Science Teacher: A rare narrative honored with an NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book award, this story - packed with science facts and anecdotes - is so gripping you will not want to put it down.
The Horn Book: An enthralling tale, told with marked immediacy, verve, and force of personality… Farr’s/Cherry’s story rivals that of Shackleton for sheer suspense, details of Antarctic conditions, and vicariously lived adventure.
San Jose Mercury News: The best indication of just how compelling my menfolk found "Emperors of the Ice: A True Story of Disaster and Survival in the Antarctic, 1910-13" is the way it kept disappearing off my stack of books. Author Richard Farr crafts a you-are-there fictional memoir of an almost century-old expedition that bordered on lunacy: a monthlong Antarctica trek to collect the eggs of the Emperor penguin. Inspired by Apsley Cherry-Garrard's research and original photos - published in 1922 in a hefty tome called "The Worst Journey of the World" - Farr's work focuses not on science but people. It's the intimate details and the human experience in such a wretched environment that keep the pages turning - for young readers and grown-ups alike.
Children's Literature Review: Very few books truly deserve to be called spellbinding, but this book is one of those rare few. Even readers who do not care much for tales of action and adventure will find this book almost impossible to put down. This is a nonfiction chronicle of Robert Scott's second Antarctic expedition, 1910 to 1913, but author Farr employs a superb device to render the narrative with all the tension, immediacy, and richness of first-class fiction - he has recreated the voice of one of the expedition's youngest participants, Apsley Cherry-Garrard, to relate the tale. Drawing on Cherry-Garrard's journals, as well as a wealth of other sources, Farr captures the voice of an acute and literate observer, a man who even in the face of extreme hardship and loss never loses his sense of wonder at the power and beauty of nature. Crystalline images, such as this description of icebergs, linger in the reader's mind long after the book is closed: "There they were, out to the east: two magical silver fortresses standing guard over the blue silk plain of the ocean." Young readers - as well as their parents, teachers and librarians - will be captivated by this extraordinary book.
Booklist (American Library Association): Based on [Apsely Cherry-Garrard's] own memoirs and extensive research, this deceptively light-toned account makes compelling reading and is well supplied with contemporary photos, maps, an annotated source list, and other helpful extras. Despite its fictive voice, it makes an authoritative replacement for older titles on the expedition.
VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates library magazine): This fictionalized memoir... is a very memorable story of survival and death in the name of science and exploration. [T]old in first-person narrative, the story is vivid and full of action. There are poignant moments of bravery and self-sacrifice that the reader will ponder long after finishing the book. Heavily illustrated with paintings, photos, and documents from the actual expedition, the book brings vividly to life the explorers and scientists of nearly a century ago. Readers from middle school age to adults will find this tale of survival to be unforgettable.
Mountaineer Jim Wickwire, author of Addicted to Danger: Masterful and spell-binding.
Kliatt: Farr's research and use of journal accounts make this a rich picture of early 20th-century exploration that straddles the line between fiction and nonfiction.... [O]f particular interest to young adolescents and their teachers.
CHMS Library Weblog: Farr brings you as close as a book can to feeling both the pull of the Antarctic and the harsh reality of polar expeditions in those days. Full of beautiful photographs that will haunt any reader who understands that many of these men never left this landscape, Emperors of the Ice is a thrilling read.
School Library Journal: [I]ncorporates numerous primary sources, including diaries, letters, and black-and-white reproductions and archival photographs that aid in capturing Garrard’s mindset and that of the other members of the expedition... Farr’s writing is engrossing and his accounts of the hardships and near-death experiences the explorers faced are harrowing.
Colleen Mondor at Bookslut.com:Emperors of the Ice is exactly the sort of book that readers eager for the unknown will adore... [D]iscovering that polar explorers actually risked their lives in pursuit of ornithological revelations is heartening in the best sort of way. They were brave and superhumanly determined and it was all for science. After so many books about winning it is wonderful to be reminded that Scott was in a race only because it was thrust upon him by circumstance; that his goal was always just to learn more... There are action movies and video games and then there is what was accomplished at the bottom of the world nearly a century ago. This is thrilling writing and it will hopefully open up a whole world of polar literature to readers looking for something to believe in.