Friday, June 5, 2015

#Review: Lord of Snow and Ice by Heather Massey - 3 Wine Glasses

18135214Title: Lord of Snow and Ice
Author: Heather Massey 
Format: eBook, 291pages
Published: October 1, 2013 by Lyrical Press
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Source: Publisher
Reviewer: Kimberly
Rating: 3 out of 5 Wine Glasses

An innocent Beauty. A fearsome Beast. A dangerous passion.

Mystery and speculation surround “the Dark Prince,” a sorcerer who dwells in a kingdom cursed by endless winter. Though shunned by all, Prince Stellan secretly crusades against a zombie plague unleashed by his tyrannical father against the Five Lands. But only an alliance with Aldebaran will provide the support he needs to eradicate the plague once and for all.

Clarysa, daughter of the Aldebaran king, struggles under the weight of her role as princess. She yearns for adventure, but her father prefers to keep his youngest daughter safe within the palace walls. During one of her rare sanctioned trips beyond the walls of the castle, Clarysa comes face to face with the answer to her prayers.

She’s heard the tales of Stellan’s dangerous nature. She knows a romance with him is forbidden. But one smoldering glance draws her deep into a world of dark magic and sensuous rapture.

CONTENT WARNING: Magic, mayhem, and epic snowfall.

Kimberly’s Thoughts:
Clarysa is the sheltered spoiled princess of Aldebaran, a kingdom of light and happiness.  Stellan is the banished "Dark Prince" whose lands reside in a perpetual winter of snow and ice.  Clarysa is rescued by Stellan, without ever realizing it, and when she meets him again, something in her calls to him.  Stellan is fascinated with the beautiful princess but as a sorcerer, his kind is not looked well upon by the Aldebaranians.  As the plague his father and family started to create a zombie army spreads, he works to warn the king.  Clarysa is used to only worrying about her own happiness while Stellan has always carried the weight of the world on his shoulders.  It will be a battle for Clarysa and Stellan to hold onto each other in this dangerous magical land.

Lord of Snow and Ice is a fantasy story, not usually a subgenre of romance I read, that started off very overwritten but slowly and steadily built up a wonderful magical world.  The vernacular was somewhat uneven as the story started off with a medieval feel but then we had characters saying things like "shitty attitude".  I understand this is a make believe world but the speech and tone started off one way and ended another.  The fantasy aspects of the story worked very well with the descriptions of magical beasts & lands, potions, and good & evil sorcerers; I truly began to "see" the beings and land in my mind.  Where the outside story worked, I found the characters to be slightly lacking; they came off a bit weak and thin. 

Clarysa was our pampered princess who at nineteen years old was very young and appeared at times to live with her head in the clouds.  Yes, her life created her spoiled persona which rang true in the writing but her character was written to also be courageous and brave, unfortunately, we got a few TSTL moments.  Immature characters can be a trial to continue to read about if they don't exhibit some growth, Clarysa had a few self-actualizing moments but didn't seem to grow from them.  We are never directly given Stellan's age but through some mentions I think he was suppose to be twenty-nine.  He never has immature moments like Clarysa but I also couldn't help feeling like he was a YA character; lacked the adult mentality.  I found his character vastly more interesting with his dark background of leaving home, barely surviving the elements and how doing magic affected him, fighting his family, and fighting against Pestilence (the disease his family infected animals and then humans with).  He was a compelling character but lack true depth.  Clarysa and Stellan together felt uneven with her unthinking ways and his responsibilities. Their light and dark drew me in, I just felt they never melded together quite right.  Their relationship was a little bit in "luv" and when Stellan accuses Clarysa of only liking him because of his reputation and dark fairy tale stories she was raised on about him, I completely agreed with him.

Surprisingly, what I don't typically like is what really worked for me; Clarysa and Stellan's romance fell short while the fantasy world was fun and interesting with all its magical elements that transferred me to another dimension.  The growing danger of Pestilence with Stellan hunting the animals infected and then finding the disease had evolved to humans, fighting the prejudice against sorcery to warn the Aldebaranians, and Stellan's evil twin sister kept me reading.  Other secondary characters of Clarysa's cousin and Stellan's captain of the guard who silently longs for him stood out but the rest stayed pretty far in the background.  

This was a pretty clean romance, except for one scene.  I mentioned how Clarysa and Stellan had a general YA feel to them and their relationship followed suit, so when our couple had an intimate scene in a cave where Stellan was not quite himself, I found it very jarring.  It definitely spiced things up but also felt extremely out of place.  Overall, I liked Lord of Snow and Ice and if you're looking for something different this could be a fun alternative.

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