I reread Snow Like Ashes before I dove into Ice Like Fire because the first few pages let me know I had lost track of who all the major players were. Except Theron. I remembered him because he was absolutely my dream guy and I couldn’t believe Meira didn’t snap him up and chain him to her body. I know I would have. As it turns out, tying yourself down to anyone in Primoria is a really bad idea – that is the message that came through loud and clear in this sequel.
This book is publishing Tuesday, October 13, 2015.
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.
A lot of the things I thought I knew and understood in Snow like Ashes melted away in Fire Like Ice, and that is what I think is so compelling about this sequel. This book doesn’t just rest on the laurels of the first book. The conflict is fresh, and the struggle is definitely still alive. I love it when the second book in a series makes itself so essential.
Meira should have gotten some time to breathe after saving her entire kingdom and learning her true place in Winter, but she quickly finds herself on a new quest that will take readers to previously unseen kingdoms. This journey also offers readers a clearer picture of how the royal conduits have been used and misused, and that opens up a lot of questions about how power and wealth are and should be distributed. Kind of weighty but important subjects for a YA fantasy read!
Mather, too, thought he had earned a little freedom at the end of SLA. It doesn’t take long for him to see that he still has some responsibilities that he has to own up to in this new Winter. I didn’t really enjoy his storyline as much in this book, and he does have his own, distinct storyline this time. I’ll be really honest and admit I struggled with the point that was being made with his new buddies. It just kind of went over my head a little, and that is okay, but I admit I would like a little group discussion to see if I could get some clarity. I think other readers will struggle with this as well.
I’m not going to talk about Theron. I refuse to talk about him. I will cry or rant or spoil the whole story for all of you if I talk about him. I do think his storyline will be a point of contention for a lot of readers.
I think the book had its faults – I’m pointing at you, brothel scenes, sometimes inexplicable magic, a really large cast of characters who sometimes get mixed up in my head – but I was pretty happy with the overall strengths of the story. Language and situations are appropriate for high school, but adult readers of YA will find that there is enough complexity to keep their attention as well.
I received an ARC from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.