Review: Ice Like Fire (#2, Snow Like Ashes) by Sara Raasch - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

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Review: Ice Like Fire (#2, Snow Like Ashes) by Sara Raasch

Well written and imagined, but sadly not as magical as its predecessor.

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 is hopeful and excited—with this much magic, the world can finally stand against threats like Angra. But Meira knows that 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 Jannuari—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 is woven 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.

My Review

Ice Like Fire was one of my most anticipated books of the year. I absolutely loved Snow Like Ashes, loved Meira’s fearlessness, and so I anxiously awaited how her story would continue to unfurl. Unfortunately, I didn’t connect with this sequel as I’d hoped (which pains me to say as I love Sara and her writing). I often felt lost and confused, despite a cursory review of Snow to jog my memory. The story pulses amidst a great deal of political intrigue and conflict, and I just couldn’t find my way. In fact, the pacing seemed to slow and buckle in the face of political dialogue I found hard to follow. The plot centers on Meira’s quest to rebuild Winter, even as Cordell tightens its deadly grip.

Meira struggles to find her sense of self as the Winterian Queen. She becomes the person she thinks she needs to be to lead her newly liberated people, but in that process, loses the heart of what makes her the fierce, brave girl who defeated Angra… who fought for what she believed in.

“This is what Winter needs. This is who Winter needs me to be. I hate who I am now.”

Mather too felt lost to me, as he tried to reconcile the boy who was to be a king, and now, a boy who was just a soldier. Meanwhile, Theron begins to build a plan for unification amongst all kingdoms and rhythms, widening the chasm between him and a disagreeing Meira, despite his best efforts to keep them together.

Hidden agendas, secrets and magic swirl around them all, as Meira fights the weight of the world upon her shoulders, and a wild and powerful magic she’s yet to learn to control.

All in all, the story was consumed by the struggles of our much-loved protagonists. They felt lost, and truthfully, I felt similarly. I wanted to relate to them, to their vulnerabilities, but I just couldn’t connect with them. As the story comes to its climactic end, the action definitely picked up and I felt recognizable flares of what I loved about Snow Like Ashes, and I hope that the next book will once again capture the magic I fell in love with the first time around.

“It’ll return, and it’ll darken the world. I can’t let that happen.”

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