Publication date: Oct. 13, 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Category: Young Adult - Fantasy
Source: Received via Netgalley from publisher (Thanks!)
Summary: It’s been months since the Winterians were freed & Angra disappeared—thanks to the help of Cordell. When Cordellan debt forces the Winterians to dig their mines for payment, they unearth Primoria’s lost chasm of magic. Theron sees this find as an opportunity but Meira fears the danger the chasm poses—the spawn of the Decay. So when the king of Cordell orders them on a mission to discover the chasm’s secrets, Meira plans to garner support to keep the chasm shut & Winter safe but can she do so without endangering the people she loves? Mather just wants to be free. When Meira leaves to search for allies, he decides to take Winter’s security into his own hands. Can he protect his broken kingdom from new threats? 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. (greads.com)
My ThoughtsThere are a few things that I remember vividly from Snow Like Ashes. Like Meira challenging everyone around her and making me laugh while doing it. Mather finding out the truth of his heritage and his complicated relationship with her. Totally loving Theron, the prince who shows up for Meira when no one else does. And the pace and world-building being fast and vivid.
Ice Like Fire wasn’t like what I remembered. Which was both understandable and more than a little frustrating. The situations of the characters and the kingdom of Winter is different. Meira is fully aware of her heritage and coming to grips with her role as Queen. Likewise, Mather is now a lord and learning what that means as well as acknowledging the depths of his feelings for Meira. And Theron.. well, his characterization takes a very interesting turn. Then Winter is still fighting for freedom, as they pay their debts to the Cordellans by digging their mines in the hopes of finding Primoria’s lost chasm of magic. Theron and their father believe it will help their world stand against Angra. Meira fears that the release of magic into the world will only bring out the worst in people and the other kingdoms. There are clashes all around as each person fights for something different and sides have to be chosen.
My frustration came mostly from characters seemingly like a subdued version of themselves and the pacing being very slow. It wasn’t until I got to about 70% of the book that I felt anything and for the plot to finally get somewhere. While I do think all the events that happened were necessary, it took too long to get from point A to point B. And again, even with the characters, I can understand to a certain extent that because they feel caged in their new roles, it wasn’t as easy to act as impulsively as they used to. But again, once they let their spark of defiance out, that’s when the book picked up. And it was those moments that felt most in line with the characters I was initially introduced to and fell in love with. I wish that emotion and the urgency that was in the last quarter of the story had been carried through the entire book.
Do I recommend?Snow Like Ashes was one of my favorite books from last year and I think this might just be a sophomore slump. Ice Like Fire did end on a note that makes me want to keep going, so that’s exactly what I’m going to do despite my reservations with this novel.