Spoilers for Snow Like Ashes, so stop now if you haven't read it and intend to.
Miera is adjusting to being queen of Winter. Their alliance with Cordell is shaky and Miera doesn't trust them. When the lost chasm of magic is found in a Winter mine, Miera and Theron must go on a quest to find three keys that will allow this magical door to be opened.
Miera struggles with her dealings with the other kingdoms she visits, and Theron doesn't help. She is losing trust in him, and he is taking liberties with Winter's assets. His main objective is to get all the kingdoms to sign a peace treaty. Miera knows this will not solve their problems.
There are a lot of characters, and it took me a while to remember all the characters and subtleties of the first book. Most of Ice Like Fire is about Miera's inner turmoil -- trying to be queen and stay true to her friends. Protecting her kingdom, but allowing herself to be the warrior she is. With each stop along the journey, she figures out more about herself, and of course, the questionable motivations of others. If you're in it for the romance, you won't find much in Ice Like Fire. Yes, there is a kind of love triangle, but it's not at all a focus of the book (or Miera.)
There isn't very much action in Ice Like Fire except at the end. This book is more about the characters and the different kingdoms and just how difficult it is to survive in this complex world where each kingdom is looking out for themselves. And the ending is not only full of action, but some surprises too.
Ice Like Fire is by no means the end. A war is brewing, and it seems like it's going to be a huge struggle for Miera and the people of Winter.
The Snow Like Ashes Series introduces an interesting world and complex political beliefs along with a magical element that will appeal to a wide range of fantasy fans.
Published by Balzer + Bray, October 13, 2015
eARC obtained from Edelweiss
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