Title: ICE LIKE FIRE
Series: SNOW LIKE ASHES
Author: Sara Raasch
Format: Kindle, 496 pages
Published : Balzer + Bray (October 13, 2015)
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 4 Wine Glasses
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 is hopeful and excited—with this much magic, the world can finally stand against threats like Angra. But Meira knows that 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 Jannuari—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 is woven 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.
"Lay your head upon the snow," he sings, uncertain at first, but with more confidence as he loses himself in the lyrics.
"Lay sorrow in the ice. For all that once was calm, sweet child, will belong to you tonight. Lay your heart upon the snow. Lay your tears in the ice. For all that once was still, sweet child, will belong to you tonight."
ICE LIKE FIRE by Sara Raasch has more politics and less action than its predecessor, but it was still a book that aptly captured and engrossed my attention. If the first part of the book was a bit slower paced, the last four chapters more than made up for it with action sequences that literally took my breath away. I can most definitely say that this story made me crave the next book even more as I am certain the author has a huge mind-blowing finale planned.
This is a series that needs to be read in order. I can't imagine jumping into it and really enjoying it without having read what occurred before. There a simple fix. Just pick up SNOW LIKE ASHES - it was fabulous - and read it before ICE LIKE FIRE. Easy peasy and you won't regret it.
When the Winterians escaped from Spring, the fate of their tyrant leader, Angra, was not known. It was hoped that he and his cruelty have passed. However, this book has the Winterians continually looking over the shoulder for any traces that he survived.
ICE LIKE FIRE begins where SNOW LIKE ASHES ended. Meira Dynam is the true Queen of Winter and she wields Winter's magic as its conduit. Even though Winter has been freed from Spring, Meira feels like Winter still has not gotten their freedom; Now they are enslaved by Cordell. Noam, Theron's father, is exerting increasing pressure on Meira and the Winterians to up their production and pay his kingdom for what they expended saving Winter from Spring. Noam is also determined to find the magical chasm located in Winter, and he'll stop at nothing to find it.
When some miners stumble upon Primoria’s lost chasm, Meira realizes how dangerous the chasm could be to the balance of power. Luckily, while the chasm's location is now known, it is still sealed and Meira is the key to breaking the lock. Meira sets out on a journey across Primoria to elicit support for Winter and to prevent the opening of the chasm. Theron accompanies her - but his role is at odds with Meira as he's a proponent of opening the chasm. Along the way, Meira has to learn that being the queen does not mean that she should not trust her instincts and be true to herself.
This book features a love triangle. By the end of the last book, I was leaning towards Theron's corner who had stepped up to the plate seemingly without regard for his own welfare to save Meira from Angra. I do believe Theron cares for Meira, but now I'm not so certain that he's the best choice for her. In this tale, the couple seemed to be at odds much of the time and I felt that Theron acted out of turn more often than not. On the other hand, Mather actually won my heart in this tale with scenes like this:
He couldn't stand being around her when she had...Theron.
He wasn't king anymore. He wasn't an orphan anymore. He wasn't in Meira's life anymore.
None of this was the freedom he thought he'd wanted.
This book also helped me to understand why Mather acted as he did previously. He'd been lied to his whole life and by people that he should have been able to trust. So... the love triangle pendulum swings for me...
We get to meet more colorful characters - both Seasons and Rhythms - and, of course, see much more of Primoria. Each area is so different and I'm glad that we get to visit the places instead of just reading about them. My favorite new character is definitely Ceridwen, the princess of Summer. She is strong, principled and can kick ass! She's the perfect friend and foil for Meira.
Following please find a few of my favorite quotes from this read:
“The most powerful magic of all is choice.”
“That’s how relationships work – when one person is blind, the other must see for them. When one person struggles, the other must remain strong.”
He leaves. Just like that. No final good-bye, no last, lingering glance.
Like we never loved each other at all.
Overall, this book left me speechless at the end with a whammy of a cliffhanger while solidly whetting my appetite for book 3! This is a series that should not be missed by fans of this genre. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys YA epic fantasies!
Suggested Reading Order:
ICICLES LIKE KINDLING (Book 0.1)
SNOW LIKE ASHES (Book 1)
ICE LIKE FIRE (Book 2)
FLAMES LIKE VINES (Book 2.1)