Book Rating: ★★★★☆ (3.75 / 5 stars)
Ilsi has always wanted to escape the Wall trapping the Ice Chanters…but she didn’t intend to flee through it. When a group of terrifying warriors known as Yldirim enter her home, she flees through the wall and meets a young Fire Weaver named Yeshma. Together, they set out on a journey to stop the Yldirim and find their family and friends, before their home is decimated.
In a tale with elements from some of the greatest fantasy works, we enter a world filled with Elves, Shapeshifters, Mermaids, Dragons, and with magic beyond our imagination. Ilsi is a relatable protagonist, who’s own courage grows stronger with each trial and tribulation. With her hard-headed and loyal friend Reshma by her side, the two of them seem unstoppable.
I had trouble rating this book. On one hand, I really love the storyline. The idea that the protagonist is not sequestered to fight, but rather to deliver a message and a call to arms, is different…and I really enjoyed that. The world is thought out, magical, and very complex to a degree not always seen in fantasy writing. And that ending? Wow!
My trouble lies in the way the story was told. I feel like something was missing. While this story is already relatively long, it almost needed to be longer or broken up into another book, so we could really experience every part of it. A lot happens in this story, but a lot of the plot happens around Ilsi…and while I love the plot, it made it harder to relate to Ilsi as the protagonist. I would have loved to see her as she learns more about her different powers, her reactions to events, and her full thought process. It would helped to also see the locations more, read their descriptions, and maybe not be rushed out of each place with lines like “after a couple weeks.”
In addition, there seemed to be a lot of events happening with Reshma, Tyk, and others that we don’t get to see. They just pop up again, with an occasional glimpse into their point-of-view, and instead we could have spent much longer in their heads as well.
That being said, it’s quite likely we will find out about Reshma’s story in the sequel, but part of me feels as though it should have been woven in cohesively with Ilsi’s voyage, especially during the second half of the story. This is also partially due to the fact that I prefer stories that take time to fester, rather than race along from point A to point B…which is a personal preference at best.
With that being said, I really enjoyed the story…and that’s why we read in the first place! I was taken away to a magical place under an evil lord’s rule. There is so much different magic in the world, and I think if magic existed, that’s how it would be. Elves in the forest, mermaids in the water, ice chanters in snow, and more! I loved that we got to see this through the eyes of two young women fighting for what is right, both with different personalities that shine through the page. Since I want more of these characters and plot, it only goes to show how much I enjoyed the story!
I cannot wait to find out what happens next with Ilsi, Reshma, Tyk, and the others! I definitely have the sequel on my TBR list!
What’s it about?
Ilsi would do just about anything to break the Wall trapping her people, the Ice Chanters. But when she least expects it, Ilsi becomes the first person to pass through the Wall and into a world larger than she’d ever imagined. With the help of Reshma the Fire Weaver, she evades capture from outside enemies who seek to take advantage of the isolated clan.
Now on the run, Ilsi braves the outside world to find allies willing to free her people from isolation. All she has to do is figure out how to break the Wall and end its curse before the cruel Althod and his Yldirim army catches her.