Friday, February 1, 2019

Review: Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch

Book: Ice Like Fire
Author: Sara Raasch
Series: Snow Like Ashes #2

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.

Goodreads Link

I continue to be amazed by the author's world building. The different cultures created to match each kingdom was absolutely brilliant!

I really loved Yakim and Ventralli as lands. Yakim, with their kingdom's focus on knowledge and Ventralli, with their focus on the arts. I definitely would love to visit both of them; they both speak to me!

Meira's character arc was bit obvious from the beginning of the book: she was trying to be the queen Winter needed, not the brash and reckless soldier she's been trained to be. That meant playing politics for the sake of her entire kingdom, rather than using her gut to make decisions. But she was able to establish a balance between the two by the end, which was nice to see. I'm looking forward to her developing past this in the next book!

The two new characters that I want to know more about are Ceridwen and Jesse. Ceridwen, because she's such a headstrong character actively trying to mitigate the horrors her brother, Simon, subjects their kingdom to. And Jesse, not really because he's the Ventralli king, but more because I'm interested in knowing how he and Ceridwen got together and what kind of romance they have. I know there's a novella about Ceridwen, which I hope mentions them both in it!

I was a bit confused about the jumping between Meira's narrative (first person, present tense) to Mather's (third person, past tense). On one hand, I do prefer Mather being in third person, past tense rather than third person, present tense (that's weird to me), but it also made me have to re-wired my brain a bit every time we switch perspectives. 

The plot was a bit cliche, with the whole "find three keys" storyline, but I still enjoyed the book for the different kingdoms. I'm looking forward to reading the last book and exploring the remaining kingdoms!

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