Another novel-to-drama adaptation. The novel, Ice Fantasy, is written by Guo Jing Ming. The name was so familiar to me so I googled him and it turned out he’s not a new face at all. Lol. He’s the small-framed screenwriter and director of the Tiny Times franchise, who’s also accompanied Yang Mi on various red carpets. Apparently, Kris Wu’s name was attached to this project two years ago and now the production company, Shanghai Youhug Media (Prince of Lan Ling, Divorce Lawyers, and Lady and the Liar), has confirmed the leads in William Feng and Victoria Song. Funny enough, the two are currently filming My Best Friend’s Wedding, a movie with Shu Qi, which I wrote about in batch 15 of Cnews. I’m happy to have William back to the small screen but Victoria’s name didn’t stir the same excitement in me. But I’ll remain positive since the story is quite appealing.
Thanks to Kris Wu’s adoring fans at Fiery Dragon Breath, I read five chapters of Ice Fantasy in one sitting.
Briefly, the story is about the Empire of Snow (Ice Tribe) and the battle between the two brothers for the throne. I didn’t get to the “battle” part yet. The first five chapters introduce us to the characters, their temperaments, and the story. After a fatal war with the Fire Tribe, only older Bro, Ka Suo, and younger brother, Ying Kong Shi, survive among the siblings. To hide the last blood of the Ice Tribe, the brothers are sent to the mortal realm for 30 years. There, Ka Suo continues to practice his power on a smaller scale. As an illusionist, he is able to create ice sculptures out of water and sell them to make a living.
The day they return to their kingdom, Ka Suo meets the first woman he loves – Li Luo, she’s a top sorceress of her generation. He asks for her hand in marriage but his royal father refuses to bless him because as future King of the Snow Tribe, his queen has to be a pure blood, and only mermaids of the Sea Palace are qualified to marry into the Royal Family. Without a leaving a trace behind, the top sorceress disappears, believed to have been buried under the ice bed deep in the Empire of Snow.
But what Royal father doesn’t know is…his older son does not want to become King. His younger brother, whose innocent smile bears an wickedness that can’t be described, desires the throne instead. In their world, power is measured through the length of their silver/white hair, and little bro repeatedly announces that he’s the better candidate for King because his power/hair has surpassed that of his older brother’s. When the astrologers try to read into Shi’s future, all of them have died, with the exception of one (Xing Jiu).
Soon, Ka Suo meets a mermaid princess who has fallen in love with him during the years he was exiled to the mortal realm. He can become King if they marry but Shi voices his attraction to her as well and soon after, she’s found dead in her original form. Legends say that mermaids transform back to their fish form if they were humiliated in any way.
(This is the part where I find younger brother Shi to be a quite the psychopath. Anyone who opposes him dies.)
When Ka Suo confronts and confirms every evil deed that his brother has done, he stabs him, ending Shi’s life. What we learn a little later is the deep brotherly bond between the two. Shi wants to become King because he wants to give Ka Suo the freedom he has always coveted. Older Brother wants to live in seclusion, he wants the freedom to love and live and Shi wants nothing more than to fulfill that dream. He kills, he rapes, he destroys every living thing blocking his path to free his brother.
There’s also the story of past life where Ka Suo was a prisoner chained to a rock for performing a taboo magic. He spent his days alone, with the company of a snow bird hanging on his shoulder. He told the bird that in his next life, he wanted to be Prince of the Snow Empire, believing that with great power, he could grant himself freedom. Once the snow bird knew of his wish, it ascended into the air and continuously smashed its body against the rock, letting its bright red blood stain the chains and eventually breaking them and freeing the prisoner. What a tragic story.
My opinion: I think this is the case where the drama adaptation might bring this book to life. It’s a creative story that can be built upon in motion because the writing of the original novel lacks depth and is written in a very juvenile way (understandable since he wrote the novel when he was younger). It’s straightforward action without giving time to the consequences of actions and leaving me feeling emotional hollow because the pace never stops to breathe, never allowing its characters to linger in the moments.
In charge of editing the source material for the drama script is Shen Zi Ning (Hidden Intention, Schemes of a Beauty, Beauty Without Tears). Directing the fantasy piece is Ju Jue Liang (Patriot Yue Fei, The Stand-In). Hollywood art director, Dan Hennah (The Hobbit), will also lend help as the art director of Ice Fantasy.