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Snow Like Ashes #2

Ice Like Fire

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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 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.

483 pages, Hardcover

First published October 13, 2015

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About the author

Sara Raasch

12 books5,729 followers
Sara Raasch has known she was destined for bookish things since the age of five, when her friends had a lemonade stand and she tagged along to sell her hand-drawn picture books too. Not much has changed since then — her friends still cock concerned eyebrows when she attempts to draw things and her enthusiasm for the written word still drives her to extreme measures. Her debut YA fantasy, SNOW LIKE ASHES, the first in a trilogy, came out October 14, 2014 from Balzer + Bray. It does not feature her hand-drawn pictures.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,827 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,945 reviews291k followers
October 19, 2015
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.

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Profile Image for Katerina.
420 reviews16.8k followers
September 13, 2016
To be honest, giving Ice Like Fire 2 stars crossed my mind. And I don't do 2 stars. This mere thought is enough proof that this book was extremely infuriating, so infuriating that even my sister's killer banoffee could not extinguish my anger.

The story
Winter is finally free from slavery, but the ruthless king of Cordell's always present, fixed on finding the magic chasm, the source of pure magic. When the chasm is finally found, Meira and Theron set on a journey to find the keys that will unlock magic, while Mather tries to make himself useful to his people. But the phantom enemy lies in every corner, gathering power until evil will be unleashed and nothing will ever be the same.
“Lay your head upon the snow
Lay your sorrow in the ice
For all that once was calm, sweet child,
will belong to you tonight.”

I kept comparing Ice Like Fire to Snow Like Ashes and realized with dread that they had nothing in common. Snow Like Ashes proudly sits among my favorite books, but the second installment of the trilogy was disappointing. It kills me to admit that the only reason I kept reading was because I wanted to finish it, there was a point when I actually had to convince myself to turn the pages. This is the closest I've ever been to a reading slump and it does not feel good. The only redeeming qualities that made it sufferable were Sara's writing skills and the spectacular world-building that never ceased to amaze me. The plot, which mainly lacked action, had some bright moments that set me on edge and I rather enjoyed the last 100 pages, but something seemed a bit... off and I feel that some elements could be more well-developed. But my biggest issue was the characters.

The characters (censored version)
(the uncensored version contains a number of profanities, among which the f* bomb is the mildest)
Meira is the most pathetic, weak, narrow-minded, stupid, whiney, immature excuse of a leader I have ever encountered. The only parts of her narration I liked were the ones where she understood her stupidity. Pages after pages she wallowed in self pity, judging everyone and thinking she is the best to make world-changing decisions while she doomed her people with every reckless act of hers. Hey girl, I have some news for you, you don't deserve power nor magic, you are barely capable of deciding which will be your next meal without poisoning yourself!

Mather turned from an indifferent character to a needy child,an attention junkie with anger management issues who out of the blue claimed that Meira is the love of his life.

The biggest source of my frustration though is the way Sara treated Theron. Where is my loving, caring, loyal and gallant prince who was tired of being manipulated? I WANT THE REAL THERON BACK, BRING MY THERON BACK! At least there is a reason for his shitty behavior (I can't say the same about the rest of the characters), but I can't shake the feeling that he was treated so unfairly only to justify Meira picking Mather in the final book, which is more than possible to happen. And speaking of love triangles, here's a friendly advice to all writers: if you've known from the start who your heroine will end up with, don't include in the story another, better in every way love interest (yes Leigh Bardugo I'm looking at you) because hearts will be broken and the owners of those hearts will be as pleased as a Winterian in the Summer capital.

Anger, frustration and exasperation. And more eyerollings than I can count.

I will read the last book, but I must admit it will be out of curiosity rather than enthusiasm, because I'm afraid the damage Ice Like Fire inflicted is irreparable.

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Profile Image for Ben Alderson.
Author 23 books13.1k followers
January 4, 2016
Brilliant sequel!
I really enjoyed the relationship with Mather in this one.
I can not wait for the third novel.

The only issue I have is i still don't really understand the magic very much, MAYBE thats just me.
Profile Image for Kiki.
191 reviews8,438 followers
February 22, 2016
My first words when I finished this book were, "So annoyed. What a shit show. Two stars."

I loved Snow Like Ashes. I frickin' loved it. Meira was an awesome heroine, Angra was a scary villain, the world-building was cool, the writing was smooth, the story was daring. And I had a huge, stupid, embarrassing crush on Theron. Like, it's just as huge and embarrassing as my crush on Paul from A Thousand Pieces of You. Just as huge and embarrassing as my crush on this Russian girl I used to work with.

So imagine my disdain when this book took the story and Meira and Theron and the fantasy raucousness that was Snow Like Ashes and dumped some sort of, I don't know, turgid inner-city refuse all over it and then laughed in my face. I got blood on this book because my finger has a big cut on it that won't heal, and that blood has not turned brown like dried blood does, but has stayed red like my broken heart. I think the fact that I bled on this book says a lot about my relationship with it.

We have Meira travelling all over the kingdom for...some reason, maybe an alliance and maybe a treaty and maybe because Raasch wanted to "show us" some more world-building that wasn't necessary, and we have some intensely boring Mather chapters - seriously, who asked for a Mather POV? I most certainly did not. Anyone who followed my comments and status updates from Snow Like Ashes knows that Mather and I are like oil and water. He is so bland and so unbelievably convenient and irritating, and any other POV would have been preferable. Nessa could have stayed behind and kept track of Winter. Or maybe Conall, who ended up being one of my favourite characters in this book, despite his abysmal development. In fact, I even liked Conall in Snow Like Ashes. He felt real to me. He interested me. But Mather is the epitome of a character who's filling a slot and that no one asked for.

Even the writing is so much more melodramatic: "They reached Rintiero a few hours before sunset, the seven of them flying off the boat in a swirl of white hair and determination". Are you kidding me? Come on. I know that the author has better words than this in her. Honestly, I'm not surprised that the first words in the acknowledgements were "Sequels are hard". Therein lies the problem; this sequel was too hard. This book really shouldn't have existed - with a little more rounding off and a few tweaks, Snow Like Ashes could have been a bold, brilliant, clean standalone. It could have broken the YA fantasy mould and said, yeah, one book is enough, and you don't need sequels to be great! But I guess this one was obligatory, and that's why it exists? Okaaay.

But it's not just the muddying of the plot, which meanders here and there, unconfined to its own rules, which it breaks constantly (since when does magic fully possess people? What actually is the Decay? You'd think there would have been a concrete explanation for what it is and what it can actually do other than "it's dark". What?) and it's not just that that the thundering climax is a strange blurring of all of these mythological elements that don't make sense, it's the characters, and that holes have been blown through them, so much that they're unrecognizable: Mather's entire existence suddenly revolves around Meira, Sir isn't the strong silent type that he was in SLA but an emotionally dead pushover, and the other refugees - Dendera, Henn, Finn and Allison - fade into the background, thin as a puff of smoke, only cropping up when Meira needs a shoulder to cry on or someone to pick her outfits for her. And then there's Theron. Don't even fucking get me started on Theron.

The whole Theron thing all ties back to this series' mythology and culture and how it has this weird obsession with blood and birthright; like, your blood determines whether or not you are totally evil or totally good, and there's no leeway with it, except if you're a special snowflake like Ceridwen.

Meira's not a special snowflake because all of the Winterians are inherently good and their motives are never ever questionable. They're kind and blameless and they'll happily trudge down mineshafts and live in doorless shacks while their queen lives in a palace and cries on her eiderdown bed like a Disney princess. They're also a-okay while she throws away their resources on creating flimsy alliances, rather than investing them and using them as exports to build a treasury so that they can pay an actual Winterian army to guard Winter. (The only dude in the whole of Winter who questions this monarchial class divide gets his ass kicked and then changes his mind later even though he was right in the first place.) But if you're from Cordell or Spring you're automatically evil, and if you're from Summer (except special Ceridwen) then you're automatically a slob and if you're from Yakim then you're basically Erudite from Divergent. This book has taken a leaf out of that series anti-intellectual dogma and damned anyone who values education and intellect as shady and Slytherin.

What's hilarious is that when Meira arrives in Ventralli, she takes a look around and spits that there is no poor district, no slums or homeless, and everything looks clean and nice, and that this is apparently such a bad thing. She looks around and says that she sees Cordell everywhere, and I suppose that's meant to be an insult? Ventralli is apparently shite because it's not Winter, but I'd think that having a kingdom where all of the housing is in good repair, homelessness is pretty much non-existent, and cities are clean and habitable is...good?

I never understood why that was such a problem for her in SLA, when they arrived in Cordell and were all so angry that there were no beggars in the streets or filthy slums. I know that the whole point was that the Winterians were suffering while Cordell was so wealthy, but each kingdom's first priority has to be its interior. I guess it was a different kettle of fish with Cordell, because they were already invested in Season politics and were geographically and politically closer to the Winter-Spring-Autumn conflict, but it makes no sense why Meira would be so furious that the Rhythms all the way across the continent, with whom the Winter-Spring conflict has never had any contact, have not stepped in. It's not politically or financially sane for those uninvolved, separate kingdoms to jump into a costly war. That kind of nonsensical and culturally blind interference is part of what caused so much unrest in the Middle East - the West tangling itself up in problems that it doesn't have any business solving, and only making the situation a thousand times worse. Meira basically rolls up on the doorstep of kingdoms that are on the other side of the continent, that are traditionally nothing to do with any of the Seasons, and randomly asks them for an alliance, giving them nothing at all in return. Someone should have sat her down on the day of her coronation and said, "Kid, the rule is that nobody gives you shit for free." It's a pretty simple rule.

Did I like this book? Meh. Not really. It pissed me off, and what's worse is that it tainted the joy of the first book, which I loved. I truly did love it. And I wanted to love this one too. But it was not to be, was it? Our names were not written in the stars.

Only stellar reviews will convince me to read the last book. As it stands right now? I'm done with this series. Unofficially done.
Profile Image for Anne.
3,863 reviews69.2k followers
December 18, 2015
In the last book, Meira discovered that she was the true Queen of Winter, kicked a villain in the nads, saved her kingdom, and found love.
So what's next for these characters?! And more importantly, did this book live up to the hype I had built up in my head, after stalking this book for half a year?


Not really.
I was pretty excited to read this, because I enjoyed the first book, Snow Like Ashes, quite a bit. Now, I couldn't exactly remember what all happened in that one, but I was confident that it would be ok. There was a love triangle that I thought was cool (<--you read that right), and I wanted to see how it all played out. So I jumped in, and assumed it would be just fine!


For the most part it was, but I think it would have been better if I had done a reread, because this isn't a book that had a whole lotta re-cap happening in it. Anyway, it took me a while to get my bearings.
That's my fault. Should have skimmed over the first book.
But. Even so, I thought the plot was pretty sloooooow and draggy.


Unfortunately, not a lot happens action-wise. It's mostly a bunch of Meira's inner dialogue, as she tries to figure out what to do. Which menas there's a lot of wishy-washy blah, blah, blah stuff happening in her head, and not a lot of kickassery.


And the Triangle that I thought wasn't anymore I was so interested in? Bleh.
I think Raasch tried to be creative, but I can't say I'm all that intrigued anymore. The whole romance angle just felt off to me. I'm not saying I hated it, but there was definitely a What-the-What?! vibe to it. I don't want to spoil anything for those of you who haven't read this yet, but, I didn't like the switcheroo that the author pulled. It was very...Gotcha! And not in a good way, in my opinion.


I'm still planning on reading the next book, so it's not like this was torturous to read or anything. I suppose my reaction to this installment was more mild disappointment than anything else.


Hopefully, the Winter Queen will pull her head out of her ass for the next book. It's not fun (to me) to read about silly internal conflicts that seem to loop around like nonsense. Then again, maybe this is a transition novel, and she'll have it all figured out by book three?

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758 reviews2,352 followers
March 1, 2017

THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN MAJOR SPOILERS FROM BOOK 1, and maybe some minor one's from this book AND WILL ALSO CONTAIN AN OVERUSE OF THE WORD 'BORED' AND 'SHITTY'. It will also contain repetitive sentences like, "BORING ASS SHIT." You've been warned!

Imagine my disappointment when the sequel to a book, I loved turns out so fucking shitty and boring. Imagine the way I threw the book across the room in anger and screamed so freaking loud in frustration because this book WAS THE WORST SEQUEL I COULD ASK FOR. Like, FUCK YOU SO MUCH BOOK, YOU SUCKED, SO MUCH.

※Where the fuck was badass Meira who cut bitches with her awesome Chakram??? In this book I get a boring ass queen who's trying to make alliances with other kingdoms and having political arguments and IS SIMPLY NOT KICKING SOME FUCKING BUTT??? I get it she's the queen now and she's having this war with herself, with who to be, but like, the whole entire reason why I loved her was because she was badass, mature, a kickass soldier. She was not a boring character in the first book. But in this one, ugh, so not badass and excruciatingly boring.

※The plot:
Holy fucking shit. DUDE WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON WITH THE PLOT??? In the previous book, the plot was filled with action, but this was absolute shit. All I read about was some fucked up alliances and arguments over the magic chasm and blah blah blah. Guess what? I don't give a fuck about that shit. I wanted some more badass action and fighting, but instead I get some boring ass shit. The book was stretched out and so fucking long and petty and I was honestly so annoyed and bored! ARGH!!!!

You know what. I really loved this guy in book 1 and wanted to Meira to be with him, but this book changed that. He became another useless petty piece of shit to continue this EXTREMELY FUCKING ANNOYING LOVE TRIANGLE THAT MAKES ME SCREAM. He was so so useless and boring and bland and I HATED IT. This book made it really hard to love this guy. Honestly I'm rooting for Theron now. Okay that might be a lie. I love Mather, but he was way too boring in this book. MATHER PLEASE BECOME SPICIER IN THE NEXT BOOK, THANKS.

So, overall, this book made me hate everything I loved in book 1 and love everything I hated in book 1. Yes, I love Theron and Angra, fite me. But I don't love Theron enough to shit him with Miera. Mather all the way fuckers.

Profile Image for ♥ℂĦℝΪՖƬΪℕÅ.
230 reviews3,935 followers
May 26, 2018
4.25 Sweet snow! ★'s

“I'm not just me anymore. I'm a whole kingdom, and I can't make mistakes.”

“The most powerful magic of all is choice, and of that power, the strongest choice anyone can make is an act of sacrifice.”

Reread <3
This is my second time reading "Ice Like Fire" and I must say, I still really, really, enjoyed it! I stayed up through the night, just so I could get it done. Because I want to get onto the 3rd book, I haven't read yet. I love all the different adventures and the new Seasons/Rhythm Kingdoms we got to experience. I love how completely different each one is and how well thought out this world Sara Raasch has developed truly is. I really had a lot of fun reading this story :D The story-line, the writing, the world itself and of course all the character growth is amazing. It's was a bit slower passed, there for, it dragged in spots. Meira was awesome as usual, but I missed the crazy, warrior side of her from the first book. I hated when she was trying to be who she thought, she and everyone else expected her to be. When the Meira they need is ecactly who she already had been! I was so happy to have Mather POV. He was already one of my favorite character and this just made me love him all the more! Mather is doing all he can, in whatever way he can to help protect his queen and the people of Winter. He is just so refreshing and a swoon worthy Hero. I love me some Mather!! (Meira ♥&♥ Mather)*sigh... Kinda sucks the road Theron's character was taken down. He was never really a fav of mine but still he was a good guy. It was really sad that he got infected by the decay :( Ceridwen is awesome! I really enjoyed everything about her. That girl is a fighter and wants better for her people. Also I love Nessa, she's such a sweetheart and her brothers Conall and Garrigan are really great too! Anyways, I'm very excited to read "Frost Like Night" the last book. So i'm gonna end it here :)
Aughhh, that ending though!! Damn Cliffhangers lol!

*I reccomend this book to everyone!*

“I close my eyes, back straight, face impassive. When I look, I will see someone capable and composed, a warrior and a leader all in one.”

“I’m tired of fighting myself—I have far too many enemies, far too many obstacles, to spend so much energy wrestling myself into submission. I have far too few friends to alienate those closest to me. I need to start trusting them. And if they break . . . We’ll just have to pick up the pieces together.”

“Horrible things have happened to us, are still happening to us, will happen every day for the rest of our lives, probably. What defines us is not our ability to never let them break us— what defines us is not letting them own us.”

“That's part of freedom too— getting to dream, and knowing it could happen if I want it to.”

“What’s rare is to have a good, strong man, as opposed to a good, weak man. Those are the ones who ruin the world. Men who mean well, but buckle under others’ opinions until their good intentions destroy an untold number of lives.”

“I want to look at someone and know that every need and wish and desire i have matches his, not that my every need and wish and desire clashes with his. Unification should be the overall theme of a relationship.”
Profile Image for Neil (or bleed).
956 reviews738 followers
February 20, 2021
"I want to live. I want to find a way to save everyone and LIVE."

I'm so happy with this sequel because it didn't disappoint. I know I've read this for several days but I think it has been alright since I've gotten enough time to absorb its complex story and appreciate its beauty.

Ice Like Fire is less action and more politics. If you've read the Snow Like Ashes, you know the details. Now, Meira isn't comfortable to their alliance with Cordell. She knows Noam, the king of Cordell, and his evil plan. So Meira is trying to form an alliance with the other kingdoms that has something to do with the magic chasm. And that's why the story revolved around more on politics and the role of Meira as the queen of Winter.

I admit, at first, I found the book boring. There's nothing to excite me. I can't get into it. I thought it was slow. But when I've realized the problem is me, I stopped reading the book and started a new one. Maybe, I'm stressed or something. Then, after finishing the short book, I got back reading Ice Like Fire and WOAH!!!

Okay, I know I'm being exaggerated there haha but I am really compelled and intrigued with the political drama of this book. I never get to read a lot of high fantasy novels so the political dynamics fascinated me and learned alot about it. I, actually, can't describe well the politics in this book but I know that it did impress me in one way or another.

I like Meira more and Mather and Theron and every character in this book, even the new ones. They've grown a lot especially Meira who matured, not just as a warrior girl but as the Winter queen, too. She knows she needs to save Winter and her people but she isn't the kind who wants to die saving her people. She wants to save Winter and live and I love her about it. In fact, Meira is one of the female protagonists I truly admire now.

Mather has been great, too. He got emo and angsty but it is understandable. And along the way, he became the person he needs to be. And he got friends and comrades that was phenomenal or should I say the kind worth watching for.

Theron. I have four words to describe Theron. He will surprise you.

Among these main characters, every minor character were so interesting to read on, too. They have their own depths and fleshed out in a subtle way. I know there are more to come for them in the third book and I'm excited about it.

In Snow Like Ashes, Winter, Spring and Cordell had been explored and now Meira took me to the other kingdoms; Summer, Yakim and Ventralli. The description of every kingdom, I must say, has been very good. It is evident the major difference between kingdoms-- the lifestyle of people, the dresses, customs and values, jobs and works and people itself.

Lets go to the major twist that I didn't expect at all. The whole book is hinting about it but I didn't see it. Poor me. But I swear this twist is the best thing ever, for me. Because wow the shit just got realer and the intensity has gotten stronger.

I couldn't ask for more.
Profile Image for Faye, la Patata.
492 reviews2,109 followers
September 19, 2015
Have you ever had one of those days where you feel like something was... incomplete? That things dragged on more than they should have had? Like the story could've been tighter, could've had the same essential elements and plot points, AND still give a sense of completeness, as if this small story arc of a bigger story arc has been reached?

This is one of those days - those days where I felt nothing but underwhelmed.

You guys might be well-aware of my love for the first book. I flailed over it, gave it 5-fantastic-stars, and shoved the book (and its pretty cover!) pretty much to everyone's faces, imploring them, demanding them, that they read Snow Like Ashes as soon as they could, and that I wouldn't be accepting any flimsy excuses. It was a Young Adult fantasy with the Seasons as the theme for the four primary kingdoms out of eight, something I thought was pretty cool (and wished I had thought of before); it had a pretty kick-ass heroine who I thought was better than Celaena Sardothien; it had a premise that was, okay, unoriginal, but was written and executed in a way that made it a breath of fresh air.

So, as for the second book? I was all, BRING IT ON! MY BODY IS READY!

Only for me to end up as...


There are so many things in this book that simply didn't click with me. I'll just put them in list form, lest I go on a dragging rant (and I know for sure I've had enough of that today

1.) Two POVS, two different perspectives and tenses? ME NO LIKEY. I really didn't understand the need to do this. There are two POVs in this book - Meira's and Mather's. Meira is in 1st person present tense, and Mather is in 3rd person past tense and that not only confused the heck out of me, but bugged me so much that there were times I had to take a break because it was frustrating me. I get the use of this if both characters were in different timelines - like Meira was talking about things in the present, and Mather's POVs were flashbacks, but that wasn't the case at all. They were all in the same timeline so why use past tense in one POV? Maybe this is some sort of literary trick that I am not aware of, and that there is actually a need for it that only writers are aware of, but I just couldn't get it... nevertheless, I know that a book is more than its verb tenses, so I tried my best to overlook it, but make no mistake, that I may or may not have rubbed my temples a dozen times because of this.

2.) What happened to the kick-ass Meira? In Snow like Ashes, this girl was my hero. She wanted to help in every way she can in order to retrieve their kingdom back. She fought and followed her heart and whatever she felt was the right thing to do, and it was so easy to stand by her and root for her and sympathize with her and her plight. Meira here is very, very different - she is overly-cautious and is very conflicted by what she wants to do and what she feels she must do. Even though she is 'careful' with the paths she chooses, she keeps making foolish decisions that bite her in the ass, and after these, gets conflicted again and we're treated to her internal narrations that seem to repeat themselves over and over and over. I was just over it, really. I'm all for character development and such, but hers took its bloody damn time that by the last third of the book, I was just rolling my eyes at her inefficiency. It felt like this development of hers stalled for a long time in the middle of the book, and it just lost its magic on me. Gone were the intricate world-building that I loved in the next book, and it was filled with almost-monotonous self-loathing and self-pitying that I wanted to just bang my head onto a wall. I even skipped pages of this self-wallowing of hers and even went back to reading when the story finally moved from its periodical hibernation. Her "redemption" at the end happened far too late and at that point, I just wanted the story to get a move on already.

3.) Such a long book, but nothing was achieved, merely becoming a build-up to the third book. This is what I hate the most in this book - the fact that we were given a short-term goal in order to fulfill a long-term one, and the book ends in the middle of finishing short-term goal. This is why I am so particularly nitpicky with many trilogies/series, because there is a formula that I prefer them to follow: that every installment has a story and goals for itself, and when you put every book together, there is an even larger story in the background. This specific point is the number one reason why I feel so damn disappointed in this story, the fact that there this book is so long, and yet, it feels like it doesn't achieve anything. They find two "keys" to a puzzle they need to solve (which they solve easily and without any difficulty, mind you), Meira spends 80% of the time wallowing in endless conflict, and then near the end, she goes back to being the Meira in the first book, we get some pretty anti-climactic revelations, and then that's it. Did they achieve the goal they set out to do in the beginning of the second book? No, they did not. In fact, it could be said they were about to just start it at end of the book, so now I'm raging. I feel pretty cheated, to be honest, because I get that this is the sequel, but I want the sequel to feel complete, not half-assed. 

Basically, me:

Am I still going to read the third book? Yes, but I wouldn't be anticipating it as much. Take my opinion as one of many, though. If the things above don't bother you, then I'm sure you'd end up liking this.
Profile Image for Andreea Pop.
320 reviews2,119 followers
July 2, 2015
Unavoidable spoilers from the first book.

Dear book,

You started on the wrong foot from the very beginning when you chose to go with the magic chasm route. You see, as Meira herself pointed out countless times, the possibility of finding it when for centuries no one did is truly laughable. But somehow it was found during your first pages. Go figure.

From there on, your entire plot was centered on this back-and-forth idea that the magic chasm needs to stay shut, yet it should open. The only good thing that came out of that Order and keys mess was that we got to visit the rest of the kingdoms. Summer was a waste of pages, besides the introduction with Ceridwen, who was a bit too superior even for my tastes. Yakim was intriguing, but stuck-up nonetheless. And Ventralli was magical, but a touch too many of craziness, though I loved the romantic drama (kudos for the juiciness).

In terms of pace, you truly lack equilibrium. The first three quarters were filled with boredom-inducing blabbering and the continuous tiring dynamic between Meira and Theron. Gods, they don't know the meaning of the word "communication". And then when the shit hit the fan, it was all kinds of awesome but it was too late to make up for the previous dull atmosphere. Ah, well... At least you tried.

I have to say that I do not like your Queen Meira. The spunk, fierceness and snark of the heroine we were sold in your prequel pretty much disintegrated and left us with an indecisive and overwhelmed teenager set on the goal to save everyone. Well, next time you see her, please tell her to wake up from dreaming with her eyes wide open and focus for now on the fate of her fellow Winterians, because they're basically screwed. And I almost forgot: she transformed into quite the Sherlock Holmes with her treasure hunt going surprisingly smooth -- two keys found on the first go. Impressive, really. *cocks eyebrow*

Also, I did not break under your pressure aka I did not change teams although you tried to sway me. I mean, when you pretty much implement a personality-swap for Theron and have chapters from Mather's POV, one can see where you're standing in this whole love triangle.

I'll grant that you might have changed my opinion about Mather for the better, but Theron proved to me in the end that his only flaws are naivety, idealism and a very good heart. I'm not going to be a Mather supporter all of a sudden just because Theron is too kind.

However, I realized that I won't be biting my nails over Meira's final romantic choice, because honestly? I don't particularly care about these characters anymore. Congratulations on this achievement.

The rest of your characters barely managed to keep me awake. William transformed into this petulant little thing, so at odds with the strong figure he'd been I almost wept. I did enjoy Conall and Garrigan though, but Nessa was so underdeveloped I shouldn't even mention her. Mather's Thaw reminded me of those cartoons called Titans and actually got some pity out of me because they think they're important. Sadly, that's false. But Allyson, for what it's worth, made me teary-eyed with one single appearance.

I really don't know what will happen next with your story, because this train-wreck is heading straight to an Allegiant-like finish line, a direction which I haven't yet made up my mind if I approve of or not. What's for sure is that your continuation will definitely have its own share of surprises (but I'm not so eager to get my hands on it as I did for you because I've been burnt one too many times).

So here we are. I'm sorry to say that you are deeply flawed and only your last quarter or so saved me from rating you with those nasty 2 stars. I'm sorry to see that you could've hit grandness, yet you settled for extremely ordinary. And I'm downright sorry that you suffered from the sequel syndrome when I wanted so much for you to succeed. But I think you should be sorry as well for ruining my overall giddiness and excitement at your potential.

One of your initially excited readers, now caught in a bitter state of disappointment

P.S.: Don't worry, I'll still buy you for your kickass cover once you come out in October.
497 reviews2,419 followers
Want to read
March 12, 2015
Mather, my dear. Fans don't seem to like you as much as Theron, but that means more of you for me, right?
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,400 reviews9,535 followers
October 26, 2015



Where do I start! I wanted to smack so many people in this book that I lost count. This book is no where near as good as the first book, in my opinion. I think for me it was all of the politics that went on for most of the book and the going back and forth with poor Meira trying to figure out what was best for the people of Winter. I can tell you what is best... OFF WITH NOAM'S HEAD and take the rest out! Just do it! Do it!

Okay, we know that doesn't happen. I didn't like Theron until the end of the book when you find out why he was making dumb arse decisions. But.. we need to back track just a little, without spoilers!

Meira decides she needs to travel to the different places and try to get allies. I mean you have to have someone besides Noam, who is working your people to death in the mines to pay back all Winter owes to him... blah blah.. he's a jerk.. and then they find the chasm of magic and that opens up a whole other can of worms.

I still love Mather and Sir and a few others, but it seems like most of the time everyone is wandering around doing stupid stuff and you want to smack them too. I really liked Ceridwen in the book. She is from Summer and she is good but her brother is a jerk.

When they find the chasm of magic, Meira decides she needs to find these keys and keep Noam from opening the thing because she knows it's going to cause all kinds of trouble and she's right. So, while she's on this diplomatic travel to the different places, she has to find the keys there as well. It seems to not be as hard as it seems to find the keys if you have a good brain, but then someone does something stupid when they find the keys and I want to do some more smacking!

If your looking for a book like the first one that's full of action.. this..is..not..it. I don't have to have a lot of action going on in a book, but I like the story to be interesting. Parts of this one was interesting for me and other parts were not.

All of that being said... the end.. it's going to be a cluster of fighting in the next book. It's on and I can't tell you why, or who, or what. Just know that with the way it ended there is huge hopes of a battle to end all battles.


I'm so glad Winter are the good guys because I love Winter in real life

Let's do this!


Even though I didn't like this book as much as the first, I have learned from experience that I don't always like all of the books in a trilogy or series and not to give up just because you didn't like one more than the other. There is always more to read and they always bounce back. :) Plus, there are plenty that loved it and that's awesome! Fin

Profile Image for Anastasia.
134 reviews68 followers
March 12, 2016
3.5/5 stars

Ice Like Fire is the heated sequel to Snow Like Ashes.

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 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 on using 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.

I was a huge fan of Sara Raasch’s first book,Snow Like Ashes. It was fast paced, packed cover to cover with action, and had a lot of character development. This book was the complete opposite. The book lagged, there were only a couple of action scenes, and the characters were really lacking. I was expecting so much, more especially since I read amazing reviews and ratings.
“What’s rare is to have a good, strong man, as opposed to a good, weak man. Those are the ones who ruin the world. Men who mean well, but buckle under others’ opinions until their good intentions destroy an untold number of lives.”
The plot was...non existent? Present in the last half of the book? The main purpose of this book was to find three keys to open the magic chasm and you know when we realized this? A third of the way through the book. Then once we were on our way the really action packed and interesting scenes were cut down to a couple of pages. I found myself skimming over pages at a time because all they contained were more repeated descriptions or unimportant commentary. But, once we reached the last ⅓ to ¼ of the book things started to pick up. The characters’ lives began to intersect and blood was shed.

The characters were average for most of the book. Meira was struggling between being her old soldier-like self and her new queen-like self. Theron and Mather were both struggling with their relationships with Meira because they either didn’t see her as queenly or they thought she was being too queenly. There was no middle ground and that’s as far as this whole love triangle relationship evolved. In Snow Like Ashes I thought Theron was the best choice for Meira but after reading 496 pages of Theron complaining, saying stupid things, etc. I’m more team Mather. But, then again Mather is very back and forth. He loves her, then he doesn’t love her, but then he realises he made a huge mistake and pines for her again. He’s like the old game little girls played with picking off the petals of flowers. He loves her. He loves her not. He loves her. He loves her not. He.. *gasps* he loves her! Wow, who knew.
“I’m tired of fighting myself—I have far too many enemies, far too many obstacles, to spend so much energy wrestling myself into submission. I have far too few friends to alienate those closest to me. I need to start trusting them. And if they break . . . We’ll just have to pick up the pieces together.”
My absolute favorite part were the supporting characters. They were the hilarious and thrilling glue that held this average book together. The Children of the Thaw made me remember how it felt to really want someone to succeed. They showed how even if all the odds are against you; you can still win. Nessa, Dendera, and the rest of Meira’s gang/entourage helped move the story along. Giving us some much needed tension, skepticism, laughter, and insight into the kingdoms we ventured into. Without these supporting characters and a select few main characters I probably would have dnfed this book around page 100.

The ending was really interesting. It wasn’t quite an ending, it was more of a beginning. If the book started, or the middle of this book, was this exciting I would have been extremely happy. The sad part about the ending, was that it was only 2 chapters long, that is 31 or so chapters too short. All in all I was very disappointed with how this book turned out. It had such great potential, but just fell flat. I will probably pick up the last book in the trilogy but if it doesn’t pick up after 100 or so pages I’ll probably just have to face the facts and dnf it.
Profile Image for Ashley Marie .
1,218 reviews376 followers
December 8, 2015
As you can see from my updates, I got sucked into this book in spite of myself. I still don't like the Meira/Mather pairing, I mean we spent the entirety of SLA showing how much Meira and Theron had in common and setting them up as a couple, and Mather has been a whiny ass since the beginning, so I've never liked him. But somewhere in the middle of this, my brain totally changed tack and decided to appreciate this book despite it MURDERING MY SHIP and SHOVING THE SHIP I HATE IN MY FACE. Props for crafting an excellent plot, that's all I can think of. Massive props.

I loved Ceridwen from the moment she showed up; she almost reminded me of Nehemia, my favorite part of Throne of Glass, but... better. Because that whole book was a blahfest and this one grew on me. But I digress. ANYWAY. Ceri was the standout here, for me. I love this world and the season-kingdoms, did I mention that last time? LOVE IT. It attracts my elemental self :) And the rulers of each place they visited were different, not necessarily cookie-cutter people. Oh, and I suppose I could mention Mather's Thaw crew (nice name choice btw), because they're cool too (no pun intended). Mather spent this book being emo and angsty AF, but past that I actually think I saw character growth. Solidarity with Meira in wanting to defend their kingdom, TOGETHER, from outside forces, where in the first book he was just like LOL CYA when it came to a marriage alliance with Theron. That counts as growth to me.

As for Meira herself, she's still a cool heroine and we see her bogged down by having to choose between doing what she wants and what she knows is best for the kingdom as a whole -- a more mature, far-reaching decision than she had to make in the first book. There was one instance somewhere around 60% where Theron was doing all the talking for her and I got irritated, like, WHY DO YOU LET HIM TALK FOR YOU?? IF YOU DON'T AGREE THEN SPEAK UP AND SHUT HIM DOWN FFS. That was irritating. And then in all the hullabaloo in Ventrali, Theron just kind of disappeared. It made for killer dramatics in the end, but that was weird because it was noticeable. I actually found myself wondering at one point "....where did Theron go? What's he doing right now?"

So in spite of me wanting to hate this book purely because I dislike Mather... it didn't happen. I'm positive we haven't seen the last of Theron, though, so I haven't given up all hope yet not until she has to kill him and break both our hearts but I really liked this book for the story. Meira wasn't useless, she made new friends, and she's growing up and taking on more responsibility. Good things.

....Andddd I just bought Snow Like Ashes. Because I'm invested in this series. And the covers are pretty.
Profile Image for Dannii Elle.
2,010 reviews1,402 followers
May 5, 2019
First Read: May 2017, Rating: 4 stars
Second Read: May 2019, Rating: 3 stars

Initial Review
I was hesitant to start this sequel to Snow Like Ashes, due to the mixture of responses it has received. The reason for much of the discontent, concerning this book, was the slower plot pace, in comparison to the previous instalment. Yet this was something I really appreciated. The action took a back-seat, for the first few hundred pages and I thought each individual character was given the space to come to life in this interim. With an additional insight into the objectives driving their desires, I got to see how each individual had their own distinct part to play in the plot, aside from just Meira.

It also allowed for an expansion of this innovative world, which was something I longed for in the first book. Meira and Theron travel to the bordering kingdoms and the reader is given the chance to see the distinct flavours of the life and culture that differentiate each one.

The final third returned to the action-dominated narrative and fast-pace of the first book and delivered shock and after shock designed to thrill the reader and excite them for the final book in this remarkable trilogy. And that it did, for me.

Updated Thoughts
Whilst I still maintained my enjoyment of the geographical exploration of these fantastical lands, the rest fell a little flat for me. This was not unenjoyable, per se, just that my prior knowledge of the narrative shifts allowed my attention to become diverted by the other aspects of the novel, such as the romance, that are less to my personal preferences.
Profile Image for Cheska.
58 reviews83 followers
February 8, 2017
This book took wayyy longer for me to read because literally nothing was happening until the last 20 pages or so, where it seemed like the author just squeezed in a befuddling, abrupt, and a super rushed battle scene just to give this book a 'big' ending that ultimately paves way for the final book. I've never felt more frustrated at how everyone in this book acted out of character, and it's as if all the character development in the first book was completely futile. #RIP toallthegreatcharacterswhowerecompletelybutchered.

Masochistic as it sounds, I'm actually still going to finish this series. The third book 'apparently' gets better and out of pure curiosity, I'd still like to know how the author will conclude this story. However, this book may have also eviscerated any single shred of sympathy I have for our main character, so I'm not even afraid of what tragedy concerning the characters might occur in the next book.

Oh, I also made sure to bookmark the line where FOR ONCE, Meira and I actually agreed on the same thing:

"Everything I did, every selfish act, was impetuous and risky and I hurt everyone."

Damn right you did.
Profile Image for Karima chermiti.
799 reviews156 followers
November 11, 2018
#1 : Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1) : 3 stars

I gave this book two stars; one star for it and one for me because I finished reading something on this level of mediocrity. But for real though, where the hell do I start with Ice Like Fire, I’m beyond disappointed and I can’t understand how you take something with a great potential and you turn into something this bad, messy and sloppy.


I don’t think there’s anything I loved about this book if I’m being honest. The characters were foolish, whiny, annoying and stupid. I already didn’t love Meira in the first book but in this one I just hate her. She is a mediocre protagonist and I struggled being stuck in her bland mind. Maher was okay I guess and Theron, it’s not fair what the author did to his character. And here’s why his shitty development bother me, I could feel the author being biased towards Maher and she did everything in her power to ruin Theron character so Maher would be the better choice. I don’t care for this kind of shit and it feels manipulative as hell.

And would authors just stop do this thing in love triangles when they take a great male character and ruin it completely so the protagonist would pick the other love interest? That’s just a cheap and lazy trick and I’m sick of it. But to be honest, I don’t know why I’m angry about the characters treatment in this book, by the end of it, I was so over it, I don't give a shit about them with the exception of Maher, he didn’t do anything wrong and Theron because he was abused by the book.

Not to mention that the story is so boring and it felt too easy, it’s so convenient, everything that happened. I really felt like the author was spoiling her characters, making them do all things easily like she was afraid in putting them in dangerous situations. The fast paced action packed quality of the first book was absolutely absent in this one, there is no sense of urgency, no tension, no intensity.

I give up, I can't do this anymore. This book is that bad.



Buddy-reading this sequel with My Friend Carina

The first book, snow like ashes ended on a high note, I have really high expectations for this one as it have a great potential to give us a great story and characters development.

Profile Image for Patricia Bejarano.
434 reviews5,340 followers
January 18, 2018
4.5 en realidad.
OMG! Este libro hace que Nieve como Cenizas se consolide como una de mis trilogías favoritas. El primero me encantó y este no se ha quedado atrás (puede que un poquito menos que el primero pero bueno, ha sido increíble).
Hablemos de la maravillosa evolución de Meira. Es un personaje al que estamos viendo crecer y que me está encantado. Creo que la autora le ha dado unos matices que la hace muy diferente al resto de protagonistas que hay por ahí. Sigo siendo Team Mather, pero me es imposible odiara Theron. Lo intento, de verdad... pero no puedo.
Me encanta también la ambientación de estas novelas y como en esta vemos más mundo que en la primera parte, ese mundo tan mágico que nos ha creado esta autora.
Si le he puesto un poquito de menos nota que al primero es porque en ciertos momentos se me ha hecho un poquito largo, pero en verdad todo lo que nos contaba era necesario para lo que iba a venir después. Me ha encantado que todo se haya hecho despacito, como deberían hacerse siempre las cosas.
Sin duda os recomiendo muchísimo que le deis una oportunidad a esta magnífica saga de fantasía. Siento que aquí por lo menos (España) no tiene el reconocimiento que se merece. Deseando leer el tercero y último.
Profile Image for Nemo (The ☾Moonlight☾ Library).
615 reviews301 followers
May 20, 2016
I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.




While Winter has been freed from Angra’s slavery, Meira must find the balance between queen and soldier, fight to keep her kingdom from the hands of Cordell, and in the mean time find the keys hidden in other kingdoms that will open the door to the magical chasm and hopefully make an alliance or two with rivals.


I loved Raasch’s worldbuilding in Snow Like Ashes, and I’m pleased to say that it was topped even in Ice Like Fire. Meira takes a tour of the kingdoms under the guise of making alliances but she’s secretly looking for magical keys, and in visiting these other kingdoms we get a first hand account of the culture, traditions, values and lifestyles of the other kingdoms. Not only are each culture interesting and well developed but they’re all diverse as well, with no two being the same, although there are certain similarities that lend the kingdoms into natural alliances with each other. I was totally impressed at this way of worldbuilding because never once did I feel like there was any kind of info-dumping. I know the ‘point’ of the story was to deliver on the hurdles Meira had to overcome, but the tour just made the most fantastic vehicle for further world development.


Meira had strained relationships with everyone in this novel and I was saddened to see that she couldn’t trust anyone, not even shoes she and I had grown to love in the previous novel. Meira basically relied on herself, and even her new alliances were tender and uncertain. I really didn’t feel much romance between her and Theron or her and Mather, but I did delight in seeing the new tumultuous friendship with the Summer princess, Ceridwen.


Because of the lack of trusted relationships, I never really grew to trust anyone in this novel, even those whom it turned out could have been trusted. I found that Meira was to standoffish, even with a certain character whose inevitable betrayal I saw coming (but not with the right motivation), to really be shocked when everything turned to shit. I found the idea of the Decay being responsible for much of the motivation early in the books hard to accept as there was no foreshadowing or warning that this was the motivation used by certain characters.


A very worthy sequel, Ice Like Fire doesn’t suffer from any kind of second novel syndrome and it was a delight to follow the continued issues of rebuilding Winter and seeing Meira find her place in the world.
Profile Image for Tina ➹ Woman, Life, Freedom.
384 reviews397 followers
August 22, 2022
2.25 (Silver) Stars
it lost its Sparks

(D as in Dull)

Warning: mostly a Ranting review

why I didn't assume book 1 was just the end of the whole of it? :( it could be & I would never read the rest... *deep sigh*

the magic of the world building didn't amuse me anymore, I didn't feel that thrilling happiness I used to have in reading the first book, my motivation to continue ASAP. the creativity felt lesser (for me), the pace on brakes.
& I didn't like the character development (the fate, the character's path, the decisions, the reactions, whatever you call it) he deserved so much more than to been pushed aside like a pawn

to write a "fair" review, I must mention that the last 100 pages were brilliant & exciting, maybe deserved 4 stars if the whole book was going on like that.
but alas...
the rest was boring 2-3 stars & at first (which pushed me into a month-long reading slump) definitely 2 (or even less?)
this was the second book I wanted to throw at the wall so many times! many times, I wished I could DNF it. (but I couldn't. damn curiosity!)
so sums it up: ★★(★)/5
writing style: ★★/5
I don't like present tenses & first person view (it felt like a fanfiction! I love fanfiction, but this is no fandom of mine, I'm just tasting to see if I like it.), worse, if that person is a girl...together... just woa!!! I said/ranted many times during reading.
(P.S: I love 1st person Just in a few cases, I mentioned in some other reviews.)
world building: ★★★★/5
in general, I love the idea to see seasons as tribes. unique.
plot: ★★(★)/5
this book. boring.
& a few times, even disgusting.
end: good & exciting
characters: ★★/5
I don't like Meira & I don't have any favourite character now.
once I liked Therone, but not anymore.
Love life: ★★/5
I've read enough love triangles! I don't like it, unless it's special & very well-created; I despised it especially when the girl can't decide which side she wants & starts to be with both! (ahem... like throne of glass) I mean... C'MON!
Profile Image for Jennifer.
662 reviews2,255 followers
August 4, 2015
Meira owes a debt to Cordellan that has to be paid. They dig in the the mines and find Primoria’s lost chasm of magic. Meira and Theron take off on a scavenger hunt to find a way to open it all under the disguise of visiting kingdoms creating peace and introducing Winter back to the world. The scavenger hunt goes pretty easy for Meira. Meira and Theron clash as they have different viewpoints on their missions. I love Meira and Theron and sometimes their fights were annoying and Meira seemed to over think things but I understood that she is always putting her people first.

Mather has to stay behind but continues training a little group of rebels. Mather struggles with his new role and accepting Sir as his father. Mather has his own POV although it was very sporadic throughout the book. Whether you are team Mather or Theron expect heart break. One of the most difficult love triangles I have ever read. I really really love both guys! I had a pretty good idea what way it was going but it did slip back and forth as to who you think it could possibly work with. Meira changes a lot throughout the story. She does contemplate both and how it would work. She wants to choose Winter and she wants to be the best Queen she can be and not put boy first but which boy would be better for Winter?

All the traveling with Meira and Theron dragged on a little bit during the middle but still lots of good developments. It was interesting to see them visit all the different kingdoms and see how different their people are and the people in power. Then a crazy ending!!! Broken hearts! War! Death! Betrayal! Twists! Meira is so screwed! Oh man. Now the loooooong wait to see how it all ends!!!!
Profile Image for Nanna.
247 reviews131 followers
December 21, 2016
3.5 stars!

I don't think this book lived up to Snow Like Ashes but it was an okay follow up. I'm slightly disappointed but still eagerly awaiting the next one! (the last one?)

I LOVED the first book, liked this one so I guess it's up to the third book to see if the series is overall a great one.

Meira was still very strong but why did she annoy me? she was struggling with her decisions and I think her inner struggle was a big problem. I was so used to Book 1 Meira, who was fierce and had no problem doing what needed to be done.

Theron and Mather, I'm very confused as to how I feel about them. I still like Theron but goodness, some parts made me want to slap him. Mather, what role did he actually have? I just felt pretty pretty bad for him. now that I think about it, I don't think his POV were necessary. not that I didn't like them, I did. poor boy was a mess after book one!

I don't know, I think I'm just a big mess after this read haha
Profile Image for majo .
652 reviews279 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
June 26, 2017
DNF at 53%

So, I've decided I'm not gonna lie to myself. I'm bored as hell, and I feel this Meira is a completely different Meira from book one. And literally what I liked in book one was Meira, she was just #FemaleCharacterGoals. And now? I don't understand what is happening, I'm so bored and Mather has become a drunk boy who is full of self-pity because Meria is no longer in his life, and something just tell me Theron is not the good guy he was in book one anymore.

So yeah, what everyone had been saying is true: The first book is actually pretty amazing, and this one is not. So, the story doesn't matter to me anymore. What a shame. I'm just gonna go and read spoilers from the third book to find what happen.
Profile Image for Rachel  (APCB Reviews).
331 reviews1,191 followers
December 29, 2015
Initial Thoughts: My heart is very confused. Part of me is wildly impressed with the plot build up of the second book and the writing. The other part of me didn't enjoy this book too much... The last quarter of the book is insanely amazing though. Book 3 will definitely be epic.

Read the full review @ A Perfection Called Books

Part of me is wildly impressed with the plot build up of the second book and the writing. The other part of me didn't enjoy this book at all. The romance and action were lacking. We were merely told things in the end instead of being able to theorize or guess or infer along the way. This book is more about the politics and the character development. Book 3 will definitely be epic though.

My biggest problem with this book was the pacing. I had to push myself to continue reading. It was unbelievably slow. I kept flipping through trying to see if the book would pick up anywhere. That happens at the 75% mark. It's tragic.

The plot is interesting yet totally cliché. Meira has to go on a treasure hunt of sorts to find the missing keys to the magic chasm door. It's monotonous and boring and each discovery brings little excitement and life to the story. I love the world-building of the novel though. Meira travels to various kingdoms and it was intriguing to learn of the culture and geography and way of life of the people. Sara did an amazing job with that aspect.

The characters irritated me all. the. time. Meira is learning how to be a monarch. I admire her fierce pride and devotion to Winter and that she tries so hard. Unfortunately she makes so many mistakes and makes naive decisions that have me cringing. Mather is so bitter and ungrateful. Theron's character takes a 180 degree turn, and I was horrified. It seems that this is always a plot device when there is a love triangle. Make one of the guys so mean in book 2 that we all root for the other guy. That is the easy way out, and I HATE IT. I loathe this plot device, and it really killed the book for me because it kept showing up again and again. The romance was horrid and barely there. I don't mind books that don't have it, but if nothing is happening in the book there should at least be some romance to keep us interested. Alas, there is none.

The climax of the book is so confusing. I felt like we were flooded with information as the author struggled to quickly share all these revelations and explanations. It was so far-fetched and not very believable. The clues and details weren't well planned or spread out at all. The ending was crazy and sets up the next book quite well.

This sequel was a crushing disappointment. I have hope that the final book will be better though.
Profile Image for Hannah ◇ReaderintheRough◇.
198 reviews71 followers
March 27, 2016
"No one knows how empty I feel, like a quiver for arrows, existing only to hold a greater weapon."

*confused clapping for Sara Raasch*

Well, this book, this book doesn't start off on the right foot... it has the best plot recover I've ever read and that's not exactly a good thing.

Ice Like Fire had an identity crisis for the first half. Meira was not Meira. There was not the strength nor recklessness that I admired in her during Snow Like Ashes . All it was was whining, numbness, glazed over thoughts, and puppet strings to make up her character until the adventure began halfway through.

Things started to pick up when Meira left winter, but the mission felt like a cheap spin off of GOT, and even "1st book Meira" is not worthy to be compared to Khaleesi, irregardless that they look alike. She blindly follows Theron to and fro, has foot-in-mouth syndrome when dealing with other cultures, and learns everything the hard way. A friendship springs up with her and Summer's princess (girl power!) which kept me turning pages.

Then thankfully, at 71% (or unfortunately, where have YOU been!?) Meira becomes undone. Her ferocity is awakened by her faithful traveling companion, Dendera:

"You listen to me Meira Dynam. Yes, you made mistakes, but I watched you to succomb to this role over the past few months, and that, I believe is the biggest mistake you have made. The biggest mistake we all made. We've all been afraid, and Meira, you look at me. You saved us. So be you again, and whoever that is will be exactly what we need."

*BOOM* Cue magic, betrayal, rebellion, and fury.

This is the most conflicted 3 stars I have ever given and also the biggest plot recovery I've ever read. I highly recommend reading this when in a forgiving mood. It does get better, I have no doubt Frost Like Night will be an impressive follow-up with epic events.

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