The Face in the Frost by John Bellairs
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
What an unusual book. Although this book is only 174 pages, it took me a long time to read it. So much going on. There is no real way to say what time period this book is set in. It seems to be that generic medieval-esque period of historical fantasy, yet the narrative is overflowing with anachronisms. This is a story that it is helpful to read while a web browser is open to Wikipedia.org.
At times a little dry and in other times really unsettling, and quite humorous in parts, this fantasy is about a smackdown between master wizards. And what a meandering journey it takes to get to the final confrontation, which really doesn't last that long. I don't know if this was ever made into a movie, but I think it would make a very cool movie, live action, or animated. The urge would be to make it a kid's movie, but this is too dark for the average child. Maybe a young teen or preteen.
On the cover of my edition (which appears to be from 1969 since this book has a cover price of $1.75), a quote from Ursula K. LeGuin says this book is "Aunthentic fantasy by a writer who knows what wizardry is all about." I'd have to agree with that quote. This is a book for fans of wizards and magic. Although it was a chore to read (likely the small print, dense narrative, and crazy and hard to follow plot), I don't regret reading this one. I'm glad I did.
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