Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Book Review: Fire and Ice

Fire and Ice
(Faerie Song Trilogy #1)
Published By: Astraea Press
Publication Date:  July 4th, 2013
Page Count:  450 pages
Buy it at:  Amazon
Source: EBook Kindly Provided by the Author
Audience:  Young Adult Fantasy

Well…I’ve had some time to really contemplate this story and my feelings for it remain quite mixed.  On one hand, I did like it…I love stories of the fey...and was mostly engaged with the author's writing, her world building and her premise.  On the other hand, I got hung up on some other issues...most notably, too many similarities to other popular stories and I didn’t gel with the protagonist.

Fire and Ice represents the heroine’s (Lorelei’s) choices in this story….two extremes that often do not mix.  Fire…emanating from the Summer/Seelie Court…would be Adrius.  And ICE…you guessed it…represents the Winter/Unseelie Court and its representative in Lorelei’s life would be Zanthiel.  And Lorelei has just learned she is a faerie princess with perhaps elements of both within her and something more.

It really took some time for me to warm up to Lorelei…but once her world started changing…I started to understand her a bit better and empathize with her…for a while.  But Lorelei’s decisions were almost always impulsive and not well thought out throughout the story.  I like to see a protagonist grow and learn from her mistakes but didn't feel satisfied that Lorelei was doing that as the story progressed.  Granted, she did mostly have everyone’s best interests at heart…a definite plus…but had her actions resulted in working out well for everyone more often than they did, I could have accepted her more.  However, more often than not, she needed rescuing…too much of a ‘damsel in distress’ for my liking.  I had some other smaller issues with her, but suffice it to say, she wasn’t my favourite heroine.

Lorelei also had many suitors…some were adequately developed and some were just left hanging.  The best friend, Davin, and Adrius’s brother, Julien, both felt underdeveloped and sort of pointless to me.  Zanthiel’s relationship to Lorelei wasn’t very clear to me either…and not really a true equal in any way to Adrius’s relationship to her.  I would have liked to see a lot more chemistry with Zanthiel if the love-triangle was going to be believable.

We DID get to know Adrius pretty well…and I liked him.  He was beautiful—as noted many times by Lorelei—and he was kind and self-sacrificing.  He was bound to his duties and the prophecies…but I understood his conflicts and felt his predicaments…however frustrating they were at times.

The other larger aspect of my issues with the story were the many instances of borrowing key scenes and character attributes from other well-known YA stories…specifically from Twilight and The Iron Fey.  I took the first couple of instances as nods to these well-read and loved stories of mine…but it just began to bother and distract me as they kept popping up.  Perhaps some readers who have not read those other popular books or were not overly familiar with them wouldn't have these issues that I did.

Having said all that, the premise was one of the things that hooked me and kept me reading.  I really wanted to see where the author went with this…blending the worlds of faeries, elves and witches, as well as the prophecies affecting them all, and overall I thought her ideas were great!  She also pulled me in with her descriptive writing so it was easy to visualize the beautiful and terrifying world of her Nevermore.  These were two big positives in my books and were the driving force in my continuing with the story.

I really wanted to like this author's debut more than I did.  It seemed to start off strong but began to lose some of its cohesion along the way in my mind with the issues I had described above and a few other niggly things.  However, the one (positive) word that kept popping up in my mind throughout this story was the author’s POTENTIAL.  I think her concepts were interesting and creative and I think she has a talent for painting a picture with her words, and had the ability to pull you into the story.  I think her future novels will only get better!  And it seems that although I initially thought this would be a stand-alone, the ending did not indicate that intention.  I’m not sure if Michele plans on continuing the story.

I’d like to thank Michele Barrow-Belisle for the opportunity to read her story in exchange for my honest review.

Summary From Goodreads:

Adventure wasn’t something Lorelei Alundra was interested in. Gifted with two otherworldly talents for singing and healing, she’s always shied away from her gifts and the spotlight, preferring quiet anonymity, over attention and fame. But when she meets the enigmatic Adrius, with his dark and dangerous mystique and eyes that peer into her soul, her uneventful life becomes irrevocably altered.

Adrius turns up in every one of her classes and knows more about her than any newcomer should. Including the condition of her mother who is suffering from a mysterious illness. Accepting his offer to help leads her into a terrifying and thrilling world, where Elves are even hotter than Legolas, and Faeries.... are nothing like Tinkerbell. Lose the butterfly wings and add a tattoo. The two magical beings are fire and ice opposites. One Lorelei can’t help falling for, and the other she's compelled to be with.

Now she’s trapped in their world, expected to prevent a war between witches and faeries, or forfeit her mother’s life. Nothing is what it seems. Not her family. Not the Fey. Not even Adrius, whose feelings for her balance precariously between danger and desire.

As secrets unravel and unsettling truths are revealed, Lorelei must fight to save much more than her mother’s life. One mistake could put the fate of his world— and her soul, in jeopardy.

But hey, no pressure… right.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Jen! These types of reviews are the hardest to write.

  2. I'm reading Fire and Ice now and I'm struggling with how rushed a lot of the dialogue is. But, like you, I'm sticking with it because the imagery and world building is really beautiful.

    1. Thanks for your comments HeatherAnne. I'd be interested in knowing what you think when you're done!


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