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, 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.
There is something so refreshing about this book… I don’t quite know what it is. It´s a fantasy novel and the things that happen are not especially different, but I kept getting caught off guard by the words the author used. It felt like looking at something familiar from a brand new point of view. And at the same time, while it felt familiar, it also felt like the author managed to avoid every stereotype and turned them into something new.
And honestly, a few pages in and I was already completely enthralled. All the different terminology can get a bit confusing at first, but Sara managed to easily introduce the world and characters, explaining the kingdom dynamics without tiring the reader (which is a feat in itself; lately I´ve felt like Young Adult novels have lacked thorough world development).
I love love love the diversity of characters. We´ve got the Winterians with their extremely pale skin, blue eyes and white hair, the Autumnians with their rich copper brown skin and dark hair and eyes, the Spring citizen with their blonde hair and green eyes… And I sort of really identified with the Winterians; I too thrive in the cold and declare hot weather nothing short of hell (HEAT= when you slowly die boiling in your own sweat). I loved how good sensations to the main character are cold, like, when she feels something good, it´s usually described as rays of cold shooting through her body. “Coolness.”
Now, if you know me, you know how much I loathe when book romantic relationships burst out of nowhere. I stand by the following idea: there needs to be some kind of friendship. Which is why I really enjoyed how the romance was done in this book; there was already a strong base in place before it developed into something more. It was a perfect little drop of romance into the sea of the main story.
Aaaaand I must applaud the author for avoiding the whole angst-filled, self-deprecating behavior for the characters. Young Adult novels tend to stew in the whole stereotypical “let-me-suffer” attitude from the male characters, and although there is that sort of behavior from Mather in the beginning, the author doesn´t allow it to last. She stopped it as soon as it started. Sara Raasch doesn´t take crap from her characters.
Overall, I quite enjoyed this book and am pleased to say that my wallet shall soon be empty because I neED THE REST OF THE SERIES.