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Book Review: Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch

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Ice Like Fire

Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch (Snow Like Ashes, book 2) | Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Series: Snow Like Ashes
Rating: 5/5
Recommend to Others?: Yes
Favorite Quote: “That’s what makes me the most upset about the world – how magic shoves people into lives they might not want. No one should have to beseech higher people for permission to be who they are, only to find their pleas ignored. No one should be forced to be something they aren’t.”

Three months after the Winterians have been freed from enslavement and Angra defeated, Winter looks toward the future and reconstruction. But the road to recovery is not easy. Cordell, the Rhythm kingdom who helped free the Winterians, creates an uneasy presence by occupying Winter and reopening the mines as part of Winter’s debt to Cordell. Additionally, the people of Winter struggle to come to terms with the gruesome past they had to endure for sixteen years.

Things were going in a steady but uneasy progression towards peace and renewal until one of the mines yields the discovery of the lost magic chasm. This increases Meira’s apprehension for she knows that with the release of so much power would mean the release of the Decay. She knows it would be in everyone’s best interest if the chasm remain closed.

As she’s sent on a journey to other kingdoms to find the keys to unlock the chasm, Meira must figure out a way to keep Winter, to keep everyone safe. She must maneuver through the political intrigue that comes with being Queen as she struggles to come to terms with her own identity.

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Ice Like Fire is an amazing sequel to its predecessor. There was a lot more going on, more action and growth in the plot and characters that I just enjoyed every minute of.

In this sequel to Snow Like Ashes, the reader and the people of Winter are presented with the question of freedom: what is freedom and what it means to be free. The surviving Winterians have endured a horrific takeover of the kingdom and sixteen years of slavery. The experience causing some, like the older folk, to want to forget and move onto to restoring Winter while others cannot loosen the tie the past has wrapped tightly about them. This is where Mather’s point of view comes in – which I loved. He takes up the position of confronting the past and sets about seeing Winter truly free. He doesn’t want to comply with Cordell’s order, especially since they’re not in the best interest of Winter. I loved seeing Mather’s character mature further in this book. I think Raasch does a god job of making Mather the voice of freedom, for he doesn’t sit idly by while Cordell increases its hold on Winter.

Meira’s character continues to amaze me. Throughout the book she struggles to keep Winter safe, keep the door to the magic chasm closed, and be a warrior and a queen. What she has to do to overcome all of that really made her a more dynamic character. Her bravery and commitment to her people is really inspiring. The odds are stacked against but she does her best to pull through as more danger keeps mounting. She does what she can and goes above and beyond to try to keep her people and the world safe from harm. Meira is now queen of Winter and Mather is not king anymore. This puts a strain on their relationship (that and a whole host of other problems going on), a chasm of its own that only spreads further as the story progresses but picks up towards the end.

The plot is put together really well. I was enthralled with the book from start to finish. Raasch really keeps the reader on their toes with one surprise twist after another. There are times that get you when you think things may work out for Meira and company but then a twist happens, leaving you hanging onto the edge of your seat. The progression of the story is well balanced, putting the right amount of tension and action here and there.

The world of the Snow Like Ashes series is truly fascinating and unique. I am highly impressed by the turn this second installment took. I look forward to reading the last and final book to this trilogy, Frost Like Night, which comes out in September of this year, and seeing how everything turns out for Meira, Mather, and company and the world of Primoria.

Check out my review of the first book, Snow Like Ashes, here.

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