Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Review of City of Ice by Laurence Yep

I wrote this review for the June 2011 issue of School Library Journal.  

YEP, Laurence. City of Ice. Bk. 2. 369p. (City Trilogy). bibliog. Tom Doherty Assoc/Starscape. June 2011. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-7653-1925-8. LC number unavailable. 
Gr 5-8–In this sequel to City of Fire (Tom Doherty Assoc/Starscape, 2009), Scirye and her companions have left Hawaii and are pursuing their enemies Mr. Roland and Badik the dragon across the Arctic; their quest is to prevent Roland from finding a magical treasure that will give him terrifying powers. After a perilous journey, the friends join forces with Lord Resak, a powerful Arctic spirit that manifests itself as a giant polar bear, to repel an attack by Roland’s fighters. The eccentric characters from the first book are all here, from the orphan Leech and his smart-mouthed badger friend, Koko, to the brave dragon, Bayang, and they are joined by spunky young Roxanna and her ifrit servant. The adventures are nonstop and the magical creatures and gods are intriguing, though there is little character development beyond the continual bantering and quarreling in which Scirye’s companions engage. The prose and dialogue feel clumsy and inert at times, but this is countered by the colorful alternate-history setting in which ancient peoples such as the Sogdians and Kushans are still around and thriving. Readers who enjoyed the first book will be eager to read more about Scirye’s adventures.

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