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Sara Raasch – Ice Like Fire

January 3, 2016

Raasch, Sara - Ice Like Fire - 40073. Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch (2015)
Snow Like Ashes, Book 2

Read my review of book:
1. Snow Like Ashes

Read By: Kate Rudd and Nick Poedhl
Length: 12 h 49 min (496 pages)

Genre: YA Fantasy

Started: 22 October 2015
Finished: 06 November 2015

Where did it come from? From the publishers for review.
Why do I have it? I really enjoyed the first book in the series.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 20 October 2015.

Meira’s got to find
the clues to stop the Magic…
or to let it free?

Summary: It’s been a few months since King Angra of Spring has been defeated, leaving the citizens of Winter free to return to their home country after a generation of slavery. The teenaged Queen Meira is trying to reconstruct her kingdom as best she can, but she’s hampered by demands from the king of Cordell, whose help was instrumental in defeating Spring. When the Winterians uncover the Magic Chasm – the source of the magic of all of the kingdom’s conduits – the Cordellen king sees it as a source of power, and his son, Prince Theron, sees it as a chance to bring about peace throughout Primoria through magical means, but Meira fears the evil Decay that would arise from so much free use of magic. Theron and Meera take a journey throughout the other Primorian kingdoms – Theron looking for clues to open the chasm, Meera looking for ways to keep it shut – and for allies to help her take her kingdom back from it’s Cordellen “protectors”.

Review: A lot of the things I really enjoyed about Snow Like Ashes were present in this book as well. The writing is smooth (and the modernisms that bothered me in the first book were either gone or at least not as noticable this time around.) There’s a complex plot that’s not a typical good-vs-evil quest, and which contains plenty of action and a few number of twists and turns (several of which I saw coming, but oh well.) Kate Rudd’s narration is once again spot-on. But most notably, I really like Meira as a character, and I really like that she’s complex and believable and that her primary motivation is something aspirational (doing right by her kingdom and her people while staying true to what she believes in). It’s refreshing to have a YA main character who thinks about boys and relationships as being of secondary importance relative to her main goals, not because of any trauma or damage, but just because she’s got other, more important things to worry about.

The primary downside to this book was that it seemed like Meira did start worrying about boys. Quite a lot, unfortunately. The love triangle aspect was even more to the forefront, and Theron, who I had rather a crush on by the end of the first book, starts being kind of annoying in this one. Annoying for understandable reasons, but annoying nevertheless. So it looks like Raasch is steering Meira back towards Mather, who I *also* find annoying, albeit also understandably so. Meira spends a lot of the book (while she and Theron are out visiting the other countries, looking for clues) thinking about how to manage Theron’s reactions. And while this was okay from a political standpoint (he is the son of the Cordellan king, after all), it did kind of bother me when it started shading into her worrying about it from a romantic standpoint.

But, on the whole, I did quite enjoy this book – it feels very original, it’s got a quick-moving plot, and its main character is strong and interesting and believable and likable. I’ll be looking forward to the next (last?) book in the series. 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: Raasch does a pretty good job of reminding readers what happened in the first book, but I’d still recommend starting with the first one first. If you like YA fantasy in the vein of Graceling or Finnikin of the Rock, this series should be right up your alley as well.

This Review on LibraryThing | This Book on LibraryThing | This Book on Amazon

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First Line: Five enemies. Five dented helmets sit lopsided over five equally dented breastplates; five black suns shine, scratched yet distinct, on the silver metal.

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