Ice Like Fire
Author: Sara Raasch
Series: Snow Like Ashes #2
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Source: egalley received from publisher via Edelweiss
Rating: 3.5 Stars
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***I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way changed my opinion of the book. The review below is my open and honest opinion.***
Synopsis from 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.
I loved Snow Like Ashes
, the first book in this series. I thought the world was original with the four season kingdoms and the four rhythm kingdoms. I loved the imagery and the descriptions of each kingdom. The world building was phenomenal and the heroine was kickass. But this book suffered from a bad case of middle book syndrome.
My first complaint is Meira. She’s no longer the kickass warrior that we saw in the first book. Now she’s a sedate queen trying to rule her country as best as she can. I liked the fact that she was learning how to be more political and that charging in chakra blazing isn’t always the best decision. But I felt like Meira lost herself in the process and that was really frustrating. I get that she’s going through some pretty intense character development here. But I guess I would have rather her continued to make rash decisions and slowly learned throughout the book that that’s not always the best way. Rather than always being the queen who doesn’t run into battles and eventually learning that sometimes it’s okay to do just that. Because of this reversal in her character it made her dull and a bit boring in this book.
The plot line didn’t really advance at all. Nothing much happens in this book. Meira goes on a journey to meet the other kingdoms, but really she’s searching for keys to open the magical chasm. We go to all the kingdoms and magically Meira finds exactly what she’s looking for with little to no trouble. Now this was acknowledged in the book that it was a bit easy, but even so, I wasn’t a huge fan. I expected more from the search and because things seemed to fall into place so naturally it made the whole thing, again, rather boring.
The romance. I felt like the author was trying to flip us to Team Mather in this book by painting Theron in a negative light and I was not okay with that. It reminded me a bit of a certain wildly popular book I just read where a character was completely changed to make the romance work in favor of the author… Now, this case wasn’t quite so severe. Theron was still very much Theron in my opinion, but Meira was only seeing the negatives and that just killed me. Why does every single series have to bring the two love interests together in the first book and then rip them apart in the second?? Why can’t they just work together towards their end goal???
And the last complaint I have is the POV. Unlike the first book, this one alternated between Mather and Meira’s POV. For one, I wasn’t crazy about Mather in the first book so I didn’t really care too much about his storyline. However, I understand why the author wanted to do this given the circumstances and nature of the book. What I don’t understand is why she chose to write Meira’s POV in first person present and Mather’s in third person past. This would only make sense if Mather’s storyline had happened earlier than Meira’s, but it didn’t. It was all happening at the exact same time. So why would one be present and one be past? It left me feeling very jarred and disoriented at every POV switch and I just could not get used to it.
All this being said, I still enjoyed the book. I enjoyed seeing the other kingdoms and the differences in the way they are ruled and what they find important to them. It kind of reminded me of Divergent a bit, especially Yakim’s emphasis on knowledge (I was getting a major Erudite vibe). You can’t deny that Sara’s writing is beautiful and the picture she paints as you’re reading will blow your mind. And by the end of the book things picked up and explanations were given and I think we are on track for an awesome final book. I’ll definitely finish the series, but unfortunately this book suffered from the dreaded middle book syndrome.
Have you read this book yet? What did you think?