Author: Sara Raasch
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: October 13th, 2015
Standalone/Series: Second book in the Snow Like Ashes trilogy
Genre: Young Adult – Fantasy
My rating in stars: 3,5 stars
My rating in words: Liked this book
*WARNING: Possible spoilers for book one, Snow Like Ashes. Spoiler-Free for Ice Like Fire though.*
What it’s about:
It’s been three months since the Winterians were freed and Spring’s king, Angra, disappeared—thanks largely to the help of Cordell.
Meira just wants her people to be safe. When Cordellan debt forces the Winterians to dig their mines for payment, they unearth something powerful and possibly dangerous: Primoria’s lost chasm of magic. Theron sees this find as an opportunity—with this much magic, the world can finally stand against threats like Angra. But Meira fears the danger the chasm poses—the last time the world had access to so much magic, it spawned the Decay. So when the king of Cordell orders the two on a mission across the kingdoms of Primoria to discover the chasm’s secrets, Meira plans to use the trip to garner support to keep the chasm shut and Winter safe—even if it means clashing with Theron. But can she do so without endangering the people she loves?
Mather just wants to be free. The horrors inflicted on the Winterians hang fresh and raw in Januari—leaving Winter vulnerable to Cordell’s growing oppression. When Meira leaves to search for allies, he decides to take Winter’s security into his own hands. Can he rebuild his broken kingdom and protect them from new threats?
As the web of power and deception weaves tighter, Theron fights for magic, Mather fights for freedom—and Meira starts to wonder if she should be fighting not just for Winter, but for the world.
“Horrible things have happened to us, are still happening to us, will happen every day for the rest of our lives, probably. What defines us is not our ability to never let them break us–what defines us is not letting them own us. We are the Thaw, and we will not be defeated by memories or evil men.”
Ice Like Fire is the second installment in the Snow Like Ashes trilogy and while I enjoyed it overall, it does suffer a bit from middle book syndrome. I give it 3,5 stars, because there were some things that I really felt like they improved upon the first book and some things that just did not.
Let me tell you about the good and the bad:
The Good: We get to know the other kingdoms in Primoria, especially Summer, Yakim and Ventralli, and their rulers. This series has some exquisite worldbuilding and I loved that we got to find out so much more in this book.
The Bad: The pacing was rather slow and pretty boring at times. While I loved the travelling to the other kingdoms, I did not like the complete lack of any action for the first 80% of the book.
The Good: We have a POV from Mather! I really enjoyed this, because it meant we got to know him better and connect with him more. I thought the connection to Mather was pretty non-existant in book one and I think a lot of that was because we only saw him through Meira’s eyes and he was too good at hiding his emotions, which made him kind of a blank space. Seeing things from his point of view really changed that and made me start to actually root for him.
The Bad: A person I did not root for that much in this book? Meira. Where did my feisty, stubborn, chakram-wielding heroine go? All I got for most of this book was a whiny, indecisive, weak girl who let others control her life. She did redeem herself near the end so I have high hopes for her in book three.
The Good: We meet quite a lot of new characters, some good and some bad. I personally LOVED the character of Cerridwen, princess of Summer, a lot. She was the fierce and fiery heroine I wanted to read about in this book. There’s also a lot of backstory to her that I would love to find out more of. Her brother, the king of Summer, and the rulers of Yakim and Ventralli where equally interesting, though not always in a good way. And the Children of the Thaw were awesome and I felt like we needed more of them in the book.
The Bad: Theron. What happened to you? Not spoiling anything, but I did not like the direction they took his character in at all. The same with Sir. I did not recognize either of these characters and I can only hope book three will fix them.
That pretty much sums up all my feelings about Ice Like Fire. Though it had some flaws and I liked it less than Snow Like Ashes, I still thought it was good read overall and I am anxiously awaiting Frost Like Night, the third book in the series.
“That’s how relationships work – when one person is blind, the other must see for them. When one person struggles, the other must remain strong.”
“Aren’t you affected by Simon’s magic?”…
“Took you this long to ask me that?”
She clucks her tongue. “You’re not the brightest flame in the fire, are you?”
“Don’t make me hit you in a library.”
“Horrible things don’t happen in crowded places; they happen in the hollows of the world, where it’s just a victim and an attacker and no one to hear any screams.”
“Anything that lives here has to be just as harsh and determined as the sun, born of a fiery stubbornness that is either extremely brave or extremely stupid.”