Monday, November 2, 2015

Book Review: Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch

Title: Ice Like Fire
Series: Snow LikeAshes #2
Author: Sara Raasch
Published: October 13, 2015 by Balthazar + Bray (Harper Collins)
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: 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.

*** This is the second book in a series and there may be spoilers in this post. If you haven't read Snow Like Ashes then do that and come back. ***

Despite wanting to read it before the book was released, it took me nearly six months to get around to reading Snow Like Ashes. When I finally did read it, I found it a good YA fantasy and I was interested to see how the series would develop. So when I saw a great deal on a preorder of Ice Like Fire I snagged it. Ice Like Fire was a good sequel. It let us explore the world more, furter developed the characters, and had complex plot development.

For me, the best thing about the series is the world. What the author has created here is something so interesting and engaging. Each kingdom is so diverse with specific traits, ideals, and even climates. It reminds me so much of the societies in Avatar: The Last Airbender which I love but here it felt more like if Hogwarts houses were countries. In the first book we got to explore a few kingdoms and here we got to visit three more places in Primoria in addition to exploring Winter even more. Each kingdoms is more interesting than the one before. I really liked Yakim. It's the knowledge kingdom and has this steampunk-like technology. It's probably the kingdom I would want to live in. Although like all places, it has it's downfall. We also got to visit Ventralli and Summer which were both really interesting places and were both pretty cool too. What I liked most is that they were all so dubious.

The only problem with that is that exploring new kingdoms meant more exposition. And because there was more exposition and world-building it meant that it took longer to get to the real plot of the book. The beginning felt like it was just going to be one big travel monologue and you probably know I hate that (although I haven't whined about it much lately). There was a lot of political intrigue and big picture stuff along the way which was pretty cool but I felt like I was mostly playing a waiting game. Some things advanced quicker than I would have expected while others took longer. On the whole it is a pretty slow paced book. I think that to me was the biggest change here. The first book had nonstop action and this one was more slow and methodical. And while I appreciated the political intrigue and the fact that it all built to a thrilling conclusion I missed some of the action. It was a bit too much of a waiting game for me and when the action did finally kick in, it was over a little too quickly.

But this book did feel a little bit more character focused. A lot of the book was spent developing the three main characters we met in the first book, Meira, Mather, and Theron. Most of them, okay all three if I'm being entirely honest, are not coping well with the revelations in book one and they felt a little whiny at times. I can usually handle whiny characters but it did make me hold them at arms length and it was harder to connect this time around. However I am enjoying Meira's development. She's struggling with her new role and I enjoyed seeing her try and walk that line between Meira from book one and who everyone wants her to be now. She felt a little more well-rounded in this book. And there were also some great new characters including the royals. My personal favorite was probably Ceridwen from Sunmer. She's so sassy and really complex. Her and Meira get along really well and it is so nice to see Meira have a female friend. But Giselle from Yakim was pretty interesting and so was Raelyn and Jesse from Ventralli. Each of the new characters were so complex and interesting, and just like their kingdoms they were pretty dubious. There are definitely some interesting characters here in this series.

On the whole, Ice Like Fire was a good sequel that was on par with the first book in the series. I liked being able to explore the world more, see the big picture plot development, and meet some complex new characters with development from the characters from the previous series. I'm interested to see where how the series will end. There are some potential clues as to what might happen in the third book and I'm majorly intrigued.

I give Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch 8.5 out of 10

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy/Borrow. If you liked the first book in this series then grab yourself a copy of this one and explore more of Primoria with Meira and the others. It's definitely shaping up to be an interesting YA fantasy, despite a few things I didn't love. If you like fantasy then you will probably enjoy this series as well. I'm guessing it will probably be a good series to marathon when the final book comes out next year.

Have you read Ice Like Fire? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!


  1. I have my signed copy here and I hope I can stop feeling the pressure to read pending ARCs to read this one! Cliffy ending? Because if there's a cliffhanger I might wait for a lil longer before I read to make the wait a lil more bearable!!

  2. OOh nice! I kept hearing sooo many mixed things about this, but largely that it falls into second book syndrome where it just drags until the near end and then throws a whopper of a cliffhanger at you. the last review I did read was more promising and yours is definitely the same! I have this in my TBR Mountain of Doom waiting for me.'s seriously getting that scary! LOL! Great review!