Burn brightly. Love fiercely. For all else is dust.
Every child of Glasnith learns the last words of Aillira, the god-gifted mortal whose doomed love affair sparked a war of gods and men, and Lira of clan Stone knows the story better than most. As a descendant of Aillira and god-gifted in her own right, she has the power to read people's souls, to see someone's true essence with only a touch of her hand.
When a golden-haired warrior washes up on the shores of her homeland--one of the fearful marauders from the land of the Frozen Sun--Lira helps the wounded man instead of turning him in. After reading his soul, she realizes Reyker is different than his brethren who attack the coasts of Glasnith. He confides in her that he's been cursed with what his people call battle-madness, forced to fight for the warlord known as the Dragon, a powerful tyrant determined to reignite the ancient war that Aillira started.
As Lira and Reyker form a bond forbidden by both their clans, the wrath of the Dragon falls upon them and all of Glasnith, and Lira finds herself facing the same tragic fate as her ancestor. The battle for Lira's life, for Reyker's soul, and for their peoples' freedom has only just begun.
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
“He is everything you fear, and worse. He is also everything you hope, and more.”
I was just halfway through Beasts of the Frozen Sun, and I already loved it so much I ordered a hardback copy. I’m both excited and furious that it’s the first in a trilogy, because it means I’ll get to spend two more books following Lira and Reyker’s stories but also that I have to wait AN ENTIRE TWO YEARS to find out how it all ends! How has this story not gotten more press? Why is it not more popular?!?
I’ve discovered I really love this little sub-genre of fantasy, historical fantasy. The setting of this book reminded me somewhat of Sky in the Deep (which was awesome as well), but it goes much more in depth, not just in the geography but in the mythology and spiritual beliefs of the world. It’s set in a very British Isles sort of locale, and the Dragonmen are obviously meant to be patterned off the Vikings – all this is pretty obvious even if you hadn’t read the author’s lovely page about the real world locations she patterned the book settings off.
As is fitting for the ancient British isles…there is a lot the modern reader might find disturbing in this book. There is violence, bloodshed, abuse, torture, near-rape, and horrible, vindictive and abusive gods. It does somewhat gloss over what I think would have actually happened in those times, probably to make it more suitable for a YA audience. But it’s just barely done and doesn’t really take away from the story.
Lira and Reyker are one of the few YA fantasy pairings I could actually get behind. It’s not insta-love, and it’s not perfect, but they respect each other and they compliment each other and yet they never seem to catch a break! I was rooting for them so hard by the end.
5/5 stars for Beasts of the Frozen Sun. I absolutely cannot WAIT for the second book! Be sure to scroll to the bottom to enter the giveaway. 🙂
Jill Criswell is a writer of Young Adult Historical Fantasy. She was born and raised in the swamps of northeastern Florida. She earned degrees in English and Psychology and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida. Her greatest passion, besides reading and writing, is traveling the world; she’s visited fifty countries across six continents, falling in love with places like Iceland, Namibia, and Cambodia. She works as a university English teacher and lives in South Carolina, near the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, with her husband and daughter (who is named after a volcano in Iceland).
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