Ice Crown

~ A Novel by Andre Norton


Synopsis ~

Write-up from the front flap of 1970 HC ~

Service had given a rare order in directing Offlas Keil to land on Clio in search of Forerunner treasure; and Keil had given a more startling one in attaching his niece Roane to the expedition. For Clio was a closed planet. Settled centuries ago, as a Psychocrat experiment, its colonists had been brain-cleared, implanted with false memories, conditioned to obey the machines of the Psychocrat installation, and left to evolve as they might. When rediscovered, Clio had been sealed - for the impact the truth might have upon its people could not be calculated or risked. Nonetheless Keil had been ordered to touch down in Reveny, one of the small archaic kingdoms that had evolved on Clio amidst dynastic intrigues and skirmishes which seemed, to an onlooker from the stars, a giant game.
Roane could not have foreseen her part in that game, no more than that she was part of an even larger game. Though forbidden to interfere in Clio's destiny, Roane is compelled by an emotion she does not recognize to do just that. She consents to aid the heiress to Reveny's thrown, Princess Ludorica, in her search for the lost Ice Crown - a gift from the "Guardians" to the royal line, and source of the power of rule. Roane's growing loyalty to Ludorcia, strengthened as the web of Revney's intrigue closes about them, leads her to a bitter choice - a choice that carries with it the dread knowledge of the Ice Crown's true and hitherto unsuspected powers, and frees Roane from her own more subtle slavery. 


Write-up from the back of ACE paperback editions ~

Offlas Keil and his niece, Roane, had their orders: to land on Clio and search out its treasure.
Clio was a closed planet. Settled centuries ago, as a Psychocrat experiment, its colonist had been brained-cleared, implanted with false memories – and conditioned to obey.
Keil and Roane touched down at Reveny, one of Clio’s more archaic kingdoms. Roane didn’t know it at the time, but she was to form an alliance with Reveny’s Princess Ludorica in a search for the greatest treasure of all – the strange, the mysterious, the all-powerful Ice Crown.


Write-up from the back of the ROC paperback edition ~

Forerunner Artifacts were the most sought-after items in the known universe, functioning fragments of the technology of a long-vanished race, the least of whose creations were far beyond what the human race had yet achieved. Even the rumor of a possible Forerunner relic was enough to send Offlas Keil and his niece Roane on a secret mission to the closed world of Clio.
Clio was a planet which had been used for forbidden experimentation, its people implanted with false memories, and conditioned to obey commands delivered through such items as the mysterious Ice Crown.
But on a world divided into barbaric nations in conflict, Keil’s and Roane’s search for this legendary treasure might easily prove their own ruin and the catalyst that would forever destroy the precarious balance of the power on Clio… Ice Crown


Write-ups from fans ~

Archaeological expedition lands on a planet where they must not reveal themselves to the inhabitants, descendants of an experiment in sociology conducted by the now-deposed Psychocrats. One of the archaeologists, a young girl named Roan Hume, sees the Princess of the local kingdom kidnapped and takes a hand to free her. The Princess had been seeking the long-lost Ice Crown of Reveny, left by the Guardians. The two girls escaped their captors flee to another kingdom. Where she fully expects to be returned to kingdom and revenge her traitorous cousin for her kidnapping. Instead, she is betrayed and returned to her cousins' captivity.

Meanwhile the archaeologist have inadvertently uncovered both the computer which is still running the Psychocrat's mind control experiment, and the hiding place of the Ice Crown. When the Ice Crown is picked up it begins to force a return to the mental path desired by the long dead Psychocrats. Roan along with the Princess's faithful lieutenant and his followers manage to destroy the computer and free the inhabitants from the mind-control. ~ SL


Roane Hume, creche-reared orphan trained by her uncle to be an assistant on his archaeological digs knew that she was forbidden by oath to interact with any of the indigenous population on Clio. That planet was settled several centuries ago by the now-long-dead "Psychocrats" to run experiments on a brain-washed populace had been conditioned to obey. But when she meets a local princess chained and headed for death, she rescues her and they search for the long-lost "Ice Crown" an heirloom of her kingdom which can only be worn by one of royal blood, bringing death to anyone else who tries. (I would say more about the crown if not for *spoilers*) They discover an installation that only Roane can see clearly and so they leave to find loyal supporters to help her fight off her cousin the duke who planned to use her to get the crown. Lots of action, a few twists and a vividly interesting landscape and characters make me realize why many people have told me that this is one of their favorite Norton books. ~ PG


Reviews ~

Booklist Review ~ September 01, 1972
While on a secret archaeological mission to the kingdom of Reveny on the planet Clio with her uncle and cousin, Roane feels inexplicably drawn to the native inhabitants who are unaware that their lives and medieval culture are controlled by computers programed by men, who in the past used the planet for psychological experiments. She defies the rules of her own world by becoming involve in Reveny's political intrigue and eventually destroys the mind-controlling machines. The story evinces Norton's usual flair for intricate plotting and fast-paced action and will be popular with science fiction fans.


Various reviews ~ For more info and other listings see Articles Over the Years

1971 by P. Schuyler Miller in Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, January
1971 by Mary Schaub in Locus, #76, March 4
1971 by T. Pauls in Son of WSFA Journal #20 (fnz), May
1971 by B. Searles in New Statesman, June 04
1971 by C. Storr in Best Sellers, July
1971 in Times Literary Supplement, July 02
1971 by B. Searles in New York Times Book Review, September
1971 By D. Hamilton in Luna Monthly #31 (fnz), December
2015 by James Nicoll
2019 by Judith Tarr


Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • (1970) Published by Viking, HC, 0-670-39139-5, LCCN 72102928, $4.75, 256pg ~ cover by Lazlo Gal {Green Cloth Boards, Code “1 2 3 4 5 74 75 73 72 71 70”} ~ Library Binding $4.31
  • (1970) Published by SFBC, HC, # 2621, $1.49, 215pg ~ cover by Lazlo Gal {Green Cloth Boards, # 39 L on Page 213, # 2621 on Rear of Dust Jacket}
  • (1971) Published by ACE, PB, 0-441-35840-3, $0.75, 220pg - #35841 1975 $1.25 220pg 2nd print - #35842-X 1978 $1.95 220pg 3rd print - covers by Davis Meltzer ~ #35843-8 1981 $2.25 225pg 4th print - #35844-6 1984 $2.50 220pg 7th print - covers by Paul Alexander

#35843-8, 1981 & 1982 copyright page states artist is Davis Meltzer but is actually Paul Alexander. This ACE Number was printed three times, first in March 1981 [from Locus #243], sometime in 1982 [from ads in the back], and either in later 1982 or early 1983. The 1981 printing is identified by Locus as the 4th, while the 1982 printing has a number line ending in ‘5,’ and the third printing has the number line ending in '6.'

  • (1971) Published by Longman Young Books, HC, 0-582-15245-3, £1.40, 256pg ~ UK printing ~ cover by Paul Shardlow {Green Cloth Boards}
  • (1993) Published by ROC, PB, 0-451-45248-8, $4.99, 220pg ~ cover by Tom Canty
  • Ice and Shadow (2012) Published by BAEN, PB, 1-451-63791-8, $13.00, 464pg ~ cover by Stephen Hickman ~ Omnibus containing Ice Crown (1970) & Brother to Shadows (1993)


Non-English Editions ~

  • (1972) Published in Rastatt, Germany; by Pabel, OCLC: 74135897, Terra TB 188, DM2.80, 162pg ~ translation by Leni Sobez ~ cover by Frank Kelly Freas ~ German title Die Eiskrone [The ice crown]
  • (2002) Published in Kaunus, Lithuania; by Eridanas, 99-551-0046-X, 220pg ~ translation by Anita Kapočiūtė ~ Lithuanian title Ledo karūna [Ice crown]
  • (1997) Published in Poznań, Poland; by Wydawnictwo Poznańskie, 83-861-3874-2, 243pg ~ translation by Maja Kmieciak ~ cover by Agentur Luserke ~ Polish title Lodowa Korona [Ice Crown]


Russian Omnibus Editions ~

  • (1993) Published in Zelenograd, by Zelenogradskaya Books and Angarsk, by Amber, 5-863-14013-5, HC, 416pg ~ Russian title Темный трубач [Dark trumpeter]


    • "Ice Crown" ~ translation by P. Oswetimsky, pp. 3-136
    • "Dark Piper" as "The Dark Trumpeter" ~ translation by D. Arseniev, pp. 137-296
    • "Huon of the Horn" as "Yvonne, Knight of the Horn" ~ translation by V. Rybakova, pp. 297-413


  • (2004) Published in Moscow, by Eksmo, 5-699-06989-5, HC, 528pg ~ cover by N. Jainschigg ~ Russian title Ледяная корона [Ice Crown]


    • "Ice Crown" ~ translation by O. Kolesnikov & S. Sergeyev, pp. 5-212
    • "Breed to Come" as "New breed" ~ translation by O. Kolesnikov & S. Sergeyev, pp. 213-416
    • "Garan the Eternal" ~ "Garan Eternal" ~ translation by O. Kolesnikov & S. Sergeyev, pp. 417-523


  • (2018) Published in Moscow by Eskmo, HC, 704pg ~ cover by A. Dubovik ~ Russian title Звёздный охотник [star hunter] ~ Limited to 3500 copies


    • "The Stars Are Ours!" as "The stars belong to us!" ~ translation by D. Arseniev, pp. 5-160
    • "Star Born" as "Born among the Stars" ~ translation by D. Arseniev, pp. 161-300
    • "Ice Crown" ~ translation by O. Kolesnikov & S. Sergeyev, pp. 301-530
    • "Star Hunter" ~ translation by D. Arsenyev & O. Kolesnikov, pp. 531-624
    • "Eye of the Monster" as "The Monster's Look" ~ translation by D. Saveliev & J. Saveliev, pp. 625-701

View the Original contract

View the 1975 ACE contract

See Also: Timeline 1 - Andre's Universe entry for this title.




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