The Ice Dragon
By Andrea Beach,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Beautifully illustrated dragon fantasy is short but intense.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Fantasy and meant to entertain, not educate.
You can't abandon your family in times of need. Family members look out for and protect one another.
Positive Role Models
After planning to leave her home to go north with the ice dragon, Adara, who's about 7, makes the right decision in her family's hour of need. Her father loves his children and is a good provider. He's also close to his brother, and they model responsible, brave behavior, although it's mentioned that he gave Adara a beating in the past.
Violence & Scariness
Short battles and fights. There's no blood or gore, but dying soldiers and dragons are mentioned, with some injuries such as burns and broken dragon wings described. Illustrations show what appears to be a dead warrior without blood or gore, a long line of wounded soldiers with stained bandages, and some intense moments such as meeting a huge, fierce dragon. A past beating is mentioned. Adara's mother died in childbirth and an illustration shows her in bed, apparently in labor. Some illustrations of dragons are intense. In the past, Adara stepped on a nail and left a trail of blood in the snow.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Wine's mentioned several times, as is a period when Adara's father drank heavily. Adara overhears him talking in a voice "thick with wine."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Ice Dragon is a new edition of a story first published in 2006 by famed fantasy author George R. R. Martin. There's some fantasy violence involving dragon battles, a past beating is mentioned, and the father turns to drinking during hard times. Otherwise there's nothing of concern here from the author whose Song of Ice and Fire series inspired the violence- and sex-filled TV series A Game of Thrones. This story's set in the same universe as A Game of Thrones, but it's a different time period and doesn't have any of the same characters. Some of the lavish illustrations are intense, but there's no blood or gore.
Where to Read
Based on 2 parent reviews
Bloated dead bodies and heads split by axes.
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Short but exciting story
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What's the Story?
Adara's always been different from everyone else. She's more comfortable and happy during the cold of winter when most people want to huddle by the fire. When she befriends a rare ice dragon, she decides she wants to leave her home and go live with the ice dragon far away to the north. But war has come to her homeland, and when enemy dragon riders turn on the family farm, Adara has to decide between leaving to live out her dream or staying behind to defend her home.
Is It Any Good?
THE ICE DRAGON is an engaging, if brief, dragon fantasy. The gorgeous illustrations, along with every aspect of the book's design, including the beautiful illustrated type, are what make it a satisfying experience, given that the story itself is so short and ends rather abruptly.
Dragon lovers, especially elementary and middle schoolers, will be enchanted with Adara and her magnificent ice dragon. The heirloom-quality presentation ensures that it'll be a pleasure to revisit many times.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about why fantasy books, especially with dragons, are so popular. Why do we love to read them so much?
Did you like the illustrations? Did they help you picture the people and events of the story, or would you rather be able to use your imagination?
Why do you think Adara turned back for home when she was so close to realizing her dream of living with the ice dragon?
- Author: George R. R. Martin
- Illustrator: Luis Royo
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Brothers and Sisters
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Tor Teen
- Publication date: October 21, 2014
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 17
- Number of pages: 128
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: July 12, 2017
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