Please note that before you read this review that I am reviewing this publication for Harper360! I received an advanced readers copy of this title in exchange for an honest review. In no way is my opinion influenced by the fact that I received this free of charge. Now on with the review!
Author: Sara Raasch
Publisher: Balzer and Bray
Publication Date: October 13th 2015
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
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.
After finding Snow like Ashes a more than pleasurable read, I was extremely delighted to dive straight into the sequel, Ice like Fire. Expanding the world of Primoria beyond what we only glimpsed at in the first book, Raasch definitely provides her readers with a whole new experience, picking up almost immediately where the last book left us.
It's been three months since the book ended and King Noam has put in force his plans for the Winterians. Digging away in the mines, striving to uncover the magic chasm that the kingdom's conduit were forced from, our story takes a very different twist from it's predecessor as whilst previously there is a greater impact placed on character development, Ice like Fire is quite heavily focused on the action. That isn't to say however, that there isn't a sense of character development in this book because the way the chapters are split up into Meira and Mather's points of view definitely explore all angles and feelings about whats happening in Primoria.
Setting off to warn the other kingdoms of Noam's imminent invasion, Meria journeys to the Summer kingdom and meets the princess Ceridwen. Ceridwen for me was my absolute favourite new introduction by Raasch - her determination and defiance of even her own kingdom's beliefs was refreshing and her eased up attitude added a great deal of humour to scenes of such a darker nature.
This books definitely takes a darker turn than Snow Like Ashes did and you can see this simply from some of the themes that are brought about. One of these themes, in particular, is the theme of secrecy. In this novel, Meria discovers many truths that were previously held secret to Winter and the other Kingdom's as well as that of secrets that other character's are hiding themselves. The most mysterious of these would be Theron in this book, and whilst in Snow Like Ashes I adored Theron, in this book I definitely read Theron differently and this dark mysteriousness to him aided this reading. It was a shame to see such a significant turn in Theron's character, and yet the ending, whilst it surprised me, opens up so many opportunities for Theron to develop. This twisted result favours Raasch's ability to surprise and prove some even darker twists and turns which I'm sure will be revealed in Frost Like Night.
Overall, Ice Like Fire is a difficult book to review without giving away major spoilers because this is definitely a book that changes multiple perspectives. However, these perspectives completely credit the book and Sara Raasch's writing and I found Ice Like Fire to be a thoroughly enjoyable read and one of the most surprising I've read in a while. I award Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch a full 5 out of 5 star rating on my classification scale, a dark and delicious sequel to what is developing as a stunning series. I eagerly await the final instalment from Sara - I just hope she isn't too merciless to some of our beloved characters.