“Magic is all about choice. Choosing to use it, choosing to surrender to it, choosing to take it from the chasm – choosing to let it break in defense of a kingdom. The most powerful magic of all is choice, and of that power, the strongest choice anyone can make is an act of sacrifice.”
I remember feeling a bit hesitant to pick up Snow Like Ashes earlier this year, but I ended up really enjoying it despite the love triangle. The worldbuilding of this series is more than excellent and I have been wanting to read the sequel ever since to find out what happens next. Did I have too high expectations of Ice Like Fire? Maybe. But what I can honestly say is that the sequel isn’t nearly as good as Snow Like Ashes. This seems to be yet another series suffering uffering from the weak-second-book syndrom… It has a slow pace, a love triangle and main character (Meira) that are both terribly annoying and I don’t really like the new plot either… It all feels a bit chaotic, unnatural and not really believable. While I liked Meira in the first book, in Ice Like Fire she seems to have lost her charm and she really started to bother me. I don’t particularly like her new ‘mission’ either and the many plot twists didn’t make a lot of sense other than being able to confuse you even further. Sure, the worldbuilding is interesting and probably still the best part of this sequel, but I’m not sure what to make of the rest of the story. Do I still want to read the third book? Probably yes, but I do hope things will improve drastically in Frost Like Night.
WARNING: Possible spoilers! Please don’t read this summary if you haven’t read the first book yet. I’ll keep the summary short but it’s almost impossible to keep it completely spoiler-free…
Meira had to ask for the help of Cordell in order to free her Winterians and she is about to realize the full extent of this decision. Sure, it has been three months since the Spring’s king, Angra, disappeared, but she is not sure Winter is actually safer for it… She just wants her people to be safe, but it looks like Cordell isn’t going to ease its pressure until her debt is fully paid for. The still weak Winterians are forced to dig their mines for payment, but that is not the only thing they are looking for… As Cordell wants them to try to find Primoria’s lost chasm of magic as well. Theron sees the chasm as an opportunity to finally stand against threats like Angra, but Meira fears this much power would be dangerous. The last time the world has access to that much magic, it spawned the Decay… And while Theron wants to find a way to open the chasm, Meira secretly wants to gather support to keep the chasm shut. They all seem to be fighting for different reasons; what consequences will their actions have?
In a way I wish Snow Like Ashes would have been a stand-alone and I would never read the sequel, because it kind of spoiled the series for me. While I really enjoyed the first book and even tolerated the love triangle (which is a miracle on its own), I can’t say I particularly liked Ice Like Fire. The ‘new’ plot is mostly chaotic and doesn’t make a lot of sense after one too many plot twist, the love triangle becomes more important than ever (and thus annoying) and I didn’t like how the main characters behaved either. The worldbuilding is still good and I liked the descriptions of the different Primoria kingdoms, but unfortunately the rest of it just didn’t convince me.