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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

ARC Book Review + Giveaway: Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch

I am thrilled to be a stop on the book tour for Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch, hosted by Rockstar Book Tours! I have a review for your reading pleasure, but be sure to check out the tour schedule below, or click the banner above, for more!
Don't forget to enter the giveaway!

Snow Like Ashes #2
Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Magic
Publication.Date:October 13, 2015
Pages:479 (ARC eBook)
Published By:  Balzar + Bay
Website:Sara Raasch 

Ice Like Fire on Goodreads
My review copy:
Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Where to get:

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.


"You shouldn't be the one apologizing," Ceridwen's face breaks, her expression unraveling. "He was under my brother's care - Simon is the one responsible. Just because someone has magic doesn't mean they're worthy of it."

She doesn't apologize or amend her statement to not include me in it, a monarch who has magic who might not be worth of it, and somehow, that makes me respect her more. I need more people in my life who question me, who challenge me, who can admit I have faults.
"I'll refuse to be fascinated by any of their inventions," I promise, and he smiles.

"Been playing with the temperature gauge, have you?"

My cheeks warm. "Maybe."

He bobs his head in understanding. "The first time I visited Putnam, I missed a state dinner because I broke the temperature gauge and nearly burned my room down. Then I managed to trap myself in one of their" - he searches for the world - "lifts, I think they call them. Rooms that move up and own in lieu of stairs. The whole kingdom is one big trap."
I ease my fingers around the chakram, my hand curving into place in its natural stance, every muscle unwinding in a ripple of peace. In never should have been without it. This is me, whoever I am when I hold my chakram. Both the thoughful, careful queen I've forced myself to be, and the wild, passionate girl who pushed her kingdom to teeter on the edge of defeat - but also snatched it back from that edge.

A warrior queen.

Thanks to Leigh Bardugo and Sarah J. Maas I've recently gotten more into high fantasy novels. I can  now safely add Sara Raasch to that list. When I first listened to Snow Like Ashes, I immediately fell in love with Sara's writing and story telling. I've found that with audio books my mind can wander, but that was not the case with Snow Like Ashes. I was hooked, engaged, and wanted more. Upon finishing Ice Like Fire, I'm so glad to say that it's just as hooking (that doesn't sound right . . .), engaging, and want inducing.

Ice Like Fire picks up a bit after Snow Like Ashes left off. Meira is still trying to get into the mind set of "queen" instead of "warrior." She sneaks out with her chakram to attack snowmen, to the delight of Winter's children, but does her best to be the queen Winter needs her to be and her fellow Snow Like Ashes refugees except her to be. In an alternating narrative, Mather is struggling just as much. He's still coming to terms with no longer being the king and ruler of Winter, while attempting to train Winterians soldiers under the gaze of Cordell.

Much like Snow Like Ashes, Ice Like Fire kept me intrigued from the beginning. Although Winter has been claimed and Angra defeated, the Winterians are still fighting for freedom. They have their homes and lives back, but while there is a semblance of freedom they're just as trapped under Cordell as they were under Spring.

After finding Primoria’s lost chasm of magic Meira leaves Winter to meet with the other kingdoms in search of help against Cordell and Noam, who is becoming increasing more demanding, while Mather stays behind in Winter with William, a.k.a. Sir. The juxtaposition of Meira's and Mather's storylines makes for a truly engaging read. I love getting to meet the other Rhythms and Seasons and how different, yet similar, they really are.

While I enjoy both storylines, I do favor Meira's over Mather's. Watching her struggle between her two identities makes for truly interesting characterization and I enjoy her a lot more than I did in Snow Like Ashes. She is navigating completely foreign territory (see what I did there?), but is becoming stronger and more sure of herself. She is becoming the warrior queen that Winter needs and the woman she was always meant to be.

Sara's writing is spot on. She has created a deeply detailed and vibrant world, full on vivid imagery and unique characters. (Ceridwen, Summer's princess, is my new favorite edition to the series. She is feisty and strong, and becomes the perfect ally and friend to Meira.) If you read and enjoyed Snow Like Ashes, you're definitely going to want to go out (today!) and get yourself a copy of Ice Life Fire.

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, came out October 14, 2014 from Balzer + Bray, and the sequel, ICE LIKE FIRE, comes out October 13, 2015. Neither features her hand-drawn pictures.

Tour Schedule

10/5/2015- A Dream Within A Dream- Review
10/6/2015- Mundie Moms- Interview
10/7/2015- Such a Novel Idea- Review
10/8/2015- Dark Faerie Tales- Guest Post
10/9/2015- The Whimsical Mama- Review

10/12/2015- Two Chicks on Books- Interview
10/13/2015- Bookish Lifestyle- Review
10/14/2015- Supernatural Snark- Guest Post
10/15/2015- Fiktshun- Review
10/16/2015- Once Upon a Twilight- Interview

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