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East

by Edith Pattou


Book Review

:

Publishers Weekly :

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Readers with a taste for fantasy and folklore will embrace Pattou's (Hero's Song) lushly rendered retelling of "East of the Sun and West of the Moon." In an old Norwegian village, a highly superstitious mother tries to protect her youngest child, Rose, from a dire prophecy; as the various characters take turns narrating the story, it is readily apparent that no one else takes the superstitions seriously. Nevertheless, Rose is "different" in many ways, from her purple eyes to her passion for weaving, which leads her to make a cloak patterned with a "wind rose" (a mapmaker's symbol indicating the direction of the winds)She also seems to attract the attention of a white bear, and when the bear finally approaches her, offering to make her poor family prosper and to restore her ill sister's health if Rose will come away with him, she finds the offer impossible to resist. Pattou unfolds her story slowly and carefully, luring readers across many miles with the brave and determined Rose. Handsomely evoking a landscape filled with castles, trolls, shamans and spellbound princes, the story will exercise its audience's imagination. Ages 12-up.

Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.:

Book Review

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School Library Journal :

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Gr 6 Up-A compelling novelization of the folktale "East of the Sun and West of the Moon." Rose's story-from her birth as a replacement for a dead sister to her eventual happy marriage to Charles VI's fifth child-is recounted from the kaleidoscopic viewpoints of her father, her brother, the troll queen who bewitched the Dauphin, the White Bear whom the Dauphin became until Rose's rescue, and Rose herself. Each character's unique perspective and voice adds texture and tension to the plot, which is imbued with Nordic mythology and unfolds in a unique story line. Numerous interpersonal tensions are examined, including those between a comparatively "modern" man and his superstitious wife, between the bewitched bear and the women who want to claim him as a mate, and between Rose and the neighbors she meets in each of her worlds. Pattou's writing pitches readers gracefully between myth and fantasy, inviting those unaccustomed to either genre to explore the frozen world of questing that she has so vividly created.-Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA

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