doesn't really seem to be. Meh. ( )
  sloopjonb | Dec 14, 2014 |
This book is a children's book. But it is Martin so I thought I would give it a try. There is certainly Martin's style here; he's not afraid to hide from reality even for children. This story has a happy ending but it's an ending that is tainted by past trauma. People and dragons who were loved died before the happy ending came. I read the edition where the illustrator was Yvonne Gilbert, and the illustrations were good. Probably not the best considering children's books nowadays but it still got the story across in pictures for me. It was a fun book that took about a half hour to read. If you're a hard core Martin fan, then I'd say go ahead and pick the book up. ( )
  Kassilem | Dec 2, 2014 |
A good quick read better suited for more mature children. The darker themes of loss may be unsettling for younger kids. ( )
  hermit_9 | Nov 26, 2014 |
So, this is a strange little creature of a book. It is marketed as a YA, but I don't know that it is quite written as a YA. Of course, given that it was written in the 80s originally, when there was no such thing as a YA market, this also makes a little more sense. It seems to dwell somewhere in that nether region between YA and straight up adult fantasy, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. There is one thing that will eternally bug me about YA that is dumbed down for kids, and this is certainly not that. Martin gives us an intelligent and emotional tale of a young girl and her coming of age story as she watches her family and home being torn away from her and she learns the meaning of sacrifice.

Adara, born during one of the harshest freezes that anyone could remember, was as cold and hard as the winter that she was brought into. Her family tried to no avail to get her to melt her cold heart. Her only constant companion was the ice dragon, a rare and terrible creature of power. The only person to ever befriend an ice dragon let alone ride one, Adara looked forward to winter and to every year on her birthday to see the dragon again.

However, when the war in the North finally made its way to her small village and fire-breathing dragons threatened her family and home, Adara's heart finally melts and with the help of the ice dragon, she learns the true meaning of love and sacrifice. While typing this out makes it sound a little on the sentimental side, there really isn't much sentimentality in the telling. Like all of Martin's stories, he is not shy telling about the ravages of war here. There is violence and darkness in this story to be sure, but it is tempered just as equally by the love of Adara and her ice dragon.

The design of the book is beautiful. The illustrations are gorgeous, and the entire book is printed in a blueish tone, giving it a uniquely winter-ish feel. However put this book together did a grand job.

I know there are people out there that are going to be shocked by this story, given at first glance it looks to be a charming tale about a girl and her dragon. It is, but there is so much more to it than that, and really, you should be familiar with Martin's Song Ice and Fire series, and if you are familiar with his writing, you know he can be dark, even when telling a tale such as this, so be warned. This book probably won't be for everyone, but I found it to be a wonderful addition to the Song of Fire and Ice saga. ( )
  tapestry100 | Nov 21, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
George R. R. Martinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gilbert, YvonneIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Royo, LuisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Royo, LuisIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Voor Phipps
die op het idee kwam,
met veel liefs
To Phipps
who thought of it first,
with all my love
First words
Adara hield het meest van de winter, want als de wereld koud werd, kwam de ijsdraak.
Adara liked the winter best of all, for when the world grew cold the ice dragon came.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765316315, Hardcover)

The ice dragon was a creature of legend and fear, for no man had ever tamed one. When it flew overhead, it left in its wake desolate cold and frozen land. But Adara was not afraid. For Adara was a winter child, born during the worst freeze that anyone, even the Old Ones, could remember.
Adara could not remember the first time she had seen the ice dragon. It seemed that it had always been in her life, glimpsed from afar as she played in the frigid snow long after the other children had fled the cold. In her fourth year she touched it, and in her fifth year she rode upon its broad, chilled back for the first time. Then, in her seventh year, on a calm summer day, fiery dragons from the North swooped down upon the peaceful farm that was Adara's home. And only a winter child--and the ice dragon who loved her--could save her world from utter destruction.
The Ice Dragon marks the highly anticipated children's book debut of George R.R. Martin, the award-winning author of the New York Times best-selling series A Song of Ice and Fire and is set in the same world. Illustrated with lush, exquisitely detailed pencil drawings by acclaimed artist Yvonne Gilbert, The Ice Dragon is an unforgettable tale of courage, love, and sacrifice by one of the most honored fantasists of all time.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:53:14 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Leaving in its wake desolate cold and frozen land, the legendary ice dragon has never been tamed until it meets Adara, a winter child who looks to the creature to help save her world from destruction.

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