Title(s): Snow Like Ashes / Ice Like Fire / Frost Like Night
Author: Sara Raasch
Pub. Date(s): September 15, 2015 / August 30, 2016 / September 19, 2017
Overall Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
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. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, Winter’s future king—she would do anything to help Winter 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—only to find 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.
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. The last time the world had access to so much magic, it spawned the Decay. So when the king of Cordell orders Meira and Theron on a mission to discover the chasm’s secrets, Meira plans on using 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 Jannuari—leaving Winter vulnerable to Cordell’s growing oppression. When Meira leaves to search for allies, Mather decides to take Winter’s security into his own hands. Can he rebuild his broken Kingdom and protect his people from new threats?
As the web of power and deception is woven 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.
Angra is alive, his Decay is spreading—and no one is safe.
Meira will do anything to save her world. With Angra trying to break through her mental defenses, she desperately needs to learn to control her own magic—so when the
leader of a mysterious Order from Paisly offers to teach her, Meira jumps at the chance. But the true solution to stopping the Decay lies in a labyrinth deep beneath the Season Kingdoms. To defeat Angra, Meira will have to enter the labyrinth, destroy the very magic she’s learning to control—and make the biggest sacrifice of all.
Mather will do anything to save his queen. He needs to rally the Children of the Thaw, find Meira—and finally tell her how he really feels. But with a plan of attack that leaves no kingdom unscathed and a major betrayal within their ranks, winning the war—and protecting Meira—slips farther and farther out of reach.
Ceridwen will do anything to save her people. Angra had her brother killed, stole her kingdom, and made her a prisoner. But when she’s freed by an unexpected ally who reveals a shocking truth behind Summer’s slave trade, Ceridwen must take action to save her true love and her kingdom, even if it costs her what little she has left.
As Angra unleashes the Decay on the world, Meira, Mather, and Ceridwen must bring the kingdoms of Primoria together…or lose everything.
When I started listening to this trilogy, in no way did I expect it to become one of my all time favorite fantasy trilogies.
Just pasting the synopses of the three books, Snow Like Ashes, Ice Like Fire, and Frost Like Night, made me all excited again. I just absolutely love these books, and the world Sara created.
Why did I choose to listen to the trilogy on Audible over reading the books?
First, working every day gave me little time in the evenings to read, and the audiobooks just made sense. My job allows me to listen to them while I work. As for why these books, I usually look for longer books so that they last me *hopefully* more than one work day.
This isn’t really a book review, but more of me just talking about this trilogy and the things I loved about it. I’ve been wanting to do a post on this trilogy for a while, and I finally got around to it. I just wanted to come on her and write about a set of books that wormed their way into my heart and marked themselves as one of my all time favorite fantasy trilogies ever. (Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling and The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini are two series on my most fave fantasy list, if that gives you any idea.)
Where do I even start? I just want to scream into the sky about how much I wholeheartedly enjoyed these books. When I finished bingeing them, I had the biggest book hangover – I want to say ever but that’s dramatic, but there was definitely a book hangover followed by a reading slump. I just wanted to wipe my mind and read them all over again fresh.
The world! Primoria! The kingdoms! The Seasons and The Rhythms! I found it to be so clever and intricate, but at the same time so simple. I loved how the Kingdom’s capital cities were plays on the months, which created a very clear picture (in my mind) of the kind of weather and place these cities were. The descriptions of the world blew me away. I could picture these places as if I were there walking the streets. Primoria was beautiful and complex. The magic system being tied to bloodlines and how it could be used was interesting. I loved the internal battle that waged inside Meira about magic.
Meira was a breath of fresh air. Perfectly capable of fending for herself, and surviving, but also willing to listen and have other help her in return. For the most part, Meira just seemed to want to be acknowledged and allowed to stand on her own to feet Meira was willing to do everything she had the power to do to save her people and free Primoria of Angra and his Decay, and would sooner risk her own life rather than anyone she holds dear. Meira went from a character who, despite being in hiding and on the run, lived a pretty sheltered life until her true identity is revealed to her, to leading her kingdom and others into a war they where they were severely outmatched. Like any sane person, she didn’t want to die, but she would if it meant that the rest of the people of Primoria could live without the fear of Angra and his Decay. I think that speaks volumes of her character.
I loved her relationship with Sir – constantly seeking his approval, but never quite getting it. It made her stronger, made her strive harder to be better, to fight better, lead better, be a better person overall. He wanted to keep her safe, because (she didn’t know) she is the heir to the Winter Kingdom, but he never babies her. He gives her reasons, not excuses why she doesn’t need to go out and fight, or recon missions His love for her is so evident, even if Meira can’t tell half of the time, but even that aspect felt so realistic. How many times have we wanted to do something, and our parents have said no, and we think they are being unreasonable. Yes, maybe some of the time they are, but there is usually a good reason. I think Sara hit the mark right on the nose with Sir and Meira’s relationship.
Now, Mather. He could have handled things a little better. He tended to be hyper-focused and lost sight of things that mattered….aka his feelings for Meira. But even though he was sometimes blind to the obvious he was constantly loyal and steadfast and willing to fight for Meira. To protect her yes, but also to act as her warrior to stand beside her in the battle. I loved their relationship with each other – from friends, to distancing themselves because of their feelings and Theron (We’ll get to him in a moment) to actually acknowledging those feelings and acting upon them – I loved every minute of it. It felt natural and real, and I just wanted to smush them together to be happy forever.
NOW THE LOVE TRIANGLE.
I mean, I knew she would end up with Mather, he was #endgame. Theron was just a blip…a blip she cared too much for. I get why she did, because even I couldn’t hate Theron. He was used and misguided, but I don’t think he made a good match with Meira – as friends maybe, but anything more…
Their relationship felt more like one of amiable convenience than actual romantic feelings. Could they have been happy together? Yeah, probably. Theron was the perfectly perfect prince; kind, funny, caring of his people – it makes it kind of hard to choose between the two, because both are pretty perfect (there’s that word again). But Mather was #endgame for Meira from the very beginning. (At least in my eyes he was). They would risk their lives for one another over and over again no matter what. So while Theron is pretty to look at, and all around a pretty nice guy, I never found myself rooting for him and Meira. It was always Meira and Mather.
I hated Angra because he was the bad guy, but I liked his character because he didn’t seem like come copy and pasted villain. Besides the fact that he wanted to rule over all of Primoria, he didn’t feel like a walking cliché, and I can appreciate that. I didn’t find myself hating the story when he was brought up.
As for Ceridwen, I really liked her character. I really liked all the female characters in this book. They were all badasses who could beat the shit out of anyone who crossed them. Ceridwen was just as motivated to save her kingdom as Meira was to save hers, and they created a pretty good team.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and I still wish I could wipe them from my mind, so I can experience them all over again. Though, one day in the future I’ll reread them and fall in love all over.
Definitely check these books out if you want a high fantasy adventure with amazing characters set in a visually stunning world.
So, Thank You Sara Raasch! I can’t wait to read These Rebel Waves and see where you take us next!