A few weeks ago, on a whim, I looked up Luis Royo on Book Depository again, and discovered not just that the site had restocked several of the artbooks, but also listed The Ice Dragon, written by George RR Martin… and illustrated by Luis Royo. Billed as a children’s book, both Rhys and I were quite intrigued by the idea of Royo-sensei doing art for a children’s book – we’re more familiar with Royo’s sensual, beautiful art as applied to fantasy, sci-fi and erotic works. Nevertheless, as we are both fans of Royo’s work and Martin is a good writer, we ordered the book.
It arrived today.
Even better, when I looked inside, it was quite clear that 1) this IS a children’s book, but as it was written back in the 1980s, it does not give the feel of talking down to the reader the way I sometimes feel these days reading some of the books assigned to my son’s reading in school. and 2) most of the book is graced by beautiful illustrations by Luis Royo.
A quick skim of the book tells me that, provided your children are the old-fashioned sort, this is a book that you and your children will enjoy, especially if it is read out loud – but I’ll leave that up to the parents’ judgement. Martin weaves a beautiful, but bittersweet tale.
I’ve found out since this is actually a new edition and the older version had a different illustrator. I’m very surprised at how well the artwork fits the story. The print version (I can’t speak for the Kindle version, I’m afraid since I don’t have that) has both text and illustrations tinted blue, with illustrations on the inside of the cover and the back, at the end of the book in yellow tints.
A surprise awaits with this edition of the hardcover, as the dust jacket hides a larger, extended version of the cover.
All in all I’d consider this a fantastic buy, both for the appreciation of the wordsmith’s craft, as well as the artist’s. It is, in my opinion, a perfect meeting of the skills of two masters in their art.