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.
It took me a little while to adjust to Meira’s voice, but once I did I really enjoyed it – she’s snarky! In general though, the writing style was really interesting. It reminded me a bit of Rick Yancey and his rolling train of thought technique that made me love Cassie in The 5th Wave so much. This book also kind of reminds me of Shadow & Bone, but the stories are still very different so I don’t fell like I’m reading the same thing.
Warning, there is a love triangle, but I kind of like it, if only for the fact that she has grown up with Mather, and he’s been the only boy she’s ever known. So how does she know if she truly loves him or if it’s more convenience? However, it is hard because I really like both of the guys she’s attracted to. I understand why she’s drawn to Theron, and why she seems to get over Mather – but it happens so fast I wonder if she ever really loved him. I hope she kind of takes a step back from the boys in the second book and figures out herself and what she really wants before she makes a decision. I honestly like both, but I’m kind of routing for Mather. She seems to have moved on, but I’m not sure if it’s legit or its just because she got so used to not being able to have him.
Overall, not just with the boys, but in general, I got a lot of emotional whiplash with Meira. She wants to prove herself to Winter, she wants to be her own person, she can’t be her own person and she’s mad, she can’t be her own person and she’s glad. What do you want? And then we find out the twist of the story (which I had pretty much already guessed) and she’s thrown in another direction that seems to finally bring all her crazy thoughts to a center. Now that she knows her place, her role in Winter and the magic, maybe she can finally figure out what she truly wants and who she really is. Not knowing her origins seem to really have been the central element to her unstable emotions.
And I just want to point out the subtle cleverness of Raasch, with the “cold chills” every time Meira gets a pleasurable sensation. Usually its described as a warm sensation, but she’s from Winter, and they like cold! I just thought that was a great little detail to add to the world building. Will certainly continue this series.