Beasts of the Frozen Sun (Frozen Sun Saga, #1)
Burn brightly. Love fiercely. For all else is dust.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.

Beasts of the Frozen Sun (Frozen Sun Saga, #1) Details

TitleBeasts of the Frozen Sun (Frozen Sun Saga, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 6th, 2019
PublisherBlackstone
ISBN-139781982556273
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult

Beasts of the Frozen Sun (Frozen Sun Saga, #1) Review

  • Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
    January 1, 1970
    First off, I'm so in love with the cover of this book I can't hardly stand myself!I'm going to leave the book review at 3 stars for now, but will probably read it again when the book is released. I loved the story line. I loved Lira and Reyker as well as a few more side characters in the book. I just felt like there was something missing or too much of one thing. There is a bit of grimdark in this book and some things are graphic more so than others. I loved the mythology and the feeling I was w First off, I'm so in love with the cover of this book I can't hardly stand myself!I'm going to leave the book review at 3 stars for now, but will probably read it again when the book is released. I loved the story line. I loved Lira and Reyker as well as a few more side characters in the book. I just felt like there was something missing or too much of one thing. There is a bit of grimdark in this book and some things are graphic more so than others. I loved the mythology and the feeling I was watching an episode of Vikings at times. The thing is, the story felt like it was going in a loop. I wanted Lira, Reyker and a few others to get off the island and continue on with what they need to do. They just continued to get into trouble, get caught, get away, sneak around, get caught, get into trouble..... Now even though people wandered around and things and people were killed here and there; there is still a great story there, in my opinion. Lira and Reyker are linked together for reasons and I'm hoping there is going to be a big ole otherworldly romance at some point. I mean as well as all of the killing and revenge and stuff =) Overall, I liked it good enough for 3 stars and will continue on with the series and see what happens with all of his chaos that is going on with everyone! *Thank you to Netgalley and the Pub for a digital copy of this book for review.*Mel ♥MY BLOG
    more
  • C.G. Drews
    January 1, 1970
    I have just read a fantasy of badass and most brutally epic proportions. And I must say, I am a fan.Beasts of the Frozen Sun is every bit as epic as its cover and it had complex world building, characters to fall in love with, and brutal wars between monstrous men. I like my fantasies from the dark side and this definitely delivered there. It was so immersive too. When I finished, it felt like coming up for air because I was so deeply into it.// This book honestly had a checklist of things I lov I have just read a fantasy of badass and most brutally epic proportions. And I must say, I am a fan.Beasts of the Frozen Sun is every bit as epic as its cover and it had complex world building, characters to fall in love with, and brutal wars between monstrous men. I like my fantasies from the dark side and this definitely delivered there. It was so immersive too. When I finished, it felt like coming up for air because I was so deeply into it.// This book honestly had a checklist of things I love.Which, I mean, shout out to it catering specifically for my epic fantasy needs. There are some tropes that just make my heart flutter and this ticked off so many of them. Such as...➢ boys who are turned into weapons so they become monstrous...but secretly they're soft heartfelt marshmallows inside➢ girls with SWORDS and they get very angry when the sword is taken off them (#aminlove)➢ gods that sometimes walk the earth and mess about with humans➢ when people go to war against the enemy who they think are "beasts"...but they're every bit as monstrous➢ basically the whole analysation of "what makes you a monster"; legit my favourite discussion➢ magic powers (they had soul-reading!!!! I really liked this!!!!)➢ the whole "oh you're SICK and we're ENEMIES but we'll CUDDLE just to stay warm" 😏ok sure, you go on.Be still my beating heart. I just had such a good time with all of this.// The world was incredibly intriguing.I definitely got Scottish vibes from it, with the clans and weapon styles and some the language. So that was fantastic. There is also a lot of god lore that's pertinent to the plot. Our heroine, Lira, is "god-gifted". This is a rare thing and only happens to usually one woman per clan. She's a daughter of Aillira and can read souls and determine truths. Her father, also the clan-leader, basically "uses" her as a lie-detector but she's 17 and has the choice to go study in the temple or get married.But what if there was a third choice?// The plot was go! go! go! action!We have EVERYTHING from village raids to wars to men from the West coming in to slaughter and pillage the small villages of Lira's people. It's intense and seriously SO much is packed in it will leave you a bit exhausted. I was really grateful for the brief moments when they got to pause and, like, snuggle. 10/10 for snuggling in epic fantasies too ok.// It's also dark and quite brutal.This is super fine by me I like my fantasies from the dark side and while it didn't get graphic/gruesome, it also did NOT spare the characters and the vicious beast-men did horrific things to their captives. Reyker goes through hell and back, he truly does lol sob, my poor boy. It's bloody and heartbreaking; it's about people who refuse to let go of hope and each other.// Look, Lira and Reyker are everything and I love them.SO SO love them. Usually I wave a hand vaguely at epic fantasy romances for not contributing to the plot but THIS?! This is superb. I ship them so hard. They're star-crossed lovers for sure and everything conspires to keep them apart.Reyker is the beast, the boy who nearly drowns and is saved by Lira even though she know she shouldn't help the enemy. She fights off death for him, she teaches him her language, she holds him when the rest of the world has declared him fit only as an animal to be put to death.Lira hates being used and caged. She hates being property by her horrible uncle and father, men pitted in darkness while ruling their clan, and she refuses to believe Reyker isn't worth saving. And she is so frikking powerful. Gah, I loved that.*:·゚✧ Beasts of the Frozen Sun is a bloody fantasy of beasts and soul magic and fierce belief that redemption is possible if you cling fiercely to rebuilding yourself *:·゚✧Action-packed with high stakes and brutal fights and monstrous men and powerful women and meddling gods.
    more
  • ʙᴇʟʟᴀ.: ☾**:.☆*.:。.
    January 1, 1970
    ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Meet the love child between Daughter of the Forest (Juliet Marillier) & Sky in the Deep (Adrienne Young):D Beasts of the Frozen sun is a fantasy inspired in Celtic and Viking mythology. We follow the journey of two enemies: Lira, the daughter of a Chieftain in an Ireland inspired setting and Reyker, a warrior from a far distant, cold land from a clan known as Beasts of the Frozen Sun, inspired in Nordic/Scandinavia ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Meet the love child between Daughter of the Forest (Juliet Marillier) & Sky in the Deep (Adrienne Young):D Beasts of the Frozen sun is a fantasy inspired in Celtic and Viking mythology. We follow the journey of two enemies: Lira, the daughter of a Chieftain in an Ireland inspired setting and Reyker, a warrior from a far distant, cold land from a clan known as Beasts of the Frozen Sun, inspired in Nordic/Scandinavian setting. The premise is enemies-to-lovers so if you enjoy that trope you'll certainly like this one. It follows the struggle of war between two clans and also inserts supernatural deities that complicate the lives of the protagonists. Lira is a Daughter of Aillira, women who possess certain magical abilities, while Reyker does not have magic but its connected to it through Lira. They meet in unfortunate circumstances but they create a bond that develops from hate to trust and then finally attraction and love. I enjoyed the character's development and I really liked Lira and Reyker's relationship. It was slow burning, swoon-worthy and filled with consent and respect. I can't say much more without being spoiler-ish. You might like this book if you enjoy star crossed lovers, angst and politics, war, fantasy, and romance. TW: Death, Abuse, Mention of rape.
    more
  • Christie«SHBBblogger»
    January 1, 1970
    Title: Beasts of the Frozen SunSeries: The Frozen Sun Saga #1)Author: Jill CriswellRelease date: August 6, 2019Cliffhanger: YesGenre: YA fantasyYou wield the lost sword of the Frozen Sun. A weapon of the Ice Gods in the hands of the Green Gods’ soul-reader. ’Tis a story poets will pen, a tale fit for the scriptures.”This book sounded right up my alley and I couldn't wait to get started on it. A historical setting with clans, warriors, forbidden love, God gifted women with unique powers, and an Title: Beasts of the Frozen SunSeries: The Frozen Sun Saga #1)Author: Jill CriswellRelease date: August 6, 2019Cliffhanger: YesGenre: YA fantasyYou wield the lost sword of the Frozen Sun. A weapon of the Ice Gods in the hands of the Green Gods’ soul-reader. ’Tis a story poets will pen, a tale fit for the scriptures.”This book sounded right up my alley and I couldn't wait to get started on it. A historical setting with clans, warriors, forbidden love, God gifted women with unique powers, and an epic battle for freedom? Sounded like a grand adventure. It started out very strong, and while I liked a lot of elements in the plot, from a technical standpoint there were some things that didn't add up. One thing that did work in a big way was the forbidden romance, which ended up being my favorite thing about the book. Lira lives in Glasnith, a community composed of many clans. Her grandfather is the chieftan of clan Stone, and upon his death, it will pass on to another male in her family. There is a lot of speculation who that will be, but as a female, Lira has two "options." Marry a highborn man of her father's choosing, or pledge herself to Aillira's Temple, a sanctuary where god-gifted women could study and hone their abilities. So though many women were clearly honored by their gods, the men failed to do so. They were simply used for their own gain. Lira in particular is used cruelly by her father for her gift of reading souls. She's nothing more than a tool for him to ascertain whether an accused is guilty or innocent, and she feels tremendous guilt for her part in condemning people to death. Reyker is a savage marauder who has taken part in raids along the coast of Lira's land. In the prologue you see the devastation he causes along with the other warriors fighting for "the Dragon." Right away you realize that he's there against his will, and there is a glimmer of good inside him. It's just been suppressed under years of death and darkness and he no longer knows how to find his way out. When he washes ashore after his ship is attacked by a sea creature, Lira recognizes him as the man who once helped her escape the Dragon. Out of obligation she reluctantly takes him to a secluded place to nurse him back to health. Theirs wasn't an instant friendship, there was naturally a lot of distrust and animosity on her part. Knowing he was a Westlander, or what her people call a beast of the frozen sun, his kind is reviled by her clans. Legends called them monsters birthed by leviathans, not even considered human. As Drakon starts to infiltrate their land, pillaging with the intent to conquer, her clan is suddenly in need of a new chieftan. This is where everything starts to implode. The god they worship is summoned to choose a new leader, but with that choice, dissent and scheming runs rampant under the surface. The whole foundation of the gods they worship could be crumbling under their feet. “You follow the Forbidden Scriptures. You worship the Fallen Ones. How do you know their version of the stories is true?” Were Aillira and Veronis heroes and Gwylor the villain, or was it the other way around?Glasnith's only hope of protecting themselves is the man they call a Beast. A man who knows more about the enemy than anyone else and could help mobilize allies to come to their aid. I loved that he was a bit of an anti-hero. I think he was developed really well, and the author did a very good job of showing him in a way that draws your empathy. He's survived lots of tragedy, loss, and betrayal, and he was consumed with darkness because of it. Lira is a conduit back to the light. She digs through his layers and helps him to find the man he once was. Their faith and loyalty to each other in the face of her people's hatred was heartwarming. This was more violent and bloody than I was expecting. The villain is a pretty chilling guy whom you can't wait to see brought down. As this is the first book in the series, of course we leave things at an unresolved place. It's a pretty strong cliffhanger, so be warned. Overall, there were a few things I loved, and some things that I felt could have used a better explanation or detail. However, the plot was fairly original and kept me guessing, so I really appreciated that. This was not a tame YA fantasy, so if you're looking for something a little grittier, this could be the book for you. Book two in the saga is set to release sometime next year. FOLLOW SMOKIN HOT BOOK BLOG ON:
    more
  • Jonah ❤️LIBROCUBICULARIST❤️
    January 1, 1970
    3.50 🌟 Jill Criswell undoubtedly nailed how Gods and Goddesses play with mortals on Beasts of the Frozen Sun! This is a fantasy based off of Celtic mythology and if you're a fan of the Vikings show.This is a wonderful love story of Lira and Reyker who were doomed from the very beginning, as each belong in a different clan. "You will chase what you cannot catch. You will love what you cannot keep, You will kill what cannot die." Characters: 💫Lira - a god-gifted soul-reader and daughter of Torin 3.50 🌟 Jill Criswell undoubtedly nailed how Gods and Goddesses play with mortals on Beasts of the Frozen Sun! This is a fantasy based off of Celtic mythology and if you're a fan of the Vikings show.This is a wonderful love story of Lira and Reyker who were doomed from the very beginning, as each belong in a different clan. "You will chase what you cannot catch. You will love what you cannot keep, You will kill what cannot die." Characters: 💫Lira - a god-gifted soul-reader and daughter of Torin 💫 Reyker - a Westlander, Giants with hair like straw, eyes like water. The beasts of the Frozen Sun. 💫Torin - a chosen clan Chieftain by God of Death, Gwylor 💫Madoc - Torin's brother and Sons of Stone Commander 💫Draki - a Westlander demigod, daughter of IdjaHowever, it missed some mark and the author failed to create a more complex world for the characters. I just want the characters to get away from the Island and go to Iseneld already! There's definitely highs and lows in this book and I'm hoping that some of my questions will be answered in the sequel. And I cannot wait for Lira's character to develop like Lagertha's and be as fiercesome as she should be.Thank you Blackstone Publishing and NetGalley for providing me with this e-arc to review.
    more
  • Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen
    January 1, 1970
    Book – Beasts of the Frozen SunAuthor – Jill CriswellSeries – Frozen Sun Saga #1Cliffhanger? - YesPublication Date – August 6, 2019Genre – YA FantasyType – Double POVRating – 4.25 out of 5 StarsComplimentary copy generously provided by the author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.My Thoughts - Story I immediately have to comment on how much I loved the bond that developed between Lira and Reyker. I absolutely LOVE books about enemies coming together as a love interest and this defin Book – Beasts of the Frozen SunAuthor – Jill CriswellSeries – Frozen Sun Saga #1Cliffhanger? - YesPublication Date – August 6, 2019Genre – YA FantasyType – Double POVRating – 4.25 out of 5 StarsComplimentary copy generously provided by the author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.My Thoughts - Story I immediately have to comment on how much I loved the bond that developed between Lira and Reyker. I absolutely LOVE books about enemies coming together as a love interest and this definitely happened in this book.He (as an enemy) washes up on Lira’s shore and she takes care of him – this isn’t insta-love or even insta-trust – their relationship was slow building throughout the book which the author used a very “real life” development of these characters.And I have to add that even the secondary characters were enjoyable and written with depth and life.Reason for Reading – Requested from NetGalleyStory – 4 out of 5 StarsSteam – 4 out of 5 StarsAngst – 4.5 out of 5 StarsWriting – 4 out of 5 StarsContent Flow – 4 out of 5 StarsWould Read More from Author? YesRecommend To – Lovers of Fantasy with a believable romance
    more
  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    Like many people, that gorgeous cover draw me in pretty much immediately. The premise of this book was very interesting and I was excited to find out if the inside was as good as the outside. I ended up reading this book in two settings. First, I read 42% and I really liked where the story was going and I thought this was going to be a 4 stars book. But then some other shiny new books distracted me and I had to put down this one for a few days. Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy the last 58% quite as Like many people, that gorgeous cover draw me in pretty much immediately. The premise of this book was very interesting and I was excited to find out if the inside was as good as the outside. I ended up reading this book in two settings. First, I read 42% and I really liked where the story was going and I thought this was going to be a 4 stars book. But then some other shiny new books distracted me and I had to put down this one for a few days. Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy the last 58% quite as much as the beginning. I'm not sure if it was my mood or just the book itself but I just didn't care about anything. I couldn't care less about the romance or the story and I just wanted to skip some of it to get to the end. It's a bit disappointing considering how much I enjoyed and really liked the first 42%. The romance and the plot intrigued me and I was hooked when she found him on that beach. I'm sure lots of readers will enjoy this one even if for me this book will end up in the average category, which I tend to forget very easily. (Thank you for letting me read and review an ARC of this via Netgalley)
    more
  • Marta Cox
    January 1, 1970
    Oo such a pretty cover, there's no wonder it caught my attention. This is set on an island not too dissimilar in many ways to ancient Britain and has what I can only describe as Vikings attacking with the usual murder, rape and pillaging going on but actually there's far more to it than that. We have Draki, a truly nasty villain who appears to be a demigod of some type and he's pitted against Lira who is also God touched in that she can quite literally read souls. Her ability is both a blessing Oo such a pretty cover, there's no wonder it caught my attention. This is set on an island not too dissimilar in many ways to ancient Britain and has what I can only describe as Vikings attacking with the usual murder, rape and pillaging going on but actually there's far more to it than that. We have Draki, a truly nasty villain who appears to be a demigod of some type and he's pitted against Lira who is also God touched in that she can quite literally read souls. Her ability is both a blessing and a curse and it's quite intriguing the way the author leads her readers to second guess just what truly is Liras purpose and destiny.Now every story needs a hero so step forward Reyker. He is an enemy and yet he is also this truly sweet man who battles to do the right thing. The romance between them might not read as torrid but it does feel genuine and well timed. There's a wealth of supporting characters too from old friends to family members who just might break Liras heart and as events unfolded at times this was anything but a pedantic run of the mill fantasy. Atrocities occur, characters the reader could like die and through it all Lira and Reyker battle on. Not perfect as I didn't really care for the made up language although I did think the author did a good job of showing how females were sadly undervalued as well as underrated. These Gods are not kind though but selfish and pernicious and as this ends our couple are far from safe and happy but that's only going to make readers want to read more.This voluntary take is of a copy I requested from NetGalley and my thoughts and comments are honest and I believe fair.
    more
  • Justine
    January 1, 1970
    Full review at Whispers & WonderThe wolf must be kindhearted, and the deer must be brave.In a world where warring gods manipulate humankind to carry out their wills, magic and mysticism cloak the land and sea, and clans battle for primacy, a spark of passion, and tears of treachery carried upon the wings of time descend through the ages. A girl in the clutches of a monster hidden beneath the skin of a man; a boy with eyes far older than his years; a mark binding them together forever. The bo Full review at Whispers & WonderThe wolf must be kindhearted, and the deer must be brave.In a world where warring gods manipulate humankind to carry out their wills, magic and mysticism cloak the land and sea, and clans battle for primacy, a spark of passion, and tears of treachery carried upon the wings of time descend through the ages. A girl in the clutches of a monster hidden beneath the skin of a man; a boy with eyes far older than his years; a mark binding them together forever. The boy, now a man, is left broken upon faraway shores after a deadly attack at sea, healed and protected by a woman with familiar violet hair and grass-green eyes. He is just a beast in the eyes of her people, and an omen of ill fortune that will bring the wrath of both the Dragonmen and the true gods upon them. Each has always been the other’s fate, but the monster has other plans. The gods have other plans. They must endure the onslaught, as enemies close in on all sides, to save her life, and his soul.Beasts of the Frozen Sun is the first installment in the Frozen Sun Saga, and is an incredible Celtic and Norse-inspired tale of forbidden, undying love, and transformation. The saga of Lira and Reyker goes far beyond the realm of men and deep into the long-lost and often misunderstood myths of those who came before. Is this history repeating itself, or is divine intervention weaving the threads of their hearts and souls together? It’s a story that focuses on the corruption of power and battle of control, holding fast in the face of sorrow and suffering, and finding solace beyond the wall of the norm in the most unexpected places. It’s a beautifully stunning debut – one I wished would never end.Criswell has brought to life a cast of magnificent characters, and although I usually discuss each individually, then explore their relationships, I feel as though I need to speak of Lira and Reyker as one. Theirs is one of the most genuine, organic romances I’ve ever read. While Reyker battles the black river, Lira struggles to find her purpose and destination. She calms his turbulent soul, and he bolsters her wavering resolve. The two balance each other perfectly, each specifically crafted to fill the void in the other. It’s really a pleasure to watch their relationship slowly unravel as they explore each other in mind, body, and spirit. In addition to our lovers, we’re presented with several antagonists throughout, including Torin, Madoc, and of course, Draki, warlord of the Dragonmen. Each so different, but when examined more closely, so alike in many ways. Touched by the gods, they’ve all had a taste of power, a power which pushes them to seek domination. Torin wants more, Madoc wants what’s due, and Draki wants Lira. All are willing to go any lengths to gain what they seek. And Reyker is willing to go any lengths to protect his love.This book gets quite dark and graphically violent, pulling you into a world being realistically torn at the seams by war and deception. It has a very grimdark-esque flavor – hope seems to be an increasingly foreign notion as the characters are met with trials and tribulations at every turn. Death and the afterlife are recurring concepts, playing crucial roles in the links between the past and present, and Criswell does not shy away from presenting the grisly details associated with either. While I’ve seen this labeled YA, I feel that classification ends with the main characters falling within the 17-18-year-old age bracket. Personally, I’m a huge fan of dark fantasy, so this was a pleasant surprise. If I had to give one bit of criticism, it would be to give these poor souls a break…the instances of “out of the frying pan into the fire” began to feel a little too inevitable.Criswell’s prose is striking, flowing exquisitely across the pages like a saga of old. From start to finish, I was dazzled by the world she constructed around me, full of enchanting forests, hungry and violent seas, and charming villages veiling terrible secrets. The pacing is perfect, slowing down when necessary, then speeding up to create such a sense of palpable urgency – the pages were practically flying by. The love emotional, the battles visceral, the mysteries awing. After turning the final page, I’m still finding it difficult to believe this is a debut, her craft is just superb.The gorgeous cover of this book initially caught my eye, and I’m thrilled it aptly reflects the content within. A world shrouded in darkness, enemies approaching from the horizon, and the light of love the only hope remaining, Beasts of the Frozen Sun leaves us at a cliffhanger, and I’ve been left hungry for more. For lovers of myth and mystery, dark fantasy, and romance, this book is for you. I’m anxious and excited to see where Lira and Reyker are taken next. I highly recommend.Note: A huge thank you to Blackstone Publishing for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Shalini
    January 1, 1970
    The cover...oooh the cover caught my eye. It was bloody brilliant. Looking at it caused my imagination to travel to the worlds yonder. The blurb of a kickass heroine, a hunk of a warrior, different lands, forbidden love, gods manipulating humans, power and battle all forced me to read this book. And boy, did Jill Criswell deliver!!Lira lived in Glasinth and was a soul reader, a power gifted by the gods. Reyker was a savage washed ashore to her lands, barely alive. Lira recognized him to be the b The cover...oooh the cover caught my eye. It was bloody brilliant. Looking at it caused my imagination to travel to the worlds yonder. The blurb of a kickass heroine, a hunk of a warrior, different lands, forbidden love, gods manipulating humans, power and battle all forced me to read this book. And boy, did Jill Criswell deliver!!Lira lived in Glasinth and was a soul reader, a power gifted by the gods. Reyker was a savage washed ashore to her lands, barely alive. Lira recognized him to be the boy who had saved her life eons ago, so she healed him. Later, she learned that he was the weapon, a Beast from the land of the Frozen Sun, hated by her clan. Both were marked by Draki, the dragon lord who wanted to possess Lira's powers and make Reyker his weapon in the wars, fighting for the Dragon.The book followed the journey through battles, some they chose, some they were plunged into. Each character in this world wanted to use the two for their own gains. There was a constant carnage almost every few pages. Every God was bloodthirsty and wanted a piece of Lira. Some scenes felt a bit repetitive due to that.The first book in the series written by Jill Criswell, the story was pretty dark with violence and slaughter in every other chapter. The world Jill drew me in was complex with the Forbidden Scriptures and Dark Gods. There were some lost beings, The Fallen Ones, who were forgotten but waiting to arise through Lira and Reyker. Blood was spilled, betrayals and ruthlessness were shown. Every favor demanded its price. This was a hard land. And yet... The theme of a soul binding love beat a strange rhythm in the pages of the book. Its unspoken lyrics was in the hearts of the present and the past There were times when I could feel the silent thrums of this song of love flowing in the background.The book did end in a big cliffhanger and the characters had yet to leave this land to go on their journey, thereby paving its way for book 2. The book pulled me in by its sheer complexity, the greed of the Gods, and the love and bond between the main characters. A good breakfast read. I sometimes wake up longing to read a bloodthirsty book.
    more
  • The Nerd Daily
    January 1, 1970
    Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Laura ErneJill Criswell’s debut novel, Beasts of The Frozen Sun, was a knockout! The writing was spectacular and the characters were unique and headstrong. I’m not one to like an intricate gods system and yet, I finished this book strangely grateful for it. It was a fierce and dark tale about warring clans with a severe hatred of the unknown, a ballsy heroine who can read a man’s soul with one simple touch, and a brooding love interest forced to Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Laura ErneJill Criswell’s debut novel, Beasts of The Frozen Sun, was a knockout! The writing was spectacular and the characters were unique and headstrong. I’m not one to like an intricate gods system and yet, I finished this book strangely grateful for it. It was a fierce and dark tale about warring clans with a severe hatred of the unknown, a ballsy heroine who can read a man’s soul with one simple touch, and a brooding love interest forced to fight against his heart. It’s intense and addictive, and honestly I’m still reeling from that ending. Yes, there’s a cliffhanger and Criswell may be a cruel but clever woman, but I cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel! This book deserves a 10 out of 10 and I urge you to pick this up, especially if you like historical fiction. It reminded me of The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson, but with a savage, Viking edge.History has its brutal moments and as such, this book contains a lot of death, torture, and horrible treatment of women, which are all common in war. It’s definitely a book bordering perhaps on adult fiction, but again, that’s inevitable when these themes are involved and this only helped the book feel more realistic. Criswell mixes magic with brute force and it works brilliantly! Her idea of a league of ruthless, highly skilled warriors called Dragonmen led by an unnerving demi-god gave a great spin and worked seamlessly with her warring clans plot.“Aillira, the first god-gifted daughter of Glasnith, who was so loved by the gods they blessed her with the gift of mind-reaping and vowed to bless her female descendants with gifts of their own. Aillira, who fell under the spell of the Great Betrayer and turned against the gods who loved her, bringing about decades of plague, war and strife. Her name was a curse. She was mother and villain, loved and hated. Many questioned my mother’s sense when she bestowed me with the short form of a traitor’s name. I supposed it a mark of her boldness that she didn’t listen.”Our main character, Aillira, has had to fight her very name from assumptions and it’s only made her stronger for it. She never rolls over to make a situation more appropriate to her gender and many males see it as disrespectful and challenge her, which only gives her ample opportunity to prove them wrong, leaving them in a stupor. Her wits are sharp and she wields her words like a battle-axe.The romance between Lira and Reyker is a hot-tempered love affair. Reyker is the literal definition of the boy from the wrong side of the tracks and not an appropriate love match for a Chieftain’s daughter like Lira. He is a beast from the frozen sun and despite her constant hesitation, Lira comes to realise how wrong an assumption can be. They have amazing banter, cute nicknames, and share a bond through their entwined souls. Their respect for one another is outstanding and they value the other’s scars. Their unique shared ability to step in one another’s memories allows them to bond on a higher emotional level that transcends most YA love stories.“There’s the enchanting maiden, subduer of savages, tamer of beasts.’ Quinlan appeared at my side, looking handsome and mischievous as ever.”I loved Quinlan! He’s such a sweetheart and I really hope to see more of him in the next book because he’s great and seems to lighten the mood with his humour and mischief.Lira doesn’t have the greatest male role models either. Blood doesn’t mean anything if you don’t follow their beliefs and she finds this out the hard way several times and yet every time she’s given a way out she refuses, knowing that they are not enacting justice. She keeps to her beliefs and fights tooth and nail for those she loves, no matter the cost.Criswell has a raw talent for words without bombarding a reader with phrases they’ve read over and over. It’s all very new, fresh, and original and I found it very hard to fault anything she wrote here and for a debut author that’s impressive. Bravo!Although I haven’t read Sky In The Deep by Adrienne Young yet, I feel like this book would be perfect for anyone who loved that one because they both feature Viking elements and a plot rife with warring clans. I also find this book to have mature themes that reminded me slightly of Game of Thrones, in both tone and scene. This was such a great novel and I cannot wait for its sequel!
    more
  • Lyn* Nomad *Worlds await*
    January 1, 1970
    This book was in one word amazing. But I’m getting way ahead of myself. Let’s start chronologically. First, the book cover, which is gorgeous! It was the cover that drew me first and then the blurb held my attention.Second, writing style. The author’s writing style is so on point with beautiful prose that was a pleasure to read. I fell down the rabbit hole from the first page and kept going deeper and deeper until it was vital for me to get to the end of the book before I could do anything else. This book was in one word amazing. But I’m getting way ahead of myself. Let’s start chronologically. First, the book cover, which is gorgeous! It was the cover that drew me first and then the blurb held my attention.Second, writing style. The author’s writing style is so on point with beautiful prose that was a pleasure to read. I fell down the rabbit hole from the first page and kept going deeper and deeper until it was vital for me to get to the end of the book before I could do anything else. The world-building was so rich with vivid detail that I felt like I was there with Lira, living her life.The main characters Lira and Reyker were both compelling characters. Throughout the book, I was like a cheerleader waving my pom-pom in the air, cheering for them. All their troubles, everything they went through, I couldn’t believe they’d survive it. This book make me experience so many emotions I was soaked in them.The plot-line was excellent with twists and turns that caught me like sudden tennis balls winging at my head. Every time I thought they’d make it, something worse happened. They just couldn’t seem to catch a break. And the revelations? Boy, I so did not see them coming.To summarize, this was a splendid book with a fantastic story-line that will keep you on the edge of your seat, biting your fingernails and deprive you of sleep, food and drink until you finish it. I can’t wait for the sequel.***Note: Received from Netgalley for an honest review.Posted on Blog
    more
  • Sami
    January 1, 1970
    A breathtaking fantasy for fans of Juliet Marillier, Tamora Pierce, and Robin McKinley., Beasts of the Frozen Sun is endowed with myth and mist and fire in a way reminiscent of a classic tale. What I loved most in this fantasy was the dichotomy of the men in Lira's life, torn over the traditional teachings of masculinity and striving towards emotional understanding. A wonderful start to a must-read series.
    more
  • Leah
    January 1, 1970
    Please, please tell me I haven’t fallen into a slump of reading books that start out incredibly amazing, and then bore me in the second half. Please don’t say it’s so. Because BEASTS OF THE FROZEN SUN is the second book in a row that has failed me.The good. I’ll start with that. First and foremost, I need more vikings in my library. This reminded me so very much of Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young. You can read my gushing about that book here. This book, told in alternating point of views (alth Please, please tell me I haven’t fallen into a slump of reading books that start out incredibly amazing, and then bore me in the second half. Please don’t say it’s so. Because BEASTS OF THE FROZEN SUN is the second book in a row that has failed me.The good. I’ll start with that. First and foremost, I need more vikings in my library. This reminded me so very much of Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young. You can read my gushing about that book here. This book, told in alternating point of views (although mainly Lira) immediately drew me in with the same type of village setting and us vs. them vibe. It’s vivid and easy to picture in my head. The gods and lore were a great touch as well. I may have zoned out at some point and missed a key explanation, but for the most part it is simple to follow along with and understand the history. No great big index or glossary needed!I’m also pleasantly surprised to say I didn’t find this to be predictable or too tropey. The ending was pretty good too! Further diving into it not being predictable, there were several plot twists that came about that I didn’t quite see coming and made me eager to read Book 2. Lira, I think, is a great main character. She is a fierce young woman who can hold her own in a world that seems to be very against her and her wishes. Her god-given power is neat, but I would have liked to see more of it.Basically, where this book let me down was in the romance. I have no qualms with a star-crossed lover trope. In fact, I was egging it on from the moment they first met. Their chemistry was sweet and their relationship somewhat feisty. They’re technically enemies with a secret and brief history and no common language so reading about them communicating with each other was really amusing. But then, you know, they kissed, and it got nauseating over a single page. It went from there’s something about him that draws me in to oh my gods I will never make another decision in my life without factoring Reyker in. I’d have liked to see it more drawn out.I’m also disappointed in how much this lacked women. There are nothing but men in Lira’s life, shaping her and telling her what to do. Her father, her uncle, her brothers, her childhood friend, the villain, the bloody priest. Even Reyker to a certain extent. The only female influences were her dead mother, a mystic in the woods, and a friend who barely got any screen time. This is where it fell away from Sky in the Deep‘s allure. Women could fight. They were viewed as equal in day-to-day life, and it’s disappointing to see how oppressive this world is.The middle became quite repetitive as well. Hide, get caught. Run, get caught. Over and over. Another issue I found was with useless plot lines. There was a murder plot/deal that never even once came to light, travel plans to go here, then there, that were all thwarted by the whole … getting caught thing.Overall it wasn’t a bad book, but it wasn’t great either. Started strong but left me wanting so much more. I think I’ll still look for the second book, but I also think I could live without it.2.5 / 5 stars
    more
  • Alyssa
    January 1, 1970
    *Actual rating: 3.5 starsI really wanted to love this one. The cover is gorgeous and the synopsis sounded right up my alley. Unfortunately, it wasn’t my cup of tea. There was nothing particularly wrong about it, and it certainly wasn’t bad. It just didn’t captivate me the way I was hoping.The characters weren’t my favourite. Lira and Reyker weren’t terrible though. They were good, strong people who experienced growth and used logic and loved each other very much. I just personally wasn’t very en *Actual rating: 3.5 starsI really wanted to love this one. The cover is gorgeous and the synopsis sounded right up my alley. Unfortunately, it wasn’t my cup of tea. There was nothing particularly wrong about it, and it certainly wasn’t bad. It just didn’t captivate me the way I was hoping.The characters weren’t my favourite. Lira and Reyker weren’t terrible though. They were good, strong people who experienced growth and used logic and loved each other very much. I just personally wasn’t very enamoured by them and wasn’t that concerned about what would happen to them. But like I said, they weren’t bad characters, I just didn’t personally mesh with them.The writing however was great. I think Jill Criswell really knows how to develop a fantasy world and its magic system at a rate that allows you to be invested in the story itself yet be able to learn all the details you need to know as you go along so you’re never left confused. She never info-dumped for pages on end, which let’s be real, can ruin a book real quick. And damn, does she know how to write in detail. The war and torture scenes in the book were very vivid.My main issue with this book was the way the story progressed. I found that it kept moving around in the exact same pattern. Danger is on the horizon. Then things go well. But oh wait, out of nowhere something awful happens. Then Lira is good. Things seem normal. Repeat. After a short time it made things predictable. You may not have known exactly what would happen down to the last detail, but you could figure out the overall idea and know when something good or bad was going to occur.Overall it was a good book, and I would suggest that any YA fantasy fan, whose interest is piqued by this synopsis, pick it up. It just wasn’t my style.
    more
  • Tammie
    January 1, 1970
    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 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. 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 …2.5 stars.I can't really remember why this book looked appealing to me in the first place, other than I think I was under the impression there were actual beasts and dragons in it. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. In the beginning I found it pretty interesting, but as I got deeper into the story it started to get boring. It really doesn't go anywhere, at least not enough to keep me interested. I got a little tired of the repetitive nature of the story. It seemed like the main characters were constantly hiding from enemies and being captured. I ended up abandoning this at 87%. I know, I was almost finished, but I just realized that I really didn't care anymore and felt like I was wasting my time.Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book.Review also posted at Writings of a Reader
    more
  • Savannah Porter
    January 1, 1970
    Another fantastic Viking-themed story! This book, written by Jill Criswell, has gods, magical gifts, chilling warriors, and so much action I could barely put it down. The story follows Lira, a soul reader who saves an enemy warrior from death. As Lira and Reyker's forbidden bond grows stronger, they discover that the threat from an evil warlord grows stronger, and they must find a way to save themselves, their souls, and their people. This book has so many elements to it. Even the synopsis falls Another fantastic Viking-themed story! This book, written by Jill Criswell, has gods, magical gifts, chilling warriors, and so much action I could barely put it down. The story follows Lira, a soul reader who saves an enemy warrior from death. As Lira and Reyker's forbidden bond grows stronger, they discover that the threat from an evil warlord grows stronger, and they must find a way to save themselves, their souls, and their people. This book has so many elements to it. Even the synopsis falls short of doing this book justice. There's incredible relationships, twisting magic, and vengeful gods. The plot continues to build until the last page, leaving me wishing for more. I know without a doubt I'll be continuing with this series because I absolutely love Lira, Reyker, and the world building. I think it's one of the best Viking reads I've read, and I wouldn't hesitate to group it with Sky in the Deep and Warrior of the Wild. Writing Aesthetic/Style: 5Plot/Movement: 5Character Development: 5Overall: 5Would I recommend? Yes! This book is for readers who love Vikings, fantasy, battles, and the enemies-to-lovers trope.Thank you, NetGalley and Blackstone Publishing, for the ARC! This book will be released on August 6, 2019.
    more
  • The Bookworm Central
    January 1, 1970
    This book ripped me apart and the most frustrating thing is that I have to wait extra long to read the next one because it’s an arc. I literally have no words. I’m happy, frustrated, torn, in love, confused, and practically desperate for a happily ever after. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with myself now except dive into this review. Recently I finished A Kingdom of Ash by our beloved Sarah J. Maas and since then have been in a huge YA fiction funk. I’ve struggled to get back into my favo This book ripped me apart and the most frustrating thing is that I have to wait extra long to read the next one because it’s an arc. I literally have no words. I’m happy, frustrated, torn, in love, confused, and practically desperate for a happily ever after. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with myself now except dive into this review. Recently I finished A Kingdom of Ash by our beloved Sarah J. Maas and since then have been in a huge YA fiction funk. I’ve struggled to get back into my favorite genre and for the past few days have literally switched gears. However, I was prompted to read this because It practically screamed at me from my BookExpo haul. So I read it. In a day. All 372 pages burnt into my brain for all eternity. There are not many books that are able to throw me on such an intense emotional rollarcoaster. But this book succeeded and literally left me speechless. For starters the world building, the people, the detail in different cultures, and the distinct different languages were all beautiful notes in a literary masterpiece. The characters and their conflicts, both Internal and external had me on the edge of my seat. Every decision, every event had me holding my breath. And at times I was literally screaming at them. But part of this frustration and character development was what hooked me in. The relationship between Lira and Reyker struggling and fighting despite all the odds and differences set to destroy them. The intense family misfortune and the battle to protect her people is dynamic, intense, and devastating. Every second of this novel was beautiful, well thought out, meticulously planned down to the last perfect and microscopic detail. My favorite character in this book had to be Lira. She was so fierce, so independent, and so courageous despite the circumstances of every situation being against her. She fought, even when it looked like there was no hope and even when she thought she’d lost everything. Because of this my least favorite character is Draki. He was the creation of nearly all Lira’s suffering. He was fueled by greed, power, and possession. He didn’t blink as he tore apart lives, families, and lovers. He was driven by a single desire, a single need and damned everybody who stood in his way. He’s portrayed as the villian in this story, and he lives up to the role. My favorite part of the book, my favorite thing, was the cultures and language. Jill Criswell did an incredible job of showing cultural diversity, language barriers, and communication issues. My least favorite part of this book, was that the characters were never able to have a win. No matter what they did and how hard they fought they still struggled to prevail. It was frustrating and intriguing and had me fighting desperately for my favorite characters to pull through. So despite this being my least favorite part of the book, it was probably also the most important because it revealed the truth of the characters through the pressure and the pain.So to Jill Criswell I must say a thank you for pulling me from my funk and thank you for introducing me to an incredible new series I’ll never forgot. The story of strength in a young woman, of strength for her family and her love is inspiring, beautiful, and impacting. Thank you for leaving your mark and I can’t wait for the next book! This was read for movement by the way.
    more
  • Jypsy
    January 1, 1970
    Beasts of the Frozen Sun is a Viking mythology type of story centered around Lira and Ryker. It's obvious from the start, these two are destined for each other and great heroics and/or doom. Two young people who are essentially forced into situations and ideologies that are well beyond the scope of their lifetime and part of a much larger picture. The characters are excellent in their complexity, development and humanity. Interactions are engaging and entertaining. The story is mythical and dyna Beasts of the Frozen Sun is a Viking mythology type of story centered around Lira and Ryker. It's obvious from the start, these two are destined for each other and great heroics and/or doom. Two young people who are essentially forced into situations and ideologies that are well beyond the scope of their lifetime and part of a much larger picture. The characters are excellent in their complexity, development and humanity. Interactions are engaging and entertaining. The story is mythical and dynamic with vivid details and surprising twists. I couldn't wait to see what would happen next to Lira and Ryker because they seemed so real to me. I enjoyed every aspect of the story, and I'm eager to read more from Jill Criswell. Highly recommend! Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • ♠️ TABI ♠️
    January 1, 1970
    I misread this title as Beats of the Frozen Sun and now I'm disappointed for some reasonalso hello hello fellow writer from the Florida swamps!
  • Christi M
    January 1, 1970
    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.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 aroun 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.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: 3.5Thanks to Netgalley and Blackstone Publishing for the advanced reader copy and opportunity to provide an honest review.
    more
  • Lin Ryals
    January 1, 1970
    Plot (5 stars): As I talk about this book, you're going to realize that I love, love, love this book! I want to read it again!! So, this book is 368 pages. It did not feel like 368 pages though. The plot was not slow at any point. There was action, things were moving, it was beautiful. I loved every second of the plot. The world Criswell created was so complex. It reminded me a bit of the viking culture. I imagined How to Train Your Dragon the whole time I read it. I don't know if that's how the Plot (5 stars): As I talk about this book, you're going to realize that I love, love, love this book! I want to read it again!! So, this book is 368 pages. It did not feel like 368 pages though. The plot was not slow at any point. There was action, things were moving, it was beautiful. I loved every second of the plot. The world Criswell created was so complex. It reminded me a bit of the viking culture. I imagined How to Train Your Dragon the whole time I read it. I don't know if that's how the author pictured it or not, but that's what was in my head. Just a warning though, in the first 20% of this book, my heart was racing and I was crying. The plot is great. Characters (5 stars): Oh my goodness. The characters!! I couldn't help but to fall in love with the characters. They were all beautiful with their own personalities. The development was perfect. Lira and Reyker won me over pretty quickly. I also loved Lira's brothers and Quinlan. They have such incredible personalities and are written so well. Writing (5 stars): Which brings us to the writing. This, too, was great. Sometimes when you read high fantasy type stuff, the detail gets away from the author. As a reader, I feel bogged down. Criswell was able to walk that fine line between beautiful details without supplying too many to bore the readers. Criswell is just a beautiful weaver of words. Overall: AMAZE-BALLS!!! I really don't know what else to say about it. Read this book! I can't wait until the sequel comes out. I received this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Sara Zaninelli
    January 1, 1970
    “I will be there, always. To keep you whole”.I really really loved this book. First of all Lira is a very strong character, she knows what she wants and even if she has lost so much she is not afraid to give her heart to a “Beast”. Because it is what her people think Reyker is. At the beginning they are enemies, but they are linked by something stronger that they really cannot understand!This story is full of love, betrayals, gods and magic and I really couldn’t put it down. I’m already waiting “I will be there, always. To keep you whole”.I really really loved this book. First of all Lira is a very strong character, she knows what she wants and even if she has lost so much she is not afraid to give her heart to a “Beast”. Because it is what her people think Reyker is. At the beginning they are enemies, but they are linked by something stronger that they really cannot understand!This story is full of love, betrayals, gods and magic and I really couldn’t put it down. I’m already waiting for the sequel!
    more
  • Amber (The Book Bratz)
    January 1, 1970
    I really really wanted to love this one. The premise and the cover are amazing so I figured it was going to be a perfect fit. Where I did like the characters I had a hard time with the writing style, we just weren’t meshing. 😓DNF @ 30%
  • Austine (NovelKnight)
    January 1, 1970
    Check out the original review and more on NovelKnight! This book was provided by the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. As soon as I started Beasts of the Frozen Sun, it instantly reminded me of Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young but with more magic (and violence, I learned as a I read further).The story kicks off with two points of view, Lira and Reyker, enemies by virtue of birth and location who find each other and develop a connection. It w Check out the original review and more on NovelKnight! This book was provided by the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. As soon as I started Beasts of the Frozen Sun, it instantly reminded me of Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young but with more magic (and violence, I learned as a I read further).The story kicks off with two points of view, Lira and Reyker, enemies by virtue of birth and location who find each other and develop a connection. It was clear early on that there would be a romance between them and I welcomed it as a fan of having it as a subplot but that's not quite what happened.Lira has the gift to see people's souls by touching them and combined with her fierce personality, she was enjoyable to follow as a protagonist. I liked that she stepped out of the role of a follower and into more of a leadership position as the book progressed, and really came into her own. My only complaint would be that I wanted more of her magic. It's made clear that there are very few women like her and that her skill is rare, so I just wanted it to have a stronger presence in the story.And explaining the magic system in place would have been nice too but it sort of worked with the whole "just accept that it's this way" deal so I can live with that.Her counterpart, Reyker, was interesting. . . but not enough for me to care about his PoV scenes. Thankfully there weren't nearly as many and they mostly just provided a glimpse of what else was happening when Lira wasn't around or unable to offer that insight. I liked him well enough, but can't say he was terribly memorable as a character.Now together, these two annoyed me to be honest. I like romance in fantasy, but I wasn't looking for a romance novel and that's what Beasts of the Frozen Sun became for quite a bit of page space. And the book started out so strong too! You're immediately thrown into the action and the plot moves at a good pace and it's all great! And then suddenly it's a love story where each turn becomes another means of keeping the couple apart. And I was bored.That said, all the other parts were great. I loved the expansion of the world beyond Lira's village and can see how some of those places (and people) might be involved in the sequel. Tension remained high from beginning to end and it definitely felt like Criswell could kill off a character at any moment.And in fact several people die. Actually there's a lot of brutal deaths. This book doesn't shy away from violence or torture, so if those are triggers for you, I can't recommend it at all.The plot twists were solid, and the one near the end totally caught me off guard (in a good way). Unfortunately the ending itself was a bit predictable based on how the story had been going up to that point so I wasn't super surprised or DYING to get my hands on the sequel. I still want to read the next book, don't get me wrong, just not high on my list.Beasts of the Frozen Sun was a solid fantasy and toes the line between YA and NA. I'd recommend it to readers looking for a more violence Sky in the Deep with extra romance. Looking forward to the next book!For More Bookish Content: Blog || Twitter || Facebook || Bloglovin'
    more
  • Madison Mary
    January 1, 1970
    "Burn brightly. Love fiercely. For all else is dust." *Thank you to Blackstone Publishing for an ARC*This is a fantasy series full of rich lore and deep suffering, I cannot wait to see where the story leads next! SUMMARY Lira is a God-Gifted daughter of Aillira, she is able to read a person's soul and their memories with a single touch. However, her clan exploits her gift to sentence men to death and jail. When Lira comes across a horde of dead raiders on the beach, she recognizes one of them "Burn brightly. Love fiercely. For all else is dust." *Thank you to Blackstone Publishing for an ARC*This is a fantasy series full of rich lore and deep suffering, I cannot wait to see where the story leads next! SUMMARY Lira is a God-Gifted daughter of Aillira, she is able to read a person's soul and their memories with a single touch. However, her clan exploits her gift to sentence men to death and jail. When Lira comes across a horde of dead raiders on the beach, she recognizes one of them as the boy who saved her as a child. Lira sneaks the man to an abandoned cabin and nurses him back to health, fully aware that he is part of the enemy clan. Lira's actions would be considered treason if she is caught, but her powers tell her that the man, Reyker, is a good soul. Reyker warns Lira that his warlord plans to attack her people, and the two of them have to work together to stop the Dragon before it is too late. REVIEW I am going to start by saying that the lore in this novel is phenomenal, and that if you are not a fan of lore-heavy stories this book will not be for you. Criswell created a vivid world that is rich in descriptions - from the violent sea to the animated forest, it was beautiful. Watching the progression of Lira and Reyker's relationship was very satifsying. It was a very well done slow-burn enemies-to-lovers. I also loved the Skoldar, it was such an awesome touch and I adore how it protected Lira. It was interesting to see how everyone in this story was morally grey and that we had a whole host of antagonists in this plot. No one was inherently good and you were constantly questioning which side was the "good side". I didn't know going into this book that it would have the underlying plot of Gods messing with mortals, but I absolutely loved that. The Fallen Ones were so intriguing and I kept wanting to know more about the mythology and scriptures. I loved how the story focused on how power and the hunger for power corrupts the human soul. The biggest set-back for this story is that the first 70% of the novel was so slow. The plot never felt like it was getting anywhere and that the characters were just stuck. It was also really frustrating that for 50% of the novel our two main characters couldn't even properly communicate. I think that was the main reason why I couldn't give this book a 4 star rating - I was annoyed that Lira and Reyker had this communication barrier... because the majority of the story centered around their relationship forming. The last 30% of the story was an easy 4.5 star worthy book as it was full of action, but with the majority of the novel being just "okay" I had to resort to a neutral 3 star rating. All that being said, I am very excited to see where the rest of the story will lead. I have a feeling that we are going to see a major character arc for Lira in the second book and that her new powers are going to be bad-ass!
    more
  • Liv the Jellyfish Queen
    January 1, 1970
    "Look in her eyes, yeetozurri. No force on earth could stop her. She would battle the gods themselves before she let you die quietly. Such loyalty is rare. You'd best live to repay it."TW: gore, attempted rape, a lot of people are murdered brutallyI solely read this book because I loved the cover. These days, I don't even read synopsizes anymore, I see a pretty cover and my monkey brain goes "read!!!". I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover (especially without reading the synopsis), but "Look in her eyes, yeetozurri. No force on earth could stop her. She would battle the gods themselves before she let you die quietly. Such loyalty is rare. You'd best live to repay it."TW: gore, attempted rape, a lot of people are murdered brutallyI solely read this book because I loved the cover. These days, I don't even read synopsizes anymore, I see a pretty cover and my monkey brain goes "read!!!". I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover (especially without reading the synopsis), but look at me judging well! And if you want to judge me for judging book covers, go ahead and do it.Beasts of the Frozen Sun is a Fantasy book that was, in my opinion obviously, inspired by either the Normans' (not the French dudes, the Vikings) invasion of the British Isles, which I personally loved. Not the invasion, but, y'know, the setting. For a book.So let's talk about the book. Lira of Stone (yes, the clan name is, in fact, stone) is a god-gifted girl that can read human souls by touching them. Cool af, considering she can look at memories of other people. Not so cool is that her father uses her abilities instead of any kind of legal system. After she watched the memories of a dude stealing some armor or weapons, he gets hanged and she's rightfully upset about this (since she basically sentenced him to death by telling her father about how he did steal) and goes to the ocean to calm down.There she meets Reyker, a man (more beast) born of the Frozen Sun, and the sworn enemy of the whole isle, five minutes from death. She rescues him, nurses him back to health and all those things that happen in a YA novel with the theme of forbidden love. Shit goes down from there.I made it sound kinda boring and average, so let me present to you a few plus points to consider:+ I was prepared to be disappointed, since I seem to dislike a lot of generally well-liked historical (Fantasy-)YA (looking at you, And I Darken), but was actually super into this. Take from that what you will+ Lira is a fucking badass. She is headstrong, she is ready to murder the invaders, she loves her family and is generally a pleasure to read about. She actually has the ability to spend time not thinking about the Love of her Life™, which I thought was a given, but was proven wrong by so many YA novels that I lost count+ for those of you that like lore and worldbuilding (me). This is very lore heavy. We get told about the gods of the land, and the history without too much infodumping. As far as I can tell, it's conclusive in itself+ and, with the lore, come the gods. There's a bunch of them and they have their own agenda and merely play with the mortals and push them where the gods need them to be. - While we're talking about gods, I want to just say this: there's a bunch of "your religion is false, this is the true religion". It works in this context, as one religion is built upon what actually happened between the gods and the other on lies, but I think telling someone their religion isn't real is never a good move, so have this as a short warning before I continue to rave about this book.+ a certain plot point took me by complete surprise, since I was busy gloating about how I accurately predicted another plot point (that was extremely predictable in the first place, but I felt really smart for a minute)+ it's a really strong debut and I personally look forward to more of CriswellI did have tiny issues with the story, namely Ileesh having very little on-page-time. My other issue was the writing style, or more the language. It was really weird. That was most likely due to me not being a native speaker tho. I struggled, and I don't struggle with English often these days. Tl;dr: All in all, a very good debut that I really liked a lot. I was honestly surprised by how much I liked it. Definitely going to buy that as soon as it comes out. Probably shove it into a face or two to show people how lovely the cover is.Thanks to Blackstone Publishing and Netgalley for providing this ARC!
    more
  • Melissa (The Reader & The Chef)
    January 1, 1970
    *Actual rating: 4.5 stars!* Thanks to Blackstone Publishing & MTMC Tours for the review copy! Um, wow.I just finished Beasts of the Frozen Sun and I’m not okay. From page one, Beasts took my breath away as it introduced a fierce heroine with the ability to touch souls and a boy Beast desperately trying to not turn into the monster his brutal clan demands him to become. And gosh, I loved every second of it!I was expecting to love Beasts since the premise makes it sound so intriguing, but I wa *Actual rating: 4.5 stars!* Thanks to Blackstone Publishing & MTMC Tours for the review copy! Um, wow.I just finished Beasts of the Frozen Sun and I’m not okay. From page one, Beasts took my breath away as it introduced a fierce heroine with the ability to touch souls and a boy Beast desperately trying to not turn into the monster his brutal clan demands him to become. And gosh, I loved every second of it!I was expecting to love Beasts since the premise makes it sound so intriguing, but I wasn’t expecting it to be so… dark and chaotic. I think this is one of the few books I have read this year that immediately jumps into action and basically has you running, trying to catch up. It’s as if the pages dragged you into the middle of all the intense action scenes: from the moment the warriors of the west (the beasts of the Frozen Sun) start attacking villages to when the Gods suddenly decide to interfere and meddle with human lives. By the time I reached the end, my eyes were open wide!Oh, but let me get back to my girl Lira! She’s one of the main characters and gosh, I loved her so much. She’s god-marked by the infamous goddess Aillira who once upon a time, brought war and destruction to the people of Glasnith. Now, having a gift from this goddess and being named after her, Lira faces rejection from her own people, as her father uses her to read into people’s souls and pass judgement–this often ending in her ruining someone’s life. When she saves Reyker and realizes he is one of the westlanders from the Frozen Sun, her own curiosity leads her to discover the conflicting truths about the deeds he has done under the enemy clan’s ruthless leader and to question whether or not her own people are as equally brutal, if only in a different way under the influence of Gods.Lira is fierce, loyal, and the kind of person that puts her family above everything else. Before the Westlanders invade, she is torn about the idea of either marrying into another clan or heading into Allira’s Temple to continue to practice her own god-given gift. I felt her frustration of only having these two options, since women in her time and place were not allowed to be independent. She wanted to stay close to her clan, but also to travel and find her own place where she would not be seen as a bad omen. Totally rooting for her to accomplish this dream by the end of the trilogy!But REYKER. Ugh, my heart weeps for this boy whose life has been filled by anger and bloodshed. Forced to work under the Dragon’s influence, he has done terrible deeds and endured it all to somehow bring the leader of the Frozen Sun clan down. I really liked the way his relationship develops with Lira, as they both try to come to terms with their roles and how they are fated to be in the middle of an ancient war between gods and a ruthless tyrant.Lira and Reyker are star-crossed lovers through and through and I am in for it. ♥“I didn’t trust him yet. But I’d have to try.Beneath the dancing flares of sparkflies, beneath the steady gaze of his eyes, I placed a hand over my own heart. “Safe, Reyker.”There’s so much to say about Beasts of the Frozen Sun, but right now I feel like I am not nailing it at all. So to wrap this up, I have to state that this book is a mesmerizing read full of magic, meddling gods, non-stop action and the enemies-to-lovers trope we love to ship.
    more
  • Alexa
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.Beasts of the Frozen Sun is the first in a new fantasy trilogy about a girl touched by the gods, and a boy who is supposed to be her enemy. I love books inspired by mythology and playing with gods, and I loved the narrative in this book around the two different stories about what happened so many years ago. Which god is the hero, and which is the villain? Which one of them is the traitor? And how does the mortal woman the gods I received an ARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.Beasts of the Frozen Sun is the first in a new fantasy trilogy about a girl touched by the gods, and a boy who is supposed to be her enemy. I love books inspired by mythology and playing with gods, and I loved the narrative in this book around the two different stories about what happened so many years ago. Which god is the hero, and which is the villain? Which one of them is the traitor? And how does the mortal woman the gods love play into all of this?That being said, there was one thing that stuck with me and became more and more impossible to ignore: the most important women in this book other than the main character are a dead mother and a dead ancestor. Almost everything Lira does is motivated by her brothers, her father, her uncle, the enemy warlord, the male gods warring over her, the boy she finds on the beach, or the boy who was her childhood love. She has a best friend who had potential, and a few other (god-gifted) women appearing here and there, but at the end of the day, Lira is defined by the men in her life. She only realises her life matters when she is useful to Reykel, and even at the end, she claims she belongs to him.You could argue that Reykel also belongs to her, and that this is part of their star-crossed fated love story, and that's fine - but that doesn't explain the others. Moreover, all this happens in a world soaked in misogyny, full of barbaric, violent men who steal and rape and threaten women. I know this is nothing new in mainstream fantasy, but every time a writer creates a whole new magical world, then goes and fills it with the same stale bigotry, my heart dies a little.Overall, if you're not yet sick of heteronormative, misogynistic fantasy worlds, you might enjoy this more than I did - the plotline with the gods and Lira's gift is actually nice. But the number of sacrifised and fridged and sidelined and nonexistent women was just too much for me, personally.
    more
  • 𝒱𝒾𝒸𝓉𝑜𝓇𝒾𝒶
    January 1, 1970
    (I got an Arc of this from Netgalley for review. Thanks!) First thoughts after finishing this book: THESE CHARACTERS DID NOTHING BUT SUFFER. Can I just say, that there was not a moment these characters didn’t have to deal with some enemy attacking them, hurting them, threatening to rape them...it was never ending. Okay there was like...ONE happy moment, but still! 90% sadness. 10%...decentness. Anyway, overall I was conflicted with this book. While it definitely had potential to be memorable, a (I got an Arc of this from Netgalley for review. Thanks!) First thoughts after finishing this book: THESE CHARACTERS DID NOTHING BUT SUFFER. Can I just say, that there was not a moment these characters didn’t have to deal with some enemy attacking them, hurting them, threatening to rape them...it was never ending. Okay there was like...ONE happy moment, but still! 90% sadness. 10%...decentness. Anyway, overall I was conflicted with this book. While it definitely had potential to be memorable, a lot of it I found myself not truly interested in. I have a feeling a lot of people will like this book though, and if you’re into romance, magic, and SUFFERING, this book is definitely for you. I personally, didn’t love it. —BEYOND THIS POINT, SPOILERS LURK—Let’s just dive into the likes: I liked the language Jill crafted up for The Dragonmen (one of the...races? In the book). I found that when Reyker spoke his languages—there were words like like Nai (no) and Sitja (sit)—I was very entertained. He said many more fun things but I don’t remember them right now. Anyways, I’m always a fan of fictional languages, especially when they’re used frequently throughout the book. I enjoyed the banter between the two characters, as well as their relationship. It was sweet, their banter was fun, and that was one of the more entertaining parts about this book. Now for the things I didn’t particularly care for: I didn’t enjoy the world building. More so because I didn’t get it. Like the magic needed more development. The races? Or whatever the Dragon men were supposed to be? I don’t even know. But I would have enjoyed more on things like that and I feel like they were barley mentioned.I didn’t care for some of the decisions the characters made. Like when they decided they would make out in a cell RIGHT BEFORE THEY WERE GOING TO ESCAPE. No. I didn’t like that at all. I didn’t like when the Dad tried to kiss her—even if he was possessed—I wasn’t with that. Made me uncomfortable. I didn’t particularly enjoy the surface level characters. And maybe that’s because this is only book one, and if I decide to read the rest my opinion might change, but for now they seem very surface...like I need more in order to latch on and actually care about them. So overall it was an okay read. Not memorable but not horrible. Again, I think for other people this will be a very good read, but for me, in this moment, I just wasn’t feeling it.
    more
Write a review