You can check out my review for the first book in this series, Snow Like Ashes, here.
This entire series has been a love-hate relationship for me, and Frost Like Night was no exception. I truly wanted to love this book wholly and completely – the premise is so interesting, the plot finally building towards a peak that has been promised since the beginning – and yet, in the end, it still fell short for me. The writing didn’t fit the tone, the story felt rushed, and the conclusion simply felt like a cheap cop-out, if I’m to be blunt.
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.
As with my other recent “Mini Monday” posts, this review will be spoiler free.
Frost Like Night picks up minutes after the events at the conclusion of Ice Like Fire, which left Meira on the run with the mysterious Rares, Ceridwen heartbroken, Mather imprisoned and Theron under Angra’s control, not to mention the completely disastrous state of affairs in Ventralli. This makes for a very exciting, action-packed opening sequence to the novel, with each character fighting their own battle, for and against one another.
What I Liked:
- Mather’s story in this novel was everything I’ve wanted from Mather since page 1 of Snow Like Ashes. He’s strong, he’s motivated, but he’s also gentle, and emotional. He’s suffered just as much as Meira throughout this tale, and yet, he remains himself and remains utterly dedicated to Meira and Winter.
- The reader is also finally given a full explanation of the magic system in Primoria, filling in the bits and pieces we’ve been missing. This lack of explanation was growing increasingly frustrating, if only because Meira just seemed incredibly naive every time she encounters a situation, since no one felt the need to explain anything to her.
- The romance in this book (finally!) really lived up to its potential (although it does remain firmly within the realm of PG, with more explicit instances being implied rather than described). I’m satisfied with how the relationships in this story worked out.
What I Didn’t Like:
- The plot, or story, in Frost Like Night, simply wasn’t what it could have been. It got off to a good start, but quickly died, leading into a rushed, almost montage like, segment, featuring training, battle camps and romance. This montage segment concluded with an equally hurried crux, and a few too many popular story tropes for my liking.
- Building off that, everything simply felt too convenient. The right things happened at exactly the right time, people showed up just as they were needed, and the troubles were far too easily resolved after the series of mishaps in prior novels.
- Finally, the tone with which this book was written simply didn’t fit the plot. It felt too lighthearted for the seriousness of the subject matter, and the disjointedness of it all was quite off-putting.
Overall, Frost Like Night book had a lot of potential, and definitely had its moments, but in the end it simply fell short for me. Like Snow Like Ashes and Ice Like Fire, Frost Like Night was simply lacking the key elements required to make it an exceptional, standout piece of work – instead it remains solidly within the the realm of mediocrity, a fact which is both disappointing yet expected.