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Of Ice and Shadows

(Of Fire and Stars #2)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  851 ratings  ·  148 reviews
The long-awaited sequel to Of Fire and Stars—in which Mare and Denna travel to a new and dangerous kingdom where Denna must be trained to tame her magic by a mysterious queen who is not all she seems. Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and Tamora Pierce.

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

Mare just wants to settle
Hardcover, first edition, 452 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 3.91  · 
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 ·  851 ratings  ·  148 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
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.
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*
Lily L'Heureux
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 :(
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.
. (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
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lgbt-2019
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
Rahma Abdelrahman
(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...
reading period: august 24th, 2019 - august 24th, 2019.
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!
Chantel (BW Reviews)
Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
But some things require a person to be more than a name.
A kingdom in need of a fighter.
The threat of a war that could destroy everything.
Or a girl holding fire in her hands.

Oh, Coulthurst, you did it again. I'm going to keep this brief.
Just like before, it's a terrific cover, awesome characters, fantastic plot, good worldbuilding (it's really a lot to take in, especially with all the magic, but it's very well done)… There are some good shout-outs to the first book (as the quote above). Mare
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
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
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.
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.
Jun 15, 2018 marked it as to-read
Look at that beautiful cover! Can't wait to read!
Sep 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult, glbt
After faking her death, Denna and Mare are finally back together and seeking help with Denna’s magic abilities. After concocting a cover story, Denna must pretend to be Mare’s maid during their long journey to Zumorda. Once they arrive, they discover that Zumorda is very different from the world they’re from. Magic abilities are prevalent and used open in everyday life, which is something Denna and Mare are not used to. While Denna hopes to find someone willing to train her, Mare has started to ...more
Lauren ✨ (YABookers)
I received an eARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you kindly to Balzer + Bray for my review copy.

Of Ice and Shadows picks up pretty much straight away from the events of Of Fire and Stars. Together at last, the Princesses Mare and Denna are travelling in secret to the Kingdom of Zumorda where they seek training for Denna’s volatile gifts, and to seek aid in the fight against Sonnenborn. When the Queen takes in interest in Denna’s abilities and offers to train her
Aug 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq-rep
While the first book in the series will always hold a special place in my heart, I do love how much more of the world we get to see in book 2. I feel like we're finally seeing the world Coulthurst has created, and it's filled with magic, secrets, and two women fiercely protective of the other. I could not put it down from start to finish.

While the ending seemed a bit rushed to me, I am unable to think about nothing more than what will happen in book 3.
Jan 19, 2020 marked it as dropped
I'm only a few chapters in, but I'm giving up. I liked the other two books in this series, and was looking forward to this one. I don't know what happened here, but the writing style is grating and I don't like the direction things seem to be going in at all. Disappointing.
Aug 20, 2019 added it
I need to collect my thoughts. I loved it but there was one thing I loved about the first book which was absent here, which really rubbed me the wrong way.
I don't usually write reviews but I will write one for this one.
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: to-be-bought
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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.
Jan 16, 2020 added it
Shelves: lgbtq, ya-fantasy, scribd, 2020
DNFed at 77% I couldn't care about it.
Emily Joy
Dec 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I liked this book more than the first one, I think! My full review will be available on the Lesbrary website in January.
Aug 18, 2019 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed most of this book. It was definitely slower paced but I liked the focus on training and politics and seeing Denna and Mare act apart from each other.

What lost me was the last quarter. It felt way too rushed and easy. The enemy was only found out after every other possible option was crossed out. And the real enemy was then revealed to be this overpowered final boss-type beast and it was just way too much. After one final "dramatic" fight and a "tragic" death the good ones win
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Audrey Coulthurst writes YA books that tend to involve magic, horses, and kissing the wrong people. Her debut novel, Of Fire and Stars, was published on November 22, 2016 by Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins. When she’s not dreaming up new stories, she can usually be found painting, singing, or on the back of a horse.

Audrey has a Master’s in Writing from Portland State University, is a member of SCBWI,

Other books in the series

Of Fire and Stars (2 books)
  • Of Fire and Stars (Of Fire and Stars, #1)
“But some things require a person to be more than a name.
A kingdom in need of a fighter.
The threat of a war that could destroy everything.
Or a girl holding fire in her hands.”
“At least I'm not the one eating bread full of sad, shriveled grape corpses. - Mare” 0 likes
More quotes…