Ice Like Fire by Sarah Raasch
Series: Snow Like Ashes #2
Published by Balzer & Bray
Published on October 13, 2015
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
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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.
Ice Like Fire is the second book in the Snow Like Ashes series. In the first book, we follow Meira, who was orphaned after her home, the kingdom of Winter, was ravaged by neighboring kingdom of Spring. It’s people became enslaved to Springs terrible ruler, but a small group of refugees got away, including Meira, who has spent her whole 16 years of life training to be a soldier for the refugees attempting to get Winters magic back and take back the kingdom.
So prior to reading Snow Like Ashes a few weeks ago, I had been having a really hard time getting into any fantasy books. Its been like this for like, a year. I always start them and never finish. I kept getting bored with political intrigue, and seeing so many common themes over and over. But there was something about Snow Like Ashes that just hit the spot! I was completely taken with the story. It moved at such a great pace. I absolutely loved Mira. I love the way the Kingdoms are divided by seasons that stay in that season year round, and the other kingdoms (the Rhythms) cycle through all the seasons. I loved the magic system. It was action packed, which kept the story exciting, and it always seemed to be just about to uncover a secret at every turn. The bad guy, Angra, and the story behind the Decay legit creeped me out when I imagined it in my head. Granted, the big secret was totally obvious and guessable, but I enjoyed it none the less. Anyway, I just loved it all. I may have even cried a time or two.
Needless to say, I was so excited about Ice Like Fire. But things started on a bad foot: we gained a second perspective. One of the two men in Meiras life (Yes, basically a love triangle, ugh!), Mather, gets his very own perspective in this book. Which, to be quite honest, I neither wanted or needed. I am more of a Prince Theron kind of girl (reading from Mathers perspective did not talk me into changing teams, thank you very freaking much). But even though I love Theron, I still don’t feel like I needed an additional perspective, even if it had been his. It is really aggravating, and I did not enjoy it. Speaking of Meira, she is a strong, smart, feisty, and stubborn heroine but I feel like we lost a little bit of her during this book. I ADORE her during the first book.
My next issue was the lack of action. Yeah, I got a bit bored at times. Plenty of times. Things moved slower in this book, which is awful considering its almost 500 pages long! I mean…. that just seemed unnecessary. It was heavier on the politics and lighter on the action and adventure that I so desperately wanted and that this book definitely needed. I understand there is a kingdom to rebuild and all of that, but geez. The entire middle of the book just felt like it was dragging on. Fortunately, the end picked up, and was much more exciting! A lot was going on in the end, which leaves me happy to say am I am still intrigued and invested enough to read the third book (well, a year from now).
I did like the introduction of some new, fresh characters! Also, getting to check out the other kingdoms, the ones not visited during book one, was great. Part of the reason I enjoy these books is the way the kingdoms are set up around seasons, and the descriptions are always colorful and vivid and provide stunning visuals.
I wondered if it was just me feeling this way, so I sought out a few reviews, and they seemed to have the same feelings as I did. This book has a case of middle book syndrome! I hate even having to say that considering how much I loved the first book. But I have not given up hope on this series yet! Just give me back my action and adventure, Meira and her feisty attitude and a mind blowing conclusion and I will be a happy girl!