- Series: Book of Wirrun (Book 1)
- Mass Market Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: Del Rey; Reissue edition (July 12, 1986)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0345332482
- ISBN-13: 978-0345332486
- Package Dimensions: 6.7 x 3.9 x 0.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,917,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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THE ICE IS COMING (Book of Wirrun) Mass Market Paperback – July 12, 1986
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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.