- Page Count: 416
- Release Date: October 14, 2014
- My Rating: 4 stars
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.
I kept getting this book mixed up with Shatter Me so I stalled on reading it, but it’s like this glorious little whirlwind of a YA fantasy plot that made me eat every single word I’ve ever said against YA tropes. I loved them all. And I’m not even sure if it was ironically? I was just straight up entertained.
Tropes in a nutshell: Meira is part of a group of outcasts trying to take back their kingdom of Winter & free their people from the evil kingdom of Spring (that sentence might sound cheesy but the worldbuilding is seriously so great). This orphan with super special magic gets to angst over whether she likes Mather, the only guy she’s ever known who’s remotely around her age, or Theron, the prince of the kingdom where Meira’s squad flees to. So obviously the guys have to take of their shirts and swordfight over her…
The whole story was basically a series of hilariously convenient moments where something showed up at the exact right time (like when Miera broke into the king’s office to reveal the explanation for the attack that happens minutes later). And then suddenly they’re in battle? I was just laughing and rolling with whatever came up the whole way through because the plot never, ever got dull. Like in the span of a few pages Meira arrives in Theron’s kingdom, is informed there’s a ball soon, and then leaves her room and runs into/meets Prince Theron who tells her they’re engaged and the ball is for them. The whole story could be summed up in:
So basically you will NEVER GET BORED with this glorious plot.
I really did like Meira for the most part, too! She had some odd moments of judgement where she’d trust her dreams more than what was happening in real life, but I liked that she was tough and had realistic thoughts & reactions. She’s a believable badass warrior. I saw the plot twist coming from the first chapter, but the way it was revealed was perfect.
I honestly didn’t mind this love triangle, either! I liked both Mather and Theron… I couldn’t get as strong of a sense of Theron but hopefully the next book clears that up. But right now everything’s grand.
The worldbuilding was seriously awesome. I just really love snow, so any story that mentions an icy area gets automatic stars (hello Six of Crows). It felt a bit chaotic at first, but stick with the worldbuilding because it gets really cool! The little details about how Winter’s people lived (like the babies in the snow bowls) made it so much stronger than other YA books I’ve read recently. The history of magic bits were solid too.
This book was a really fast read set in an awesome world, so I’d totally recommend it to anyone who likes YA fantasy.
Sorry for all the gifs but this had to happen too:
Check out my Q&A with the author!