Book Review: Ice Like Fire



Title: Ice Like Fire

Author: Sara Raasch

Series? Yes. 2 of 3.

Rating: 3/5

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I received a copy of this book from HarperCollins Australia in exchange for an honest review.

Contains spoilers for Snow Like Ashes!

This was one of my most anticipated release for the latter half of 2015, as I absolutely loved Snow Like Ashes. Unfortunately, Ice Like Fire suffers from a fierce case of Middle Book Slump, it has little of the spark that initially ignited my love for Meira and the Winterians. Today, I’ll look at why middle books often do not work for me, and how Ice Like Fire fell trap to all these factors.IceLikeFire-Review

The Worldbuilding Lacks Depth

One of the reasons that keeps me reading a fantasy series is the world, and the expansion of the world with every instalment. For example, Harry Potter, I could stay on board every step of the way as there was always new corners of the wizarding world to explore. Whether it be the hidden Room of Requirement or an international Quidditch tournament.

Cordell, with its green and gold and fields of lavender; Yakim, with its brown and brass and gears; Ventralli, with its eclectic styles and colourful buildings..

With Ice Like Fire, we did get to explore numerous new kingdoms: Summer, Yakim and Ventralli. Unfortunately, while we got to see multiple new places, none of the new location had any depth to them. The kingdoms are differentiated by very superficial factors. Summer ruled by an indulgent king, only interested in parties and debauchery. There’s the strict and bookish world of Yakim, seemingly modelled after England during the Industrialisation period. Finally, there’s the dramatic, treasonous Ventralli, whose intentions are hidden behind elegant masks. These separate kingdoms are walking stereotypes, and Meira never gets to learn more about the culture of these places. My understanding of Primoria did not expand, despite the numerous pages we spent extolling on the qualities of Summer’s wine and Yakim’s knowledge. Continue reading “Book Review: Ice Like Fire”

Book Review: Snow Like Ashes


Title: Snow Like Ashes

Author: Sara Raasch

Series? Yes. 1 of 3.

Rating:  5/5


Book Depository

Snow Like Ashes to the second YA fantasy I’m reviewing this week that’s likened to Game of Thrones.  I don’t agree, I think it’s more similar to The Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta, which is another of my favourites.  Snow Like Ashes also manages to be unique with characters that I can root for, I LOVED it.  Here’s a few reasons why.


1.  Vivid Setting

Oktuber was a maze of rickety barns and tents in maroon, azure, and sunshine orange, with the crystalline blue sky gleaming above, a sharp and beautiful contrast to the kingdom’s earth tones…Their skin glistened the same coppery brown as the leaves on some of their trees, only where the leaves were crinkled and dry, the Autumnians’ faces were perfectly creamy

There are 8 kingdoms in this world.  Four are Seasons:  with close links to magic that grants them only one season a year, thus they are named for these seasons.  Hot, dry Summer that are uninviting to our protagonist.  Cool, vibrant autumn with citizens of copper skin.  Spring, though lovely in name, is ruled by a dictator named Angra with powerful magic.  Finally, Winter, the lost kingdom of eternal snow – utterly destroyed by Angra 16 years before the start of this novel.  Furthermore, there’s four Rhythm kingdoms that undergoes the normal seasonal cycle.  We mainly got to see Cordella, a prosperous kingdom who’s chief exports are lavenders and princes that steals your heart.  All of these settings are described in beautiful clarity and reading about them was akin to a cinematic experience.   Continue reading “Book Review: Snow Like Ashes”