Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)'s Reviews > The Cry Of The Icemark

The Cry Of The Icemark by Stuart Hill
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Cry of the Icemark was a stirring military fantasy adventure. The author really took the time to bring the cultures of this novel to life. I could see that Icemark people seemed to be modelled after the Scandinavians, while Thyrrin's mother's peoples, the Hypollitan must have been based on the Amazons. And the Polipontans seemed to be like the Roman Empire. The battle scenes were fantastic--thrilling and very well-written. I got the impression that Mr. Hill took these elements very seriously and worked hard to get this part right and make it feel realistic. And I appreciated that, and I am sure that his younger readers probably do as well. Although not excessively gory, I felt all the inherent threat and bloody nature of battle. The element of loss is very evident in this story, and I definitely could appreciate the horrible odds that Thyrrin's people faced with an enormous invading force pitted against their smaller country. However, the Icemark people quickly proved that they wouldn't easily be conquered. Along with their fierce nature, there were elements of their rich sense of family and tradition, many aspects that would have been destroyed or wiped away by the Polipontans, who cared nothing for other cultures, only the assimilation of their lands and raw resources.

Thyrrin is a young heroine that I just loved. She was born to be a queen, and she showed a multi-facetedness to her character that brought her to vivid life. She's very strong and the kind of leader you want to have when you are facing a mammoth invading force who wants to wipe your people off the face of the earth. On the other hand, it's clear that she is very young and still learning a lot about leadership, courage, and humanity. I really wanted to give her a hug for all that she dealt with in this novel. I loved her friend, Oskan, Witch's Son too. He had a mystique, and a wisdom that was much greater than his young years. I also loved his wry sense of humor and the fact that he never took himself too importantly, despite his incredible latent power. He was a good companion to Thyrrin, able to deal with her sometimes hot-headed arrogance, and to soothe her very recognizable fears with the voice of reason and comfort when she seemed like she couldn't handle one more burden. In fact, most of the characters were well-drawn and excellently narrated by Heather O'Neill. This book really got me sucked in. I found myself cheering for Thyrrin and her warriors (the Hypollitan warrior women were freaking awesome), and hating General Scipio Bellaron. I loved the werewolves and the snow leopards, both groups having a ton of personality. The vampires were nicely creepy, and the wood folk (like the Green men and nature spirits of Celtic/Norse mythology) added a sense of majestic awe to this story. This book would have great as just a straight military historical fantasy, but the supernatural elements elevated it to an even more interesting level.

There was so much to like about this story. It really got me revved up. I was excited to listen to it, and sad but satisfied when it ended. It was definitely a five star listen for this reader. I look forward to the reading the other books in this series. Recommended!
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Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

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Jonathan I remember reading this... I found it decent but I found the sequel much better.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) I didn't really have any expectations. I think it's interesting, and I loved the battle scene.

Jonathan The battle scenes are well done I must admit.

message 4: by Cindy (new) - added it

Cindy is there any romance to this story?

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) Hi Cindy. Yes, there is a romance. It's not the focus of the story, but it's there.

message 6: by Cindy (new) - added it

Cindy Oh that sounds good, as long as it's there some where. I need just a little romance to my story. Thanks!:D

Drakaina The miliary aspect of this book is laughable at best. I can imagine that some readers like the atmosphere, but the battle tactics, strategy and logistics are completely stupid, and Scipio Bellorum is a military genius only in the author's imagination.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) That's the great thing about books, that we can disagree and feel differently about them, Drakaina. :)

Drakaina Yes, I agree, in particular when it comes to liking or not the characters and plot, but I was a bit surprised by your recommendation for the military history fans - I am one, and that's one of the very reasons why exactly this book was so irritating for me. I am also an archaeologist and I think the author could do better job with his own archaeological knowledge :)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) As an expert in any field, I am sure you can pick out things that a layperson cannot. I recommended it to fans of military fantasy, not military history. That's a big difference. Also, this book for young audiences, and it's marketed as such. Since the writer is not trying to write a book on history per se, but a fantasy fiction story, I would allow him some freedom to extrapolate on the story, and I wouldn't take it as chapter and verse. As for my review and recommendations, I always recommend them with a grain of salt, because they are based on my own subjective opinion.

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