Published by HarperCollins on October 13th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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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.
Maybe this is a case of middle book syndrome; maybe Raasch should have wrapped this story up in Snow Like Ashes; but, whatever the reason, Ice Like Fire just didn’t pull me along like the previous book did.
Firstly – and most unforgivably – this book is slow, lacking in any new achievements or significant events. It truly feels like a middle book, bridging the gap between the first part of the story and the last, but never really standing on its own.
I constantly felt like Snow Like Ashes was moving towards something – conflict, discovery, excitement – whereas this book never seemed to have any direction or purpose. I was reading it to get to the end, not out of a need to know what happens. There was a lot of repeated introspective examination – Meira and Mather pondering the same feelings again and again.
Lots of wallowing in self-pity and angst. I like it when a book explores characters’ thoughts and emotions, but not when it goes over and over the same things and very little else happens.
Secondly, I have absolutely no interest in Mather’s perspective. I didn’t dislike him in the first book, but I never found him that interesting either. Here, the story jumps from Meira’s first-person narrative to Mather’s third-person narrative, a risky choice anyway, but even more so because Mather cannot hold my attention.
Surprisingly, though, I also found Meira less interesting in this book. Maybe because she was more proactive (and therefore more badass) in Snow Like Ashes. This book is more about her mentally adjusting to the new changes introduced at the end of the previous book and processing her feelings for Mather. When she does act, she seems to make a lot of foolish decisions.
I will read the last book in hopes that this was “middle book syndrome”, but I was really disappointed with this book. Nearly 500 pages long and very little to show for it.