Ice Like Fire
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.
First of all, let me start with saying that I really enjoyed Snow Like Ashes, the first book in the series. I know quite a few people that thought it was just ok. That being said, sequels are hard. Much of the book is written to build plot and to do a lot of explaining in order to build the story for the third book. This is a lot of what Sara Raasch does in Ice Like Fire. Due to the fact that Snow Like Ashes ends with the fight between Spring, Winter, and Cordell, there is a lot of political upheaval and some rebuilding that has to be done in Primoria.
We begin in Winter with Meira doing the best she can to rebuild Winter while being assisted by Cordell, who she really doesn’t want there. Her relationship with Theron is kind of on hold, and she is trying to figure out who she is as queen. Much of the rest of the book is very political, with Meira and Theron trying to build alliances with the other kingdoms of Primoria while also being at odds with each other. Theron wanting everyone to have magic and Meira wanting to find a way to save Winter, and help it be completely independent. Because of the politics of the book, it is a little slow going, but, trust me, it is so worth it. The last 100 pages pick up to a pulse pounding rate and you won’t want to stop reading.
Meira-She is really coming into her own. She spends much of the book not knowing how to control her own magic, and trying to live up to other people’s expectations as to who she she should be as Queen of Winter. By the end she comes into her own, and realizes that she can be both the warrior and the queen at the same time. That she does not need to meet other people’s expectations about who she SHOULD be, but rather who she NEEDS to be and wants to be, in order to save her kingdom.
Theron – Unfortunately, I can’t say that I never trusted Theron because I really did like him as a character in Snow Like Ashes, but in Ice Like Fire, I didn’t trust him from the very beginning. I don’t know what it was about him. I wanted to trust, but something was always off.
Mather – Oh, Mather. I have always liked you. Mather spends much of Ice Like Fire trying to figure out who he is after getting some surprising news at the end of Snow Like Ashes. He goes through a couple different phases in this book. Pushing Meira away, yet helping her in the end because they have always been friends, and how do you not help a friend when they’re in danger?
Ceridwen – Ceridwen is a new character, the princess of Summer, and I love her. She is strong, she stands up for what she believes in, and defies even the most powerful people when they are doing things that she believes are wrong. I feel a kinship to her, and yet she has qualities that I wish I had myself. Maybe that’s part of the reason I like her so much.
Secondary Characters – Nessa, Conall, Garrigan – We met these three toward the end of Snow Like Ashes. They are the siblings that Meira met in the camp. Meira has brought them into her inner group, and cares for them deeply. Getting to know them more has been fun. They each have their own very distinct personalities despite the fact they are small secondary characters, but they are important to Meira, so I found it important to mention them here as well.
As I mentioned before and as Sara Raasch mentions on her Acknowledgements page, sequels are hard. Yet, with this sequel Sara Raasch does a beautiful job combining the necessity of plot building with the epic storytelling that was present in Snow Like Ashes. Overall rating is a B!!