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Of Ice and Shadows

(Of Fire and Stars #2)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  2,362 ratings  ·  303 reviews
The long-awaited sequel to the acclaimed YA fantasy Of Fire and Stars! Mare and Denna travel to a new and dangerous kingdom where Denna will be trained to tame her magic by a mysterious queen who is not all she seems. Perfect for fans of Malinda Lo and Kristin Cashore.

Princesses Denna and Mare are in love and together at last--only to face a new set of dangers.

Mare just wa
Hardcover, first edition, 464 pages
Published August 13th 2019 by Balzer + Bray
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Audrey Coulthurst This depends on whether or not a) the book sells well (tell your local library and your friends to buy it!) and b) when I have time to dive back into …moreThis depends on whether or not a) the book sells well (tell your local library and your friends to buy it!) and b) when I have time to dive back into Denna and Mare's world again. My next book will not be a continuation of the series, but I may come back to it after that. I always envisioned there being three books, and I know what happens to Denna and Mare after Of Ice and Shadows.(less)
Audrey Coulthurst The book was originally slated for March, but got moved to August. It comes out on August 13, 2019.

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Average rating 3.86  · 
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 ·  2,362 ratings  ·  303 reviews

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I think this was a great follow up and the author has vastly improved at world building, but, and it's definitely a me thing, I found the plot kind of dull? It does feel like it exists for a reason though, and I liked Denna's growth. I'm just not the biggest fan of books where a large chunk is training. But I did love the overall growth and I still love the relationship between Denna and Mare.
Whitney Atkinson
DNF at 50%

I had this book out from the library for over a month but hardly could make my way through it. I ended up moving away and having to return this to the library, which was a great conclusion to my everyday questioning myself, "Should I DNF this?" I was just bored. I feel like I've read this story before in a 2013 generic fantasy. It's a journey book with random side characters interspersed and nothing to anchor me to the story because the girls' relationship is getting more distant as De
May 10, 2018 marked it as to-read
Shelves: buy-asap
Trina (Between Chapters)
Some interesting things happened toward the end, but overall I didn't feel invested. The climax happened so quickly I didn't realize it was over and it left me wondering why all the build up? Mare was nearly intolerable with her constant prejudice against an entire nation of people. Just not as interesting as the first book for me. ...more
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
*comes out of the closet* OF ICE AND SHADOWS!! 2019 you sneaky bastard better be quick! *slowly comes back to the closet and wait*
Kate (Feathered Turtle Press)
The Good
– Both Denna and Mare grow more into individuals
– Plotwise, there was usually something going on
– Some genuine moments of intrigue
– Decent choice of scenes?

The Bad
– Rough, amateurish writing style
– Indistinguishable "voices" between the two main characters
– All the telling over showing
– Huge lack of self-awareness in terms of xenophobia
– Author doesn't know how to build meaningful relationships between characters
– Final battle was basically just a confusing sneeze
– Apparently, we're expe
Danni Taylor
Jan 17, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-stars
⭐ 3 Stars ⭐

Hnmmm I'm not sure if it's just me but I found this book to be a little boring. It didn't seem to get very interesting until the last ¼ where the plot picked up. Took me a while to finish, but I'm glad I did.

The magic system was explored more in this and I really enjoyed that aspect. I didn't mind the training segment as you got to know the characters and learned about the magic in this world.

Speaking of the characters, I liked them and what they brought to the plot. Both the main c
Not bad.. but I liked the first book a lot more.

Of Ice and Shadows was a nice sequel for me to listen to. It was honestly more of background noise than anything but I really did try to focus on it. In it, we still have the same princesses that we fell in love with in the first book: Mare and Denna. Yet, there was something missing in this book.

Not going to lie, nothing really happened in this. At least for me because things didn't start to get interesting until the very end of the book. Each pri
Lily L'Heureux
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Danika at The Lesbrary
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
After falling in love with Of Fire and Stars, I was eager to pick up the sequel. Luckily, I thought it was even stronger than the first one, developing the characters, fleshing out the world, introducing two equally interesting plots, and keeping the core of Denna and Mare's relationship.

My full review is up at the Lesbrary.
I have one question: what was the point of this book? I would've been perfectly content leaving things the way the first book ended...

June 24, 2018
Ok, but doesn’t the description give away too much? I hope there are enough surprises in the book itself to make up for this.
. (not active on this account stop adding me)
3.5 stars

full review now on my blog!

Maybe I should’ve reread Of Fire and Stars prior to picking this up, but I was too excited when the ARC arrived on my Kindle. If you have the chance to before Of Ice and Shadows, I’d definitely recommend. Unfortunately, there’s no way I was putting anything on hold to see my gay princesses together again.

At the end of the first book, Mare and Denna are off on an adventure together. The princesses are seeking help for Denna to tame her magic, while Mare bec
Lea (drumsofautumn)
DNF @ 35%
I'm the saddest bean!!! Ever since first reading Of Fire and Stars, I had always hoped that it would get a sequel because we saw so little of the world and magic system in the first one. On top of that, Audrey Coulthurst's Inkmistress was literally my favourite book of 2018. But I was so bored by Of Ice and Shadows. I tried pushing my way through it for over two weeks, eventually put it down and just never felt like I wanted to get back into it :(
Colleen Corgel
Feb 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, lgbt, fantasy
This is a very sweet continuation of the first book, Of Fire and Stars, but with a little more intrigue and action. In the first book, it was mostly revolving around Mare and Denna as they figured out their feelings for each other, and navigated the issues in Mare's court. This time around, the girls get more time apart, and that's a good thing. It still is a bit of a coming of age story, so they needed to have time to find themselves as individuals before their relationship could get any strong ...more
Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
this was so good!!! it was a little slow at the start but once the plot kicked in i loved it; learning more about the magic system was my favorite part. the character development worked out so well (mare and denna both grew so much and it felt so natural) and it was just!!! great!!!! highly recommended
belle ☆ミ (thisbellereadstoo)
check out the full review on thisbellereadstoo

Not knowing the language fluently, the culture and customs of the other kingdoms, Mare is inadequate at being an ambassador. Even though she’s a princess and the representative of her kingdom, her incompetency and lack of knowledge sucked when she needed those to qualm the uprising conflict. On the other hand, Denna has the information, knowledge, and critical thinking skills. It’s obvious, even to strangers, that she’s not who she seemed to be
catherine ♡
Apr 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult, lgbt
I shook my head, bewildered. "I've always known what lay ahead."

That was me, basically. I was okay with the first one and I was okay with this one — they were both predictable and I could've told you after a few of his scenes that (view spoiler).

Both of them seem to have the same issue where I just felt like there was no PURPOSE. In most YA novels, the hero(ine) gets somewhere a
Aug 18, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: sapphic, lgbtq
The fact that the plot didn't really become interesting until around 390 pages kinda says it all 😔 Let's just pretend that of fire and stars was a standalone ...more
I don't know why I like reading about people using magic but I dislike reading about people learning how to use their magic.

(Except if it's middle grade, then it's awesome.)

I had really enjoyed Of Fire and Stars. I mean, lesbian princesses and magic, yes please. I'd been meaning to get to this one since it came out three years ago, but unfortunately it was a bit of a letdown. It's not bad, and I did enjoy much of it, but I definitely wasn't as engaged as I was with the first book. Part of that
Jun 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favorites
“I love you so much,” she whispered
Her words filled all the places in me that had been empty since she disappeared.
“I don’t ever want to be without you again.” I said. “I love you, too.”

I was so afraid on reading this sequel of Of Fire and Stars because it might disappoint me because the first book was too great for me. Thank the Gods it was amazing too. I love it so much! I enjoyed every chapters, every adventures, and each character’s development. Also, so many powerful women. Yay!

Denna and M
Jun 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book and its prequel were both amazing. I love them both and I recommend them to anyone who loves "YA books that tend to involve magic, horses, and kissing the wrong people" (Comment if you know where that is from)
Dennaleia (Lia) and Amaranthine (Mare) were amazing protagonists and I loved reading about their adventures from Havemont to Mynaria and even Zumorda as well as Corojva (I think that's how it's spelled, correct me if I'm wrong) and Kartasha.
Anyways, overall this duology was amazi
Abi (The Knights Who Say Book)
PLEASE. I'M SO READY. I was excited for Inkmistress and really enjoyed it, but I want Denna and Mare! ...more
Dec 09, 2019 marked it as abandonados
dnf at 6%, chapter 5.
Dec 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019

“Blood is not the only thing that keeps a heart beating.”

Even though this one had a rough start for me, it really picked up by the end! The first half felt rather slow and less action-packed and I forgot many things considering world building from the first book.

But as soon as I got into the story and the plot picked up a little, I found myself really enjoying this and wondering what was going to happen next.

Especially the characters made up for the slow pacing for me. Denna and Mare were i
Dec 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Of Ice and Shadows was a perfect sequel. It had the same cute and romantic feeling than the first one, but the political and magical elements were so much more developed and interesting. It was honestly so wonderful, like I couldn't stop reading it every time I picked it up. Denna and Mare's stories after they separated were each very fun to read and never got boring. I loved seeing Denna learn to use her magic in Zumorda with the queen and I absolutely adored the final battle! This is one of my ...more
Jamie Coudeville
This was really great. A bit of a slow start. I was surprised to like Denna's chapters more than Mare's. Not that I remember much from the first book. But the magic stuff was more interesting than the politics. I wonder if there will be a sequel, there were a few loose ends. ...more
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is such a great follow up to Of Fire and Stars. While the plot could have been expanded, the depth added to the magic system and the additional world-building from spending time in Zumorda really propelled the series in a great direction! I highly recommend continuing on with the series, and I hope for additional books in the future!


The plot is one of the things that I wish the book would have done better. Honestly, I think the issue is that the book simply wasn’t long enough. Ther
Will Miller
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I could just sit and read everything about this world forever probably. I love all of it.
May 27, 2020 rated it liked it
I'm not going to lie, I'm a little disappointed. Maybe I shouldn't have banked so hard on my nostalgia for the first book to get me through the sequel, especially after I finished rereading the first book earlier today.

I thought the romance was going to be more present than the plot in this book, since I wanted to see more development with Mare and Denna... unfortunately, I got development with Denna's character and a little with Mare that doesn't quite seem earned, but nothing with the two of
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Audrey Coulthurst writes YA books that tend to involve magic, horses, and kissing the wrong people. When she’s not dreaming up new stories, she can usually be found painting, singing, or on the back of a horse. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

Other books in the series

Of Fire and Stars (2 books)
  • Of Fire and Stars (Of Fire and Stars, #1)

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