October 5, 2015

Ice Like Fire Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway

Hey everyone! Welcome to my stop on the Ice Like Fire blog tour! Today I'll be sharing my review of the book - and don't forget to enter the awesome giveaway! To check out the rest of the tour, click on the banner above.

Ice Like Fire (Snow Like Ashes #2)
Author: Sara Raasch
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Formats: Hardcover, audiobook, eBook
479 pages 


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. 
Ice Like Fire is the riveting second book in the young adult fantasy Snow Like Ashes series. I enjoy reading fantasy novels, but they aren't one of my "go-to" genres. I had heard a ton of great things about the first book in the series, but I just never got around to reading it. When I got the opportunity to participate in this tour, I was excited to read both books and see if they really were as fantastic as everyone said. Sometimes - actually, a lot of times - there are books that get ton of rave reviews and praise, and I begin reading them with really high expectations - only to be let down when it doesn't live up to what I had hoped or expected. I'm so incredibly glad to say that this was definitely NOT the case with this series! After reading them, I'm kicking myself for not diving in earlier - but at least I didn't have to suffer the long wait for the sequel to be released. In short - this is a compelling fantasy series with magnificent world building, complex characters, and a wholly unique story line.

There are several things that I absolutely loved about the book and really stood out for me. The first was that our main character is a teenage girl. Meira is not to be underestimated though - she is a totally kick ass soldier, she's intelligent, determined, down to earth, compassionate, and fiercely loyal (among several other qualities). She's the perfect heroine for the series - I honestly don't think the story line would work very well without her. She ties every aspect of the book together - from fighting against enemy kingdoms and saving her people to taking it upon herself to gather allies - not to mention the bits of romance we get throughout the story. The romantic aspect of the book definitely doesn't take anything away from the central plot, but it certainly gives it the right amount of swoon to make it all the more interesting.

Secondly, I can't help but rave about the author's choice of writing style. If you've read any of my other reviews, you know how important I believe this is to a book. In my opinion, the best style (usually) is the first person point of view. I hate to keep repeating myself, but I think it's such an essential part of the book that some readers overlook. With the first person POV, we get to know the narrator on such a deeply personal level - their inner thoughts, fears, doubts, hopes, dreams, etc. - that we truly feel like we know them as people and not just characters in a book. I absolutely love that the author chose to go with the first person POV from Meira's perspective! We get to learn so much about her while watching her change and grow throughout the story. By the end of the book, I really felt like I had been right beside Meira the entire time and we had experienced it all together. 

There are so many other wonderful aspects and details to the novel that I can't begin to discuss them all. The world building was nothing short of magnificent. The author created such an in-depth and realistic setting for the book, that I found myself sucked right back into it within the first paragraph - and I didn't come back out of that world until I had finished reading the book (which ended up being only a few hours and all in one sitting). There's so much vivid imagery and detailed descriptions that I could easily close my eyes and picture it all so clearly - like I was there myself. Another fantastic aspect of the book was the story line and the pace. The plot isn't wholly unique if you break it down into general ideas, but the author provides us with such an intriguing story that's full of twists and tons of action - and makes it unlike anything else out there, which is a great break from some current trends. The pace fits the story perfectly, picking up speed as the dangers get closer and things become more serious throughout the book. It was a quick pace that had me reading as fast as I could to see what was going to happen. All of these concepts and aspects mixed with the well rounded characters, the fascinating and realistic world the author created, and the fact that the book was incredibly well written - created a novel (and series) that shines through the rest of the books in the genre and begs to be read - and loved. I'm at the point now where it's pretty much just gushing about details and I don't like to talk about the plot in depth - no spoilers here! - so I'll leave you with these final words: READ. THIS. BOOK. NOW. If you haven't read the first book yet - DO IT. You'll be blown away by all of the amazing details - not to mention the obvious writing talent - and I suspect you'll end up wishing you had started the series sooner. The only thing that I hate is the long wait until the next book is released. I can't recommend this book (the series, really) highly enough! I think that readers of all types would enjoy this series because of the unique mix of genres that can be found throughout each book. Just go read it - now!

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.

Don't forget the first book in the series: 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17399160-snow-like-ashes Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes #1)
Author: Sara Raasch
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audiobook, eBook
432 pages


A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own. 


(2) Winners will receive sets of ICE LIKE FIRE Trading Cards/Miniature Bookmarks.
Open Internationally!



  1. I haven't read Snow Like Ashes, but I've only heard great things about it, so it's definitely on my TBR list! :)

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Great cover and sounds like a good book. Thanks.

  4. I've been waiting for this ever since I'd finished the first book! Can't wait to have my own copy!

  5. I'm so so so glad you raved about this book because I can't wait to read it! I read another review that wasn't anywhere near as impressed with this book as you were so I'm hoping I'll enjoy it as much as I enjoyed the first one.

  6. I love YA Fantasy book. Beautiful book cover. Thank you for the giveaway.

  7. Oh man this first book in this series is so good and I can't wait to read the next one!

  8. The first book was great and I can't wait to read the sequel!