Ossus Library Index
Fantasy Index


A novel by Patty Jansen
(2011, Capricornica Publications)

Icefire Trilogy, book 2

Politics get in the way of progress in the northern country, while refugees flee the explosion of Icefire from the City of Glass.


-- First reading (ebook)
December 17th, 2018 to January 4th, 2019


I found this book to be more interesting than the previous one, which focused on an unknown magical source. This book showed the frustrations of the only politician who can see the upcoming disaster for what it is, a man who is trying to live in the past, and a small group leading the way across the border. It’s definitely an intermediary book in the trilogy, because the players are now placed, but nothing has happened yet. The author’s style doesn’t lend itself to easy reading, and I wonder that it seems complicated where it doesn’t need to be. Finally, I can’t honestly say I liked most of the characters, though their journeys were at least kept interesting.

Spoiler review:

There are four main stories in this book, three of which are continuing from the previous book. I found the new characters and the new storyline to be more interesting.

The main meteorologist from Chevakia, the northern country, finds out that the secondary effects of Icefire, which can lead to its detection, are rising, and so he warns of the impending danger, but the government refuses to believe. This leads to him challenging the current leader and winning, after which he still has trouble getting everything that needs to be done in place, because he’s now inside the political game. I liked the character of Sady, because he was so honest, and frustrated that he couldn’t actually get things done.

Sady spends most of his time going from sensor station, where he visits his brother -a veteran leader from their war with their other neighbors- to the central city, where he takes control of the government, only to find out, as many of them do, that the financial situation is worse than anybody ever thought. He does his best, and manages to get some refugees out of the southern provinces, and set up decontamination stations.

Milius, meanwhile (Sady’s brother), finds a young couple held up in his barn, being incredibly intimate as only young unsupervised teens can be. They are, of course, Isandor and the young queen, posing as a rich girl runaway Nila. He feels for their situation, so helps them get more comfortable, at least until the Eagle knights show up and start burning farm houses in their search for the missing queen. When the sonorics detectors (signaling Icefire) go off, they are forced to flee north. I find it strange that these people have a primitive form of our technology, from cars and trucks (steam powered), trains, and all sorts of other conveniences. I guess it’s a way to distinguish between them and the southern country, where magic reigns and the people are subjugated beyond any comforts at all. Nearly upon the city, Milius gets distracted, and they are attacked by the Eagle knights, but Isandor fights them off. Once they get to the city, the stream of refugees causes such congestion that they are stuck. Of course, it’s Sady’s orders that put the refugee camp in the middle of a highway, but he clearly issued instructions for detours, none of which were obviously put up. I think Milius is about to breach the camp, and start a stampede that will have terrible repercussions. We’ll have to wait and see in the next book.

Carro is the only Eagle knight among the quad hunting the queen. He gets into an all-male relationship with another of the mercenary hunters, but never feels like he belongs. So when it comes time to capture Isandor, he makes too much noise, so Isandor wakes up and is able to fight them off He’s welcomed to the city afterwards, and his real father asks him to look into the accounts of Chevakia -the books that Sady is looking for, and which can prove the old leader was embezzling, probably. It’s not clear if Carro actually kills his father with the poison at the end of the book. He certainly toys with the idea.

The final group of people are the ones we spent most time with in the first book. Tandor is unconscious through the entire book and Ruko has taken over their relationship. He’s no longer an icefire slave, a servitor, but he’s not quite human, either. In his internal struggle with Ruko, he warns not to go to Chevakia’s capital city, because his mother will take Lorianne’s baby. Apparently the baby is the key to Tandor’s scheming, as Lorianne is pureblood, like Carro, of those who cannot use magic at all, and the other pureblood who can use Icefire, himself.

Lorianne struggles with trying to not have the baby on the long trip up north, across the border, in the sweltering train, and in the decontamination area. Plus, she has to put up with Myra’s extremely annoying parents -the woman complains all the time, and the man is so bossy. I couldn’t stand either of them -and neither could Myra nor Lorianne. Finally, her mother decides to leave her father. It’s character development, but at what cost -and is it important to the rest of the story?

Everything converges at the capital city. I wish I could say that the journeys were all worth it. Certainly the characters were interesting, but I can’t say I liked most of them. Still, I’m interested enough to continue and see what the finale will be like.


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