Ice Like Fire

Ice Like Fire

Book - 2015
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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.
Publisher: New York : Balzer + Bray, 2015
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780062427939
0062427938
9780062286956
0062286951
Characteristics: 483 p. : ill., maps ; 22 cm

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PimaLib_ChristineR Dec 09, 2017

Ice Like Fire may have been tough to write as Raasch writes in her acknowledgements, but the work paid off. The first in this series, Snow Like Ashes, I had the problem of feeling that many of the characters had no development. They were interchangeable backdrops. In this book, all of Meira's compatriots in exile come into their own as full-fledged characters with relationships, opinions and actions all their own.

Meira had saved the residents of the kingdom of Winter but things aren't alright. Help from Cordell feels more like occupation and the citizens of Winter are suffering from the memories of years in work camps, or for those born in the work camps, the feeling that they are returning to something that was never theirs in the first place.

When Winter's miners find access to the original source of magic, Meira and Theron set off on a goodwill tour to try and gain allies. While their goals diverge as the tour proceeds, Mather stays in Winter where his own relationship with his father (William, aka Sir) and mother Allyson are strained to breaking.

It's clear something must give and when it does it's like all hell breaks loose at once. I took a star off because I found some of the political machinations and conclusions to feel a bit off. There also a deus ex machina moment that was like "how convenient... " Overall still a worthy read and I'm looking forward to the next in the series.

a
akzfineart
Dec 02, 2016

Ice Like Fire is the sequel to Snow Like Ashes and author Sara Raasch provides us with a better view of Primoria as well as greater problems for our favourite characters to solve. Ice Like Fire has a different feel when compared to SLA, I think due to the writing and theme. This novel doesn’t carry that middle-book syndrome and in a way stands out on it’s own as a sequel. It’s not a standalone so don’t go reading this before SLA, but it’s a satisfying sequel.

The main characters do a lot of traveling in this novel and I loved that we get an in-depth experience of Summer, Yakim and Ventralli. Summer was my favourite, mainly because of the landscape and Raasch is really talented at describing the kingdoms. It was easy for me to imagine everything Meira observes. All of these kingdoms are corrupt, Summer more blatant than the others and Meira struggles with that. On top of those struggles, she’s gone from Meira the soldier to Meira the queen in basically a night so she has a lot of conflict to solve within herself. An intriguing aspect of this journey, Meira learns that just because a conduit is someone’s birthright doesn’t necessarily mean they deserve or even know how to use that power. It’s for this reason that Meira connects to and looks up to Ceridwen, the Princess of Summer as a sort of remodel. She’ll never have magic, but that doesn’t stop her from trying to save Summer, even from her own brother, Simon.

The POV is split between Meira and Mathor and what’s great about this is that I get to know Mathor on a deeper level. I’ll be honest, I didn’t really care too much about him in SLA and while I didn’t hate him, I wouldn’t have cared if he died. Now I’m more involved in him and can better understand him as a character. Something important to note – Meira’s POV is first person present tense while Mathor is third person past tense. I didn’t realize this at first so this played mind games on me. I do agree this was better for their individual voices, but this change in writing did contribute to that different feel to SLA. Another thing I disliked was the way a particular character was taken. It was a total 360 compared to how they were portrayed in SLA. It just didn’t seem realistic to me.

Something that was really fascinating for me were the relationships between characters and just how significant that conflict was for the main cast. Before the start of this novel, Meira and Mathor’s relationship is already broken, both not having seen each other for months. Mathor is really upset by this and hopes building back Winter for Meira can help fix it. During the novel, Meira and Theron’s relationship is slowly breaking mainly because of their standpoint on magic. The chasm can give magic to everyone, but Meira doesn’t believe this should happen. She’s thinking about the decay that’s spreading across Primoria when there’s only 8 conduits. Theron thinks there’ll be more good than bad so both are working towards their own goals. I always love reading conflict like this because it makes an epic fantasy world all the more realistic.

I did have trouble putting a face to some of the minor characters. I remembered the characters but not necessarily who was who so a little re-introduction would have been great. For the most part, this novel felt different from SLA which wasn’t a bad thing, but I loved that in the last 20% or so I got that similar feel to SLA. This was great for wrapping up ILF.

So as a final point I loved Ice Like Fire, but did have some minor issues with it. I do recommend this novel and cannot wait to read book three! From the sort of things that were revealed at the end, I’m really excited for the next book but also nervous. There’s going to be a lot more conflict happening! You don’t want to miss out on this action-packed sequel to Snow Like Ashes.

I received a free eARC in exchange for an honest review.

a
ADWithrow
Aug 05, 2016

Slight spoilers ahead...

As always I struggle with the second book in a series. They typically add nothing to the plot line, choosing instead to build on characters or world building. This would be fine except that it is done to the exclusion of expanding or adding to the overall plot. As with most books at this point in a series a diverting quest was written in that allowed for a great deal of travel in which the characters could think dramatically about who they are and explore more parts of the world in great detail. So very typical.

Meira performed her standard heroine task of forgetting who she is in an attempt to be a "better" version of herself so very selflessly, all while missing glaring signs that something is drastically amiss and refusing to acknowledge the behavior of the characters around her as being questionable, untrustworthy even. This is prevalent in her interactions with Theron throughout their travels. At each step he does something questionable or outright betrays Meira. Yet, each time, she convinces herself that she simply must be mistaken.

Mather plays his role perfectly as well. The martyred former hero who staying totally dedicated to the long term goal while everyone else forgets. The friend who sacrifices his own happiness for the heroines sake. He annoyed me though, in that he barely put up a fight. I did like the addition of the Children of the Thaw. I think if these characters were built upon it could add dramatically to the cast of characters and the eventual conclusion to the story. But throughout this book, Mather consistently irked me. He didn't grow, he didn't change, he just was....rather boringingly.

I give this 3*'s primarily because of the setup for the third installment. As with most second books in a series the whole thing felt like a giant setup for the grand finale. The plot twists were rather predictable for the most part. However, Raasch's writing style made it entertaining even while it was somewhat bland. The changes in perspective went a long way toward making the march toward the inevitable conclusion of this installment worthwhile. If you have read the first book, I recommend this one as well. But only so that the third one makes sense. This book is filler. The vast majority could have been glossed over without any detrimental effects on the plot.

I look forward to the third book in the series. I trust that Raasch will provide a suitably grand conclusion and has set that book up well with this one.

l
lovemybranch
Apr 14, 2016

Melodrama and stereotypes. I quit after a couple pages.

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akzfineart
Dec 02, 2016

akzfineart thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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ADWithrow
Aug 05, 2016

ADWithrow thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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