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

ice like fireIt’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.

Rating: 2.5/5

Ice Like Fire, or In Which Meira Takes a Very Dodgy Roadtrip.

This series has indeed been blessed by the cover gods. Unfortanately, pretteh book does not make up for the dreaded second book syndrome.

As other reviewers of this book have noted, it’s slow for the first 3/4 of the book, and then suddenly all the action happens in the last quarter and it’s almost enough to redeem the story, but not quite. Without the action packed narrative which we were used to from the fist book, the prose pretty much falls flat. It’s Meira agonising over the right decisions to make for her kingdom, which, while realistic to the plot, does not a fun reading experience make.

Other things I took issue with:

– First person present for Meira’s sections, and third person past for Mather’s got on my nerves. I didn’t really understand the need for that, when their chapters are clearly marked.
-Everyone is blushing and flushing all the time. Mather sees Meira’s bare arm in a ballgown, and he’s red in the face. Theron touches her and it’s all scarlet complexions. Sheesh!
-The allusions to rape. The book continually implies that female Winterians who were in the camps were raped and/or abused by the soldiers, but it never says it outright, it’s all “and worse things had happened to her than they could ever imagine” and phrases with that sentiment. For me, I found it annoying. Just use the word and don’t cloak it continuously in pretty prose.
-Theron is naive almost to idiocy. But he still seems to make better decisions than Meira, probably because she’s still in conflict about her new role as Queen versus wild-child who thinks she knows better than everyone else.
-It was far to freaking easy for her to find the first two things she was searching for. Really, the things could be hidden anyway in the countries you are visiting, and you magical find them almost as soon as you begin searching? Mmmm. No.

At least the love triangle is pretty much resolved by the end – the author makes it very clear where the shipping interests lie.

Overall, not as good as I was hoping for, but I will still be reading the sequel to see how everything gets resolved. There are a couple of new characters who’ve really intrigued me.

ARC received from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

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19 thoughts on “Review: Ice Like Fire (Snow Like Ashes #2) – Sara Raasch

  1. Omg *grabby hands* I want this book so badly! Though I’m sad to hear it’s been afflicted with the curse of the middle book. I am praying rn that the love triangle resolves in a way I deem suitable *coughtheron*

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  2. Yeah, sorry to say, but even the first volume was pretty difficult to get through, for some of the same reasons you quote here. To much “my place in the world, my worth, my significance, my inner-strength …blah, blah, blah”. Sigh. Too bad, I was hoping for an improvement in the sequel.

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  3. I’ve been holding off on reading this one until closer to the release date, but the waiting just got so much easier. Yours is actually the first review I’ve read and I have a feeling I’ll think exactly the same. I expected more, really, but I guess we all have to be disappointed sometimes. Great review.

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    1. I’ll still be reading the third book to see how everything is resolved, and I hope this is just a case of the aforementioned second-book syndrome. But yeah, there were just too many things about this book that irked me. I could have overlooked some of it if the story kept up the pacing and adventure of the first book, but alas. Will be interested to see what you think!

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  4. Oh, man, this is incredibly disheartening. I really loved the first book – enough to give it amazing 5 stars – but the points you pointed out here are making me sad. I don’t want to read a book with conflicting verb tenses… I mean, what the hell, why is there a need for first person present AND a third person past? It just feels weird. It should be more consistent, at least, that’s what I think so because it would no doubt catch me off-guard. And if the characters are always blushing and flushing, even more reason for me to be disappointed because that’s not why I loved the first book. It wasn’t the romance or the feelings that got me but the springing into action and the conspiracies/affairs of the kingdoms and their dynamics.

    Blaaaah. Not too excited now.

    Faye at The Social Potato

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    1. Yup, I adored the first book for precisely the reasons you mentioned – the world building, action and adventure. Ice Like Fire was just lacking in so many of the elements that made the first book such a fun read. Anyway, I’ll be interested to see what you think – I might be the black sheep here!

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