Book Review: Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch

17404295Ice Like Fire (SLA Book #2)

Read my review of Snow Like Ashes here.

Sara Raasch

4.5/5 Stars

Release Date: October 13, 2015

Publisher: Balzer & Bray

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository | Chapters/Indigo.ca | B&N | Kobo

Synopsis on Goodreads:

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.

Review:

Ice Like Fire is the sequel to Snow Like Ashes and author Sara Raasch provides us with a better view of Primoria as well as greater problems for our favourite characters to solve. Ice Like Fire has a different feel when compared to SLA, I think due to the writing and theme. This novel doesn’t carry that middle-book syndrome and in a way stands out on it’s own as a sequel. It’s not a standalone so don’t go reading this before SLA, but it’s a satisfying sequel.

The main characters do a lot of traveling in this novel and I loved that we get an in-depth experience of Summer, Yakim and Ventralli. Summer was my favourite, mainly because of the landscape and Raasch is really talented at describing the kingdoms. It was easy for me to imagine everything Meira observes. All of these kingdoms are corrupt, Summer more blatant than the others and Meira struggles with that. On top of those struggles, she’s gone from Meira the soldier to Meira the queen in basically a night so she has a lot of conflict to solve within herself. An intriguing aspect of this journey, Meira learns that just because a conduit is someone’s birthright doesn’t necessarily mean they deserve or even know how to use that power. It’s for this reason that Meira connects to and looks up to Ceridwen, the Princess of Summer as a sort of remodel. She’ll never have magic, but that doesn’t stop her from trying to save Summer, even from her own brother, Simon.

The POV is split between Meira and Mathor and what’s great about this is that I get to know Mathor on a deeper level. I’ll be honest, I didn’t really care too much about him in SLA and while I didn’t hate him, I wouldn’t have cared if he died. Now I’m more involved in him and can better understand him as a character. Something important to note – Meira’s POV is first person present tense while Mathor is third person past tense. I didn’t realize this at first so this played mind games on me. I do agree this was better for their individual voices, but this change in writing did contribute to that different feel to SLA. Another thing I disliked was the way a particular character was taken. It was a total 360 compared to how they were portrayed in SLA. It just didn’t seem realistic to me.

Something that was really fascinating for me were the relationships between characters and just how significant that conflict was for the main cast. Before the start of this novel, Meira and Mathor’s relationship is already broken, both not having seen each other for months. Mathor is really upset by this and hopes building back Winter for Meira can help fix it. During the novel, Meira and Theron’s relationship is slowly breaking mainly because of their standpoint on magic. The chasm can give magic to everyone, but Meira doesn’t believe this should happen. She’s thinking about the decay that’s spreading across Primoria when there’s only 8 conduits. Theron thinks there’ll be more good than bad so both are working towards their own goals. I always love reading conflict like this because it makes an epic fantasy world all the more realistic.

I did have trouble putting a face to some of the minor characters. I remembered the characters but not necessarily who was who so a little re-introduction would have been great. For the most part, this novel felt different from SLA which wasn’t a bad thing, but I loved that in the last 20% or so I got that similar feel to SLA. This was great for wrapping up ILF.

So as a final point I loved Ice Like Fire, but did have some minor issues with it. I do recommend this novel and cannot wait to read book three! From the sort of things that were revealed at the end, I’m really excited for the next book but also nervous. There’s going to be a lot more conflict happening! You don’t want to miss out on this action-packed sequel to Snow Like Ashes.

I received a free eARC in exchange for an honest review.

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