Fantasy - General

[ARC Review] – Beasts of the Frozen Sun

Frozen Sun Saga #1 by Jill Creswell
Published on: August 6, 2019

 

I really wanted to like this one. I really enjoy the fantasy genre and felt I had recently been spending too much time away from it, so when I picked it up I was ready to dive in and fall in love. What I found was a nicely done book that just wasn’t for me.

 

Description:

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.

Thoughts:

I can’t tell you how much I enjoy fantasy, especially epic fantasy where a whole new world is created, new land, new politics, new magic systems. Something completely unlike our own that I can just melt into and forget the world around me. That’s why when I read the description of Beasts of a Frozen Sun I couldn’t wait – I just knew I would enjoy it, even if it had some flaws. What I found was a nicely crafted book – complex characters and lands where politics are deeply intertwined with religion and mythology creating the overall conflict. But I also found that the connection and relationship between Lira and Reykar is central to how one will respond to this book.

To me, the book has one major foundation it is built upon: the relationship between Lira and Reykar. It is for forbidden since their clans are at war with each other, but it is more than just that since the gods play a large role in how their clans react to both of these characters. However, this is what also made the book more challenging for me. It was too much of a focal point or too much of the story, especially since the world created was not very large and felt confining at times – for me personally at least. It was obviously meant and written to be a major focus of the story, but as a reader I lost interest in them.

Another issue I had is how small the world is. The story has the feel of epic fantasy, except in one way – the world is not very large. Many fantasy books have maps to them showing all the countries, land, etc. However, the scope of this new story is confined to mostly one area, or at least feels that way when you read it.

I have no doubt many will read this book and love it. No doubt. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t a book I fell in love with.

Rating: 3.5

Thanks to Netgalley and Blackstone Publishing for the advanced reader copy and opportunity to provide an honest review.

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