"Eleven-year-old Unn is a recent arrival in a rural community where she lives with her aunt. Shy and introverted, she strikes up an unlikely friendship at school with a boisterous classmate, Siss, and an unusual bond develops between them. When Siss visits Unn they declare their intense feelings for each other, but Siss suddenly feels threatened and leaves. Unn, who has been wanting to share a secret, cannot face Siss the next day. Learning of a forthcoming school outing to the 'ice palace' - a giant structure formed by a frozen waterfall - she sets off alone to visit it never to return. Siss's struggle with her fidelity to the memory of her friend, the strange, terrifyingly beautiful frozen chambers of the waterfall and Unn's fatal exploration of the ice palace are described in prose of a lyrical economy that ranks among the most memorable achievements of modern literature."--Cover.