[BOOK REVIEW] Ice like Fire by Sara Raasch (Snow like Ashes #2)

Wow okay, reviewing this one was quite the challenge haha.
There are quite some contradictory feelings I’m experiencing after having just finished this book.
I definitely have some remarks on this book, so I’ll be addressing those but of course I’ll also tell you about the things I enjoyed! Here we go!

I buddy-read this book with my friends Isabelle & Candyce from the Book Dutchesses and you can read their review on the book HERE. 

WARNING:
This review may contain minor spoilers if you haven’t read the first book, Snow like Ashes, like the Synopsis down below and some things in the review maybe as well. 

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.

It started off really strong in my opinion and I was hooked right from the start because the writing is good and addictive. We read from both Meira and Mather’s pov, which I really liked because Mather’s pov especially was what held this book together in my opinion.

Sure, there’s enough happening revolving Meira as well, seeing the predicament she’s in being a new queen of a country on the brink of ‘war’ and the threat of being overtaken again and her needing to find a way to ‘fix’ magic and so on.

There’s enough action to be found so that’s not the problem really… But at some point, in the middle part of the book, everything revolving what Meira was doing, started to drag a bit to me and I started to lose interest for a while. I kind of feel ambivalent about her now.

Thankfully, at that point, things with Mather started to get Really interesting, so that was what I kept focusing on mostly. The things happening were to be expected, seeing the path this story-line was taking, so it was quite predictable, but the way the author wrote it, was really well done. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Mather’s character development in this book and he’s definitely my Fave character of the series.

“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.”

There are some new additions when it comes to the characters set and I really liked those! I think the new and the already familiar minor characters are one of my faves when it comes to supportive characters in a book series like this one. They can be such great additions to a story and Raasch did a good job on them!

I don’t want to spoil anything so I won’t go into detail on some other characters of whom I have some things to say about that I didn’t really like… But some of those, well one of them really, disappointed me a bit. See the spoiler below if you don’t mind being spoiled.

I came to love Theron so much for example and was so excited to read more about him, but Him in this book is like looking at a deflating balloon. His relationship with Meira was so frigging frustrating in this book and it kind of felt too forced I guess? – I ship her with Mather anyway so for the romance part I’m not bothered for what happend but the Way it happened does bother me a bit. But it’s especially his character development that disappointed me, because I really don’t like what happens to him in the end for example. What the author managed to write down extremely well with Mather’s character development, she kind of failed with Theron’s one in my opinion. I think this character deserved more than the cards he got dealt at the end, let’s keep it at that… But there’s still another book to come, so we’ll see what’ll happen then.

“The most powerful magic of all is choice.”

So yeah, I think this second book didn’t quite live up to its expectations unfortunately.
I liked Snow like Ashes a lot when I first read it, but I also thought it was quite ‘standard’ – things we’ve all seen before in YA land and not much surprises really – so I was hoping for a stellar sequel and for a moment I thought I was getting it, but alas…

But aside from the remarks, there were definitely enjoyable elements to me as well.
The book is mostly fast-paced so I liked that and I still do like this author’s writing even though she wasn’t surprising with this one. I think Mather’s character had a tremendous development and I really liked all of the supporting characters as well.

“That’s part of freedom too— getting to dream,
and knowing it could happen if I want it to.”

I also liked exploring more of this world and getting to know the people of some of the other countries and read more about their culture. All in all, there was enough for me to enjoy and I’m definitely curious enough to reading and seeing how it all ends in the conclusion book.

Thanks for reading!

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