If you’ve been following me for a while, you will know I adored Heart of Thorns. If you loved Grace and Fury then you absolutely need to read the first of the series and pre-order this one because you will fall in love.
Mia Rose is back from the dead. Her memories are hazy, her body numb—but she won’t stop searching. Her only hope to save the boy she loves and the sister who destroyed her is to find the mother she can never forgive. Pilar is on a hunt of her own. Betrayed by her mother, and plagued by a painful secret, she’s determined to seek out the only person who can exact revenge. All goes according to plan… until she collides with Prince Quin, the boy whose sister she killed.
As Mia, Pilar, and Quin forge dangerous new alliances, they are bewitched by the snow kingdom’s promise of freedom and opportunity. But with the winter solstice drawing near, they must confront the truth beneath the glimmering ice, as lines between friend, foe, and lover vanish like snowflakes on a flame.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
If I thought I loved the sister relationships in Heart of Thorns, Tears of Frost blows it out of the water. Not only does Tears of Frost begin with a letter from the author about the content of sexual assault and depression, but the story is rich and introspective. A society in which women’s bodies and potential for magic are shunned and punished, seeing the characters experience new societies where this is not the case feels freeing.
Tears of Frost is a story that operates on so many different levels. Tears of Frost is a sequel that goes even further than the first book. The foundations of the story have been built and in Tears of Frost we are able to get to know the characters even more. Their journeys, scars, and memories sink deeper. The scars form into memories that breeds vulnerability.
Choices and Vulnerability
For me, the characters were what kept me reading. They all struggles with agency and their family’s expectations. The challenge to rebel against the wishes of our family, their approval and love, making it seem like we have no choice and becoming their weapon. It’s not only a story about survival, it’s a story about choosing the life we want to live. Our individual choices offering us windows to escape. How can we become something different from our parents? From what we have been taught we can only become?
At the same time, Tears of Frost is about the ways love makes us vulnerable. We are always vulnerable when we open our heart. How many times will it take for us to be betrayed for us to close our heart for good? We can either let our hatred and thirst for revenge fuel us, or we can move forwards. Quin’s character really took me through the wringer in this book, but one of the things he says is that always jumping into a fight makes us a coward as we hide from behind our fists.
Women and the Content Warning
And yet another element of Tears of Frost I loved was how Mia’s experience of this new country allows her to see that women with magic are just women. They aren’t angels or demons, the magic is just another part of them. What we decide to do with our power is our decision, but it doesn’t inherently change us into something else. She’s also able to experience a culture that doesn’t view the female body as dirty or dangerous, and is able to see it as it is. Appreciated and not hidden, being able to take pride in our identity.
At the same time, when the sexual assault was brought up, my heart broke. The way that the character internalized the shame from the community. How the lack of belief made them question themselves, wondering if they were lying. Even typing it makes my heart break a little more. How it can make you feel unworthy of love. That as soon as someone knows the truth you become something un-loveable. In Tears of Frost we are able to see how important it is for someone to see you, hear your story and believe you.
Tears of Frost is a story that tugs at our heartstrings. At the heart of our characters is a desire for the choice to be who we want to be – without people holding our strings. It’s terrifying to have to chose our actions and consequences, but the inability to chose is a huge theme in Tears of Frost. When we think we have been making our own choices, but they were never ours. At the same time, Barton discusses the ethics of technology and sacrifice. Progress and development. There is power in our veins, in our bloodlines, and in our stories.
1st Prize: Win a TEARS OF FROST bundle: signed hardcover copies of HoT and ToF, HoT bookmark, ToF bookmark, HoT candle, ToF candle (US ONLY)
2nd Prize: Win a TEARS OF FROST goodies bundle: signed bookplate, HoT bookmark, ToF bookmark, and a customized poem in the style of the epigraph (INT)
Starts: October 30th, 2019
Ends: November 13th, 2019a Rafflecopter giveaway
About the Author
Bree Barton is the author of Heart of Thorns (KT/HarperCollins 2018), the first in a series of fierce feminist fantasy novels. Her books have been published in seven countries and four languages. When she’s not crafting a story, Bree teaches dance and writing to teen girls. You can find her on Instagram @SpeakBreely. She lives in Los Angeles but dreams of the northern lights.
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