Publish Date: May 5th 2015
A big thank you to Net Galley, Amanda Hocking and her publishers for allowing me the opportunity to read and review Ice Kissed.
In the majestic halls of a crystal palace lies a secret that could destroy an entire kingdom…
Bryn Aven refuses to give up on her dream of serving the kingdom she loves. It’s a dream that brings her to a whole new realm…the glittering palace of the Skojare.
The Skojare people need protection from the same brutal enemy that’s been threatening the Kanin, and Bryn is there to help. Being half Skojare herself, it’s also a chance for her to learn more about her lost heritage. Her boss Ridley Dresden is overseeing the mission, but as their undeniable attraction heats up, their relationship is about to reach a whole new level—one neither of them is prepared for.
As they delve deeper into the Skojare world, they begin to unravel a long-hidden secret. The dark truth about her own beloved Kanin kingdom is about to come to light, and it’ll change her place in it forever…and threaten everyone she loves.
I liked the synopsis of this book and requested to read and review it without realising it was the second book in a trilogy. OOPS!! But I read it anyway. I kinda wish I’d read the first book Frostfire first. I really enjoyed Ice Kissed anyway. I grew to love the characters, but I assume I would have already loved them if I’d read Frostfire first. And more than likely the big moment at the end would have meant more. I didn’t understand the depth of the ending of Ice Kissed until reading the synopsis of the first book while doing up this review post and I had an “Oh Snap!” moment.
A lot of the books I’ve been reading lately have been third person. It was so refreshing to step into a first person story via Bryn. I find first person to be so much more emotional and personal, I know it doesn’t work with every story – but it works wonders with this one.
The story starts with Bryn recapping a failed mission with Ridley and beating herself up over the failure. From the beginning scene of Bryn riding on horseback through the snow along high city walls, I was thinking “yeah I love medieval times, bring on some epic king Arthur settings and battles”. Then the words drove and SUV popped up and I was like “um, what, where the hell am I!”
Magic: After reading further on I was able to figure it all out: this is a story of trolls. I saw them in my head as human, oops. It is set in current times. The human world still exists, just as it is and the Trolls use a lot of our modern technology, hence the Range Rover they were driving in. I’m sure in the first book the whole world would have been built and I’d have already known this. We don’t see this Troll world thanks to magical Troll enchantments. Amanda Hocking really has beautifully blended our modern world with that of a Troll world secretly going on under our noses.
Romance: Bryn and Ridley have a forbidden romance thing going on. Ah it’s always sweeter when it’s forbidden. It’s always more exciting – well that’s my opinion.
At the 34% there is a sex scene which I wasn’t expecting, it’s not over the top or porno feeling. Stress less people. But it did make me realise I had no idea how old the characters were supposed to be. Also my brain went “Troll Sex, Um, well Trolls are humanoid, yes, yes, I’m imagining this correctly”. And really they are very human these trolls, they just live in secret from humans and have magical abilities. I’d been imagining Bryn as about 17-ish, but she may have been older, I really don’t know. She started working at twelve and after that I found it hard to figure out her time line.
Action: After the 34% mark the books takes off at light speed with Bryn leaving Ridley and her home with the Kanin to help the Skojare. At this point I delved into a fast flowing world of danger and mystery and Bryn fighting for what she feels is right. And I loved it. And I’m devastated that I have to wait until August to read the next book and see how things turn out. And I’m not going to tell you anymore about it or I’ll give away all the twisty turny awesomeness.
I really enjoyed being in Bryn’s head, I found her really engaging and her life captivated me. FIVE STARS.