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Literature / Pugs Of The Frozen North

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Pugs of the Frozen North is a children's book by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre as part of the "Not So Impossible Tales" book series.
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Shen was a cabin boy on the "North Star", and Sika was a young girl living with her mother and grandfather in the "PO OF ICE". One day, while making a delivery, the North Star is caught in a " True Winter", a winter so strong it freezes the water the ship is on solid. When it finally starts to sink, the captain orders the ship to be abandoned, though Shen saves the cargo of sixty-six pugs. When the crew abandons him, Shen and the pugs begin looking for civilization, which Shen finds in the form of Sika's town and the "PO OF ICE". When Sika learns of Shen's pugs, and discovers that, together, they can pull a sled at amazing speed, she decides to enter herself and Shen into an event being held in Sika's village, The Race To The Top Of The World, where people from all over the world race to the palace of the Snowfather, with the first one there being granted their wish.

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Sika wants to enter it because her grandfather raced in it, but sadly, he didn't win. She wants to win so the Snowfather can make him live long enough for another lifetime, and see the next race.

So, now, Shen and Sika are determined to win the race and grant Sika's wish, and they have to get past the other racers, a kraken, a boatload of yetis, and multiple other obstacles to get to the Snowfather's Palace.


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Pugs Of The Frozen North contains examples of:

  • All Trolls Are Different: Snow trolls, which live in a deep chasm by the Snowfather's palace and eat anyone who falls in.
  • Alliterative Name: Helga Hammerfist.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: There's fifty different types of snow in a True Winter.
    • Echo Snow, which repeats anything you say.
    • Noodle Snow, which can be used to make delicious noodles which are addictive, and turns whoever eats them into a yeti.
    • Shrink Snow, which shrinks anyone who touches it like Sir Basil Sprout-Dumpling.
    • Were Snow, which turns into snowmen when you're not looking, and turns back to regular snow when you are.
    • Anything Snow, which turns into anything you mold it into, and is the actual prize of the race.
  • The Big Race: The Race To The Top Of The World. It spans the distance between Sika's town, and the Snowfather's palace, with the winner being granted their wish.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: The racers come across a half-sunken ship full of yetis who really love eating noodles made of snow, but make them wash up afterwards so the yetis don't have to. The yetis in question are the crew of the ship, turned into yetis by eating too many snow noodles.
  • Beleaguered Assistant: Sideplate, Sir Basil Sprout-Dumpling's butler.
  • Big Bad: Sir Basil Sprout-Dumpling.
  • Big Good: The Snowfather.
  • Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat: Sir Basil Sprout-Dumpling pulls many dirty tricks and sets up a few traps to stop the other racers and ensure he wins the race.
  • Evil Brit: Sir Basil Sprout-Dumpling.
  • Girls With Mustaches: Helga Hammerfist has a beard.
  • I Choose to Stay: Mitzi Von Primm decides to stay with the other yetis after having eaten enough snow noodles that the transformation is all-but-complete.
    • Helga Hammerfist also decides to stay at the Snowfather's palace because it's snowy all year round.
    • Shen ultimately decides that he and the pugs will live with Sika and her mother in their town.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The Snow Trolls like to eat anyone who falls into their crevasse.
  • Impoverished Patrician: Sir Basil Sprout-Dumpling's father won the last race and wished for riches. Sadly, Sir Basil Sprout-Dumpling spent the family fortune, and seeks to win this race to get it back.
  • Kraken and Leviathan: Shen, Sika, and the pugs are attacked by one seemingly frozen beneath the ice. However, the pugs fight back against it and actually manage to drive it back.
  • Robot Buddy: Prof. Shackleton Jones has SNOBOT.
  • Robot Dog: Prof. Shackleton Jones has robot dogs to pull his sled. He replaces them with Mitzi's huskies after she decides to stay on the Lost Hope with the humans-turned-yetis.
  • Signs Of Dis Repair: Sika and her family live in the POST OFFICE.
  • Sled Dogs Through the Snow: All the racers' sleds are pulled by animals, though it mainly varies between the main characters.
    • Shen and Sika's sled is pulled by sixty-six pugs.
    • Prof. Shackleton Jones' sled is pulled by ROBODOGs until he swaps them out for Mitzi's.
    • Mitzi Von Primm's sled is pulled by huskies she had styled to look more like poodles.
    • Sir Basil Sprout-Dumpling and Sideplate have standard huskies.
    • Helga Hammerfist's sled is pulled by Polar Bears.
  • Snowball Fight: Shen starts one with echo snow to distract the yetis while he saves the other racers.
  • Snowlems: At one point, Shen, Sika, and the pugs find themselves surrounded by some very unfriendly snowmen.
  • Was Once a Man: The yetis in the half-sunken ship used to be humans. They became yetis from eating too much noodle snow.
  • Wintry Auroral Sky: Naturally, given the setting. In an interesting twist, in a True Winter, it gets so cold that pieces of it freeze solid and fall to the ground.

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