Oct 22, 2015

Review: Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch

TitleIce Like Fire
Author: Sara Raasch
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publishing Date: October 13, 2015
Pages/Format: 479, eARC
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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.

Book in One Word: WHAAAAAT.

This review contains spoilers for the first book in the series, Snow Like Ashes.

When I read Snow Like Ashes last year, I liked it. As far as fantasies go, it's lighter and fun, and I liked how the world used something we know very well in the modern and real world: seasons. It had great twists, thrilling scenes, and an interesting ship. I didn't love the book, but I still wanted to read the sequel. The time for Ice Like Fire came around, and things happened in it, and I liked it okay!

Ice Like Fire takes place not too long after where Snow Like Ashes left off: Angra has been defeated (or has he?), the Winterians have been freed from Spring, Meira is the queen, and Winter is a broken kingdom trying to put itself back together...while also under the watchful eye of Cordell. There's a search for a magical chasm, a scavenger hunt across Primoria, new characters, unraveling ships, and some very crazy stuff. Like I said, this series is light and fun, and I appreciate that. It's refreshing. But there are some times where I don't really understand what's going on or how things work. And for some reason I kept feeling like it should be in third person instead of first, which makes like no sense. (And isn't the book's fault?)

For the most part, Ice Like Fire has a pretty steady plot. It's rather calm, in that the story is centered around one goal, with heartbeat racers in-between. But when that climax hits? Holy shit. I was in bed and all by myself and freaking out for at least an hour in the middle of the night because that last fifteen percent. That was so intense and stressful. SO MUCH happened. WHAT happened. WHY did that happen. Freaking A. It upped the rating of this book by at least half a star, that's how freaking CRAZY it was. Wow wow wow.

As far as the characters go, they're pretty likable. Meira's never really annoying or a boring point of view, but she's a queen now, not a warrior--and apparently she can't be both. She struggles with that throughout the novel, and sometimes I wish she'd just be a badass and tell certain people NO instead of just being a queen. She should just be like Elsa and use her powers to basically tell anyone who messes with her to eff-off. Then there's Mather and Theron. This ship is tricky, because I'm still not quite sure who I want Meira to end up with. But I'm still going with Theron. Even though we get Mather's POV in this and you feel bad for him because he's a sad puppy, even when sometimes his POV just gets in the way because of cliffhangers and you actually want him to die. I still say Theron...but I don't think he'll be endgame, and that breaks my heart. I hate pretty much every adult in this series, though there's a new character who's sassy and has an interesting, er, lover, and I totally ship it. But the adults adults? (Not including the "guard" who hangs around Meira.) They can all go away.

There's not much else to say about Ice Like Fire without spoiling the whole thing. Just remember two words: light and fun. I love fantasy novels, and the ones I read are usually heavier than this, so there's something nice about having a fantasy that's more like a vanilla cupcake instead of one that's chocolate and peanut butter and super rich. (I always love a simple vanilla cupcake.) The shipping is a messy web, some of the plot points are freaking cray cray, and the world is rather compelling. And oh my gosh, THAT LAST FIFTEEN PERCENT. Read it just for that, and be prepared to freak the freak out. (And do not cheat and peek ahead at that part.) Book threeeeeeee, I'm actually terrified of what might happen in you. You will not be kind to your characters or your readers.

Did I like it? Yes!
Did I love it? No.
Would I reread it? Maybe?
Would I purchase it? Eventually, but I'm in no rush.
Who would I recommend it to? Fans of less dense fantasy novels with unique and interesting worlds, likable characters (with shipping, of course), royalty, and people who like books where shit goes down.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


  1. I really didn't care for this one much :-( I wanted to love it but I just couldn't. I did like the first book a good amount so I don't know what happened. I'll try the next one though to see how it all ends. I'm glad you liked it though it wasn't love for you either.

  2. I definitely enjoyed the first book, so good to see a good review on the second! I will be getting my hands on a copy very soon. :-)

  3. I thought this one was quite good, but I admit that I struggled with book one as well. I thought book one was a little too predictable and found this one less so. I guessed the truth about Meira in book one really early on, so that kind of ruined it for me a little as I was just waiting for the reveal to happen.


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