“If stubborness were all that was needed to be a good queen, I’d rule the world.” ― Sara Raasch,
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.
Do you see that quote at the top of this page? That’s not even a quote by the main character of Ice Like Fire. That’s a quote from a lesser character that I almost wish this book was about.
To start, I gave Ice Like Fire 3/5 stars, which felt really harsh. I have a soft spot in my heart for these books and giving the sequel to Snow Like Ashes 3/5 stars just hasn’t sat well. It’s not because I think it deserves more. It’s just that these books could be absolutely phenomenal if the characters had more personality.
A couple of months ago I wrote a review on Snow Like Ashes. My big complaint was that I wasn’t attached to the characters. What got me to read the second book in this trilogy is that I know a lot of authors use the first and second books to establish a world and character. Ice Like Fire was the book that I expected would be where I came out rooting for characters.
In the end that wasn’t the case.
To start, Ice Like Fire is almost 500 pages. It’s lengthy and the ending was everything I didn’t want. Raasch’s writing is beautiful. She’s so good at the details, at immersing the reader in her world. But I was at a point where the detail didn’t matter so much and the characters needed to be built up.
I needed to care that pivotal characters died and that even more important characters were taken hostage. I needed to like Meira, our main character, but I never could. Raasch, in all fairness, tries to humanize Meira. She gives her problems and love interests, but it feels surface level. Meira’s problems often feel trivial, not because they aren’t important problems — trust me, saving a kingdom is really important — but because she whined about her problems.
There was a positive piece to this book. Like really positive. While I didn’t get upset about any character problems, the ending did make me realize that I do care about the kingdom of Winter. As the dominoes begin to fall at the end of the book, Raasch tears away the identity the reader created while reading Ice Like Fire and Snow Like Ashes. She does it so well that I dreaded the ending of the book because I just knew things weren’t going to go the way of the Winter kingdom.
Maybe this book wasn’t a 3 star book. Maybe it was 4?
I’m no reconsidering my rating.
Have you read the Snow Like Ashes series? What did you think? If not do you plan to? Leave you thoughts below.