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The Ice is Coming Hardcover – 1 Jul 1977
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Top customer reviews
The white inhabitants of Australia 'the Happy People' are happily getting on with their own affairs, but he gets help from one of the dour 'Inlanders'.
With the help of the sticklike Mimi, the Hero Ko-in, and many of other mythical and semi-mythical Australian characters, including of course the mighty Bunyip, Wirrun fights the Ninya. Riding the wind with the Mimi, he summons the Men of Mount Conner to sing the Ninya back to sleep.
In the process he learns about his own people and their varied traditions.
This is a beautifully written and sadly forgotten book that will please fans of Harry Potter and Diana Wynne Jones.
I knew nothing at all about Australian myth when I came across this book as a child, but I still enjoyed the story. Since then I've re-read it many times, and it has inspired me to do a great deal more reading about Australia, its native peoples and their myths. Buy it if you can find it! It's a lost treasure, and well worth its spot on your bookshelves.
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for his reading, He is very happy with it.
Wirrun is a young man in Australia, an Aborigine with one foot in the white man's world. When ancient forces of ice awaken & threat the land of his ancestors, he's chosen to find & rouse the Eldest Nargun, an Aboriginal fire spirit, to restore the balance. On the surface, it seems a traditional coming-of-age fantasy story, done up in somewhat more unusual trappings.
But Wrightson doesn't settle for a rehash of the familiar. She develops the story slowly, letting us get a feel for the Aboriginal worldview, so very different than our Western preconceptions. There's far more characterization & exploration of culture here than lurid special effects duels or cardboard cutouts hacking at each other with generic swords. It's much more than a simplistic good guys vs. bad guys story!
Wirrun's journey is fraught with unexpected dangers, touched with surprising humor at times, and filled with the delights of a completely different mythology & outlook. You sense that Wrightson isn't just using the Aboriginal background as exotic set dressing, but hopes that the reader will come to understand & value an older way of life & experiencing the world. And I think she succeeds very well.
This novel is complete in itself, with a definite ending. But if you enjoy it, you'll want to seek out her two sequels to it, "The Dark Bright Water" & "Journey Behind the Wind." Both develop & deepen the character of Wirrun & his relationship to his ancestral world, rather than simply rewriting the first novel. Most highly recommended!
Those who love C.J. Cherryh's detailed portrayals of alien societies should love Patricia Wrightson's portrayal of a society equally "alien" to many "modern" readers, but much closer to home.
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