Thursday, March 17, 2016

Review: Ice Like Fire

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: 4 Stars

Book Title: Ice Like Fire

Author: Sara Raasch

Release Date: October 13th, 2015

Pages: 479

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

            In the acknowledgements portion of Ice Like Fire Sara Raasch writes, “Sequels are hard. I swear they suffer from some bookish form of middle-child syndrome…”
            It’s like she hit the nail right on the head.
            So many series are completely ruined for me when I hit book 2. I don’t know what it is (call it the middle child syndrome like Raasch, call it whatever you like) but it’s inevitable I read book 1, fall in love with said series, then get to book 2 and it’s game over for me.  More times than not I’ll read the third book in hope of a turn around (which often happens) but if I ever decide to reread the series I’ll completely skip past book 2.
            As I started to read Ice Like Fire, I was worried this was another repeat of said incident.  I was irritated that Meira was leaving the Kingdom of Winter behind to go on a trip with Theron and some of their soldiers because it meant leaving Mather behind. As if the poor bloke didn’t get left behind enough in book 1! I was probably being selfish though because Mather is one of my favorite characters in the series and I was rooting for him and Meira to end up together all along (despite my love for Theron and his bookish tendencies). I knew time away from Mather meant more time with Theron and I wasn’t ready to deal with that just yet.
            Their trip was actually really fascinating though, because the reader finally gets to see the surrounding kingdoms they’ve referenced so often in the series.  Rather than through heresy though, Meira finally gets to see each kingdom for herself.   I think the trip wasn’t just an means to an end (can’t spoil it, but if you read the blurb you likely already know part of it) in order for Meira to save her kingdom.  I think it was also an eye-opener for her.  In Snow Like Ashes all we hear about is the problems Winter was facing and in Ice Like Fire, the reader, along with Meira, finds out more of the kingdoms are dealing with problems as well. 

Favorite Bits:
o   The Thaw: A group of Winterians trained by Mather as soldiers to fight and defend themselves, this group reminded me of Dumbledore’s Army.  I think Harry Potter fans will love Ice Like Fire for this aspect alone, because the Thaw is exactly like the DA, friends who are training in secret (in the absence of Meira Noam has stepped in and banned any Winterians from training with weapons) and preparing themselves.  With Meira gone, it reminded me of Harry’s absence to find the horcruxes and the Thaw practicing for battle was just like the DA practicing defense spells in the Room of Requirement. 
o   New Friendships: Not only have Nessa and Meira grown closer, but travelling to the Kingdom of Summer also resulted in an unlikely friendship for Meira, one I couldn’t help but compare to a friendship from another favorite series of mine, Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (I’ll let you guess who so as not to spoil the surprise:) )
            So while Ice Like Fire ended up avoiding the middle-child syndrome, so to speak, it still wasn’t as good as Snow Like Ashes.  I enjoyed book 2 of the series and the ending was quite traumatic and hard to stop reading once I got to it, but I’m still crossing my fingers that the next book in this series by Raasch is just as rewarding to read as Snow Like Ashes was for me.  Anyone else experience the middle-child syndrome in a favorite book series? If so, which ones?


  1. Ooo, I'm glad you enjoyed this book! I was (sadly) of the opposite opinion - it just didn't work for me. But I think I may still read the final book, to see how it all ends! Hopefully we both enjoy it. :D

    Lovely review, Emily!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. Thank you Alyssa! honestly, I was struggling the first half of this book to stay focused and keep reading it, but it certainly picked up halfway through! the first book is still my favorite though!
      sad to hear it didn't work for you but i'm of the same mindset as you are: even if i'm not the biggest fan of a series if there's still another book coming out i tend to pick it up. It's a closure thing! LOL.
      Happy reading! And thanks for checking out my review!

  2. ohh, I know that could happen: book two being not as good as the first one was. I am glad that it wasn't the case wtih this book.
    I was really interested in this series when it first came out but never picked it up.
    I think I'll wait for the book three and it's reviews to finally decide whether I should read it or not.
    The thing is - there's just so many books and I simply can't read them all, unfortunatelly...

    As for your question with middle-child syndrom, nothing really comes to my mind, I'm the type of person who often likes the first book in the series the least and then as the series grows my love for it grows too.
    But still, I read more standalones then series then maybe that's the case....

    1. Don't worry Irena! I feel you! I have such a backlog of books I want to read it's overwhelming! I need to join that "read my own damn TBR" challenge and stop picking up more books! it's so hard though! i ran to the library yesterday for another book, because they ordered Unhooked for me and it just came in! As if I'm not already currently reading enough right now! i'm so excited for this one though so i couldn't resist!

      And that's good to hear! i wish i could be more hopeful about the middle books, but lately they've just been lacking! although I must say, the book i am currently reading (Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard) is the second in what i believe is a trilogy and so far it's fantastic. I have yet to finish it, so i'm hesitant to say I like it almost better than the first, but I think that's how it's going to turn out! so maybe middle child books aren't always a thing!
      Thanks for reading my review Irena!

  3. Too bad this one wasn't as good as the first but it still sounds like it had a lot going for it. The book that comes to mind as far as middle child syndrome is actually a trilogy I quit on a couple years back. The first book was The Forsaken (a dystopian) and it was okay but the second book... meh. I got the third book from the library, read a chapter or two and decided I just no longer cared. lol I'm sure there have been others but that's the first one that comes to mind.

    1. I've never heard of that one before, but it sounds like I'm not missing too much! LOL. idk. i feel like some authors can execute it well (like I was telling Irena above I really love Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard and it's the second book in what i believe is a trilogy) so I know it can be done! but sometimes i feel as if they are dragging it out and book 2 is just a filler so they can have a trilogy. if that's the case then the author just needs to do a duology in my opinion! but i know trilogies are the "in" thing right now so it is what it is i suppose.


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