Title: Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch
Published by: Balzer + Bray
Publication date: 13th October 2015
Amazon UK – Waterstones
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.
Please note: This is the second book in Snow Like Ashes. Please do not read this review if you haven’t read the first book! A review of book one can be found here.
I really wanted to like this book, I really did. I devoured the first book and was left wanting more but unfortunately, this book didn’t deliver. I found myself struggling to finish the book despite being only a hundred pages in. I didn’t feel the same pull for this book as I did for the first one and I struggled with some of the characters. The first book is told solely from Meira’s point of view but the second one is split between Meira and Mather. What confused me was Meira’s chapters were told in first person whilst Mather’s were told in third person. I didn’t understand the need for this and was left frustrated each time the narrative changed. I did not enjoy reading from Mather’s point of view at all. I found him to be very annoying and whiny though to be fair he did have a good reason for it. There is a contrast between the strong determination of Meira to the rather weak character of Mather which was interesting to read about in some ways but I would rather have it told all from Meira’s point of view. The only aspect that was enjoyable was Mather training up Winterian teenage boys and I found it interesting reading about the aftermath of slavery and the affects that it had on these characters. They are all very different and like the refugees in the first book, they are drawn to one another and bound by a deep tragedy.
Another aspect of this book that I sadly didn’t enjoy was the plot. I found myself growing tired of Meira and Theron’s quest journeying to other kingdoms to find a way to open the chasm of magic. I found it interesting at first as we got a glimpse of what other kingdoms are like in comparison to Winter but I felt that it wasn’t stimulating enough and I struggled to pick the book back up once I’d put it down. Meira and Theron argued a lot and went behind each other’s backs which I found very annoying because I really loved them together in the first book and it was all falling apart in the second book. I don’t think they will end up together in the end which I am really sad about because I don’t like Meira and Mather together at all. If you do like them together then I am sorry it’s just my opinion.
What I did enjoy about this book was Meira and her struggle to control her magic as well as her struggle to be a Queen and a warrior. I was delighted to see that she still went against everyone’s wishes and donned her fighting gear and her chakram. Her main priority was keeping her people safe and showing everyone that Winter could re-build their kingdom. She was determined to never become powerless to another kingdom again and she went out of her way to fight for Winter and protect everyone. Whilst she wasn’t as out of control as she was in the first book due to her position as Queen, every now and again you saw a spark of the old Meira and this spark became brighter in the final chapters. I am really looking forward to getting warrior Meira back and finally seeing Winter re-build their kingdom again. I have fallen in love with Meira and she is definitely one of my top favourite characters.
The final chapters of the book picked up a lot and I finally felt drawn to the story and I cared about what happened to the characters. There was another interesting cliffhanger at the end of the book but I wasn’t really surprised or as shocked by it as I felt I should have been. Despite this I think it will make the third book very interesting and really push the characters to their limits and test their strength. I am still excited for Frost Like Night and will definitely be reading it when it comes out.
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