Ice Like Fire, by Sara Raasch
Genres: Young Adult, High Fantasy
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.
Okay. About that ending.
I want to punch that ending. I want to kick it in the balls. I want to take it by the hair, and with every ounce of my strength, I want to smash that fucking ending into the floor.
It made me cry. Tears literally fell down my face, when I had just complained about not having a similar reaction to Forbidden. I threw the book across the room and punched my bed, because what the fuck Sara Raasch oh my god how could you do this to me. WHY.
Okay. Okay, I think I’m good.
Why only two stars? To be blunt, it’s because the rest of the book was a disappointment. Snow Like Ashes was full of twists and thrills, with plenty of bloodshed to keep me happy. Ice Like Fire had a fast pace, but without anything happening it only benefited in keeping the story from dragging to a crawl.
All that really happens in Ice Like Fire is Meira traipsing across the country in search of three keys, mixed with her inner struggle to be a queen and to not fail as a ruler. That’s it. That’s all that happens, until the last 70 pages where all of the action is crammed into one place.
So much was missing. For one, the Meira I loved in book one is gone. Queen Meira is fairly unlikable in comparison to Meira the soldier. While in Snow Like Ashes I loved her imperfections and that she made mistakes, now her choices are borderline idiotic. Even when I know she’s only trying to do what’s best for her kingdom, I still found her infuriating and longed for the girl I once knew. Then, the love triangle that wasn’t such a big deal in Snow Like Ashes comes in full throttle at the start of Ice Like Fire. In-between Meira totally fucking up at the ceremony and leaving for the Summer Kingdom, it felt like I was drowning in Theron vs. Mather.
Maybe if there had been as many fights as there had been physical descriptions—oh my god, so many—then this book would’ve surpassed Snow Like Ashes. But all of the action was shoved in at the end, which, though it ruined me emotionally, it also left me reeling. It felt like Raasch info-dumped everything at the end, which made the book feel unbalanced and didn’t give me enough time to process what was going on.
This was a disappointing sequel, but I think Frost Like Night will be much better. I think this series is going to walk away from traveling and politics and go back to what it once was. I hope so, anyway.