Ice Fire


178 pages
ISBN 0-88887-158-9
DDC C813'.54





Reviewed by Matt Hartman

Matt Hartman is a freelance editor and cataloguer, running Hartman Cataloguing, Editing and Indexing Services.


Ice Fire is the story of a young Inuit woman’s infatuation with a
Danish anthropologist who spends a year researching her Netsilik tribe
in the high-Arctic area around the Boothia Isthmus. “Infatuation” is
the right word—not love—since the relationship is clearly not going
to last, so different are the two cultures. Still, they give it a good
shot, young Sivorak and Kurt Pederson, sharing the communal igloos,
stealing moments together in secret hideaways: “I could smell his
body,” the 16-year-old says. “It was an intoxicating smell, a
mixture of river water, fish, smoke, and sweat ... My nose was pressed
deep in his jacket, inhaling the intimacy of his sweet flesh. This is
was what I had imagined Paradise to be like, this rush of happiness that
was unending!”

Edmonds, from Delta, B.C., writes informatively about Inuit culture and
traditions. The nomadic life in which groups of extended

families hunt and fish together in a ceaseless effort to avoid
starvation and the freezing cold is described in minute detail. The
wealth of information in the book would have been reason enough for
publication as a young-adult novel of Inuit life. The romance between
the star-crossed lovers is, perhaps, an unnecessary subplot that will
serve only to titillate the teenage reader.


Edmonds, Yvette., “Ice Fire,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed December 10, 2023,