Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Closer to a 3.5.
I really enjoyed the first book in this series, Snow Like Ashes. It was a good, complicated, mature fantasy that often feels lacking in the young adult genre. The sequel is largely a tonal shift, which hurts the narrative and what's been established even though it's still a pretty decent read.
The story takes place not long after Snow, where Meira is now Winter's queen and is responsible for everything that comes with the position. Without giving away a ton from the first book beyond that, there are some magical elements that go along with it, and Meira has uncovered something fairly significant that impacts how magic works in the lands. The story quickly becomes a hunt for more clues and more information to try and set everything straight.
I liked this a lot, but the fact that it stops being an action-packed fantasy and goes more into political intrigue and such was a problem for me. If this were a stand-alone piece with different characters, I would have liked it more, but instead it felt more like a shift into a different type of story altogether. To be fair, the last quarter of the book really ramps everything up and tosses a few game changers in there that might have also shifted my perception, but there's something to be said about tonal consistency in a sequel.
Overall, not recommending against this, and I definitely look forward to the finale, but certainly a step backwards.
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