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.
Song For This Book: Winter by Noah Gundersen
Why? This song fits Meira’s feelings about her kingdom, her romantic relationships, and it’s called Winter.
This review will likely contain spoilers from Snow Like Ashes, but not Ice Like Fire.
I really enjoyed the first book in this series. It had been a total cover buy, and I was pleased to find that it was a great story as well. It had a great universe, the characters were fun, and I loved the magic system. I had lowered my expectations a little for this one – middle book syndrome is a thing with trilogies – and while I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as the first, I’m still in love with this series.
This book starts out with the new queen of Winter trying to figure out what on Earth is going on with her country. Cordell is being a pain and trying to control everything, she has no idea what she’s doing, and she’s undecided how she feels about the whole magic thing. So things get crazy, people start getting frustrated and annoyed with each other, and everyone things they’re doing the right thing. Because that can only go well, right?
The Good Points of Ice Like Fire:
I had some issues with how characters went in this book, but I loved Meira and Mather. Meira was thrust into being Queen very young, she has no idea what she’s doing or how she feels about different matters, and she struggles with a lot of these. It was exactly what I expected for a teenager trying to be royal. On the other hand, I love Mather’s commitment to his country and his determination to do right by it. And Ceridwen, just everything about her.
Once again, the world building in this book is absolutely brilliant. Having seasons and rhythms for kingdoms could be very cheesy, but Raasch makes it work really well. It was great to learn more about Winter, Summer, and the new Rhythm kingdoms, and I love how they all contrasted each other.
There’s a lot less action and lot more politics in this book. Which could be boring, but it actually works well. It’s all tied in with the drama and learning about new places, and you get sucked right into everything. I feel like we are well prepared for whatever comes in the final book.
The ending is amazing. I won’t say anything more, but it was amazing.
The Downsides of Ice Like Fire:
Dude, what happened to Theron? I barely recognized him in this book from the first, to be honest. He just didn’t seem like the same prince we met in book one. He drove me bonkers throughout this whole book, sometimes in a good way, mostly not.
As with all middle books, this one spends a good chunk of time setting up for the final book. And that’s not always the most interesting thing to read. Some moments were rather dull.
I felt like we went over the same things again and again. Meira’s indecision about how she feels about magic, Mather’s desire to help, Theron being a jerk, rinse, repeat. We probably could have saved quite a few pages if we had just done each of those once.
All in all, I’m still in love with this series, and I can’t wait to read the third book. As far as second books go, this is one of the better ones I’ve read, though it still suffers from a bit of middle book syndrome. It’s some great characters, and the ending is a beautiful thing. Definitely worth a read!