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East by Edith Pattou is a retelling of "East of the Sun and West of the Moon". Ebba (actually Nyamh) Rose, was first conceived as a replacement due to her deceased east-born older sister, Elise, but a twist of fate ends with her being a north-born child. Her mother is upset, due to her family's beliefs about north-born people being wild and generally ill-behaved, not to mention the prophecy about any north-born child she has dying buried in snow and ice, and so decides to pretend that Rose was a east-born child in the hopes of averting it. However, nature wins out over nurture time and again, and Rose proves to be very much not like Elise.

Many years later, one of her older sisters gets sick, the first in a series of unfortunate events that leave the family worried about their future. One stormy night, a white bear comes to their house, promising to somehow fix things if they will let him have Rose. She agrees, traveling with him to a castle hidden in the mountains, and for a while everything goes all right, until Rose's curiousity turns out to be her undoing. Determined to set things right, she sets off for the land "east of the sun and west of the moon" to rescue her white bear once and for all.


East contains examples of:

  • All Trolls Are Different: Trolls in this novel are beautiful humanoids with rough skin, equally gruff voices, and the ability to use magic.
  • Chekov'sGun: The shirt that Rose makes for Charles from bear fur.
  • Curse: Charles was forced to spend 150 years as the white bear, and unless he could meet the requirements to break the curse, he would belong to the Troll Queen.
  • Dead Older Sister: Elise.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language
  • Half Truth: Rose was indeed buried in snow and ice, but the white bear was there to dig her out.
  • Horny Vikings: Thor, who helps Rose travel North.
  • Ill Girl: Sara
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: The slank which the trolls were giving their human slaves to keep them docile and which the Troll Queen was giving Charles.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Rose uses the candle her mother gave her to see the white bear for who he really was, unknowingly screwing up his last chance of breaking the curse.
  • Orphan's Plot Trinket: The ring that Charles gives Rose before he is taken away, which turns out to be proof of his heritage as part of the French monarchy.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Charles, son of Charles VI, spent 150 years as the white bear as part of his curse.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Rose was born to replace her older sister, Elise.
  • Screaming Birth: Rose's own birth during a storm.
  • Stalker with a Crush: The Troll Queen, who abducted Charles when he was a child.
  • Switching POV: The novel switches between Rose, her brother Neddy, her father, the bear, and the Troll Queen.
  • Theme Naming: The first letter of each of her childrens' names is that of a direction on a map, e.g. Neddy Wilfred (North West), Sara (South), and Wilhelm (West).
  • Yandere: When the Troll Queen takes Charles back to her kingdom after he becomes human permanently, she immediately starts drugging him in order to make him forget his time as the white bear.
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