The Ice Dragon (1980) by George R. R. Martin

A charming short story from George R. R. Martin. Though sometimes touted as a story connected to Westeros and Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” saga, it decidedly isn’t. It’s a children’s story in its own self-contained world, as he’s maintained consistently. It was also written sixteen years before even the kernel of the idea that developed into “A Game of Thrones” developed.

The story itself is very slight, but enjoyable, and certainly suitable for children. It’s a quick, breezy read, not really whimsical, but not dark in the way Martin’s adult work often is either.

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The real draw of the book, to me at least, were the impressive illustrations by artist Luis Royo. This is actually a second edition of the book, as the first published edition had a different artist and this is a reprint I assume to capitalise on Martin’s renewed fame from “Game of Thrones”. Nearly every page has an illustration, and they’re all gorgeous. They’re full of detail and depth, and at times haunting in a very beautiful way. The book is worth reading purely for them.

I give “The Ice Dragon” three ice lizards, and a dragonrider.

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