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Fire & Ice

Icefire Trilogy, Book 1
Narrated by: Edward Mittelstedt
Series: Icefire Trilogy, Book 1
Length: 9 hrs and 18 mins
3 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Summary

Where magic is dark and gritty, characters are troubled and twisted, and victory comes at a heavy price.

Deep under the City of Glass in the frozen Southern land, an age-old machine called the Heart of the City radiates a power that locals call icefire. Most citizens are immune to it, but a few, always born with physical disabilities, can bend it to their will. For 50 years, the ruling Eagle Knights, who fly on the back of giant birds, have killed these Imperfects, fearing the return of the old royal family, who used icefire to cut out people's hearts, turning them into ghostly servitors. 

The old king's grandson Tandor only sees the good things icefire brought: power and technology now forgotten while the people of the South live in dire poverty. He's had enough of seeing his fellow kinsfolk slaughtered by ignorant Knights, of Imperfect babies being abandoned on the ice floes to be eaten by wild animals. His grandfather's diary tells him how to increase the beat of the Heart, the first step to making the land glorious once more. Arrogant as he is, he sets the machine in motion. All he needs is an army of Imperfect servitors to control the resulting power.

Isandor is Imperfect, an ex-Knight apprentice, betrayed by his best friend and running for his life. Queen Jevaithi is Imperfect, living like a prisoner amidst leering Knights, surviving only because the common people would rebel if their beloved queen were harmed. 

Both are young and desperate and should be grateful Tandor wants to rescue them from their hopeless situations. Or so he thinks. The youngsters, however, have no inclination to become heartless ghosts, but while they defy Tandor, the Heart beats, and he alone cannot control its power.

This will appeal to fans of Joe Abercrombie and George R.R. Martin.

©2012 Patty Jansen (P)2018 Patty Jansen

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Entertaining ideas that didn't quite click for me

This is a slightly difficult book for me to review, there are a lot of good ideas, interesting characters and a fairly well-realised world but for some reason it just didn't seem to click fully for me, at the same time though there wasn't anything in particular that I didn't like about it.

One possible reason for this situation might be that the characters were mostly interesting rather than likeable and thus couldn't serve as the initial hook early in the book while the rest of the world-building took place, which hampers this book, but could readily result in it helping subsequent ones in the series now that a lot of that stuff is out of the way.

The narrator gave a good overall performance that enhanced the book and helped to bring the characters to life.

Overall, this was a good book with enough interesting ideas that I would look into further parts of the series and I suspect this instalment will seem stronger as part of a trilogy than on its own.

[Note - I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.]

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Profile Image for Jeff M.
  • Jeff M.
  • 21-08-19

Overall, pretty good

I did enjoy this book overall, but there were a couple of things I disliked about it. First, I didn't care for some of the voice choices the narrator made -- especially one of the main characters Tandor. And since he talked a lot (that whole being a main character thing), it detracted from the story for me. Also, Tandor wasn't a particularly likeable character in my opinion, which again, being a main character lessened my enjoyment.

But, the world building was great and most of the other characters were compelling, which mostly offset those negatives. I do recommend the book overall, and I'm looking forward to continuing the series. (It ended on a cliffhanger and I have to find out what happened next!) If I could give a 3.5 star rating, that's what I'd go with.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • CAP
  • 03-07-19

Dark, Gritty Fantasy with Heavy Themes

I just finished this in audio. It's an interesting concept of using "Icefire", and all those who are born a cripple have this magic. And because this kingdom is scared of them, everyone born a cripple is slain. However, way outside of the city, there is a village full of cripples, who a wizard is hiding in hopes to take back over this kingdom. It was an intriguing plot and structure, but this book is very dark and gritty with adult themes and rainbows. I don't recommend to young readers or people who are easily triggered over certain subjects.

3/5

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Alice Amerte
  • 23-06-19

Savage

I'm in love with fantasy, especially when it is an eric one. Fire & Ice isn't an exception, even though some scenes are difficult to accept (but, who did say life is easy, hug?).
If you're willing to go through the dirty and savage world, this is your pick.
Narration? Awesome! I can only imagine how tough it was to narrate all this stuff, but Edward Mittelstedt did his job very well.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Porfirio Ortiz
  • Porfirio Ortiz
  • 22-06-19

Enjoyable

I enjoyed the book but so much of the time was spent on building all the different characters then it was done I was only able to finish because of the narrator.

I received a copy of this audio book at my request and have voluntary left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Demetra Toula Iliopoulos
  • Demetra Toula Iliopoulos
  • 20-06-19

Lots of different fire in this

This is a story full of mystery, decisions and lots of layers . This story reminds me of the ancient spartan ways. If there is anything wrong with the children then get rid of them. This is a very unusual and dark story when grown men force males to not do what they want . It’s a fantasy listen . Be prepared.

Edward performance was great . He did all the tones great all the characters and the voice was strong, smooth

I received a code for this story and the options are my own

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • PattyH
  • 20-06-19

Fire & ice

The story was pretty good, interesting most times. This is the first in the series and I felt that the story ended abruptly.

The narration was fantastic. The one thing that saved this book was the narration

I received a copy of this audible free at my request. I am more than happy to provide my review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for TU
  • TU
  • 20-02-19

needs better balance for the bad stuff

I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

This was a tough one to get into. The narration was good, but it just drug on and then had detailed descriptions of rape. For me, there just wasn't any relief from the harshness that it weighs on you. It actually got bad enough I stopped the book for a while and listened to something a lot more silly and lighthearted. The narration is actually well done, I just struggled and gave up after one character got raped, then turned around and raped someone else.... I may go back and try and finish this one, but it will be a while.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • bob
  • 11-02-19

Good story. It takes 2 plus hours to understand

Both the wife and I listened to the book, it is hard to get into it as there is really no framework to start with. As we listened into the 3 rd hour we were engaged, I found the book to be an interesting saga. I think a brief overview by the author to launch the book would be a great help. The reader was good. I was given this book to review for free, and I would rate it as a 3 out of 5 overall. Entertaining.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Al
  • 10-02-19

Solid frozen fantasy

Pretty good. Part Handmaid's Tale with a splash of JV Jones and a pinch of Jon Marco, and we have a decent fantasy set in a harsh frozen land. It's a little too humourless for my taste, and all the cast seem too earnest, but the world is interesting and the ending sets the tone for some big things down the road.

The narrator was good, dealing with a number of different characters, yet giving them unique voices.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Michael A Laughter Jr.
  • Michael A Laughter Jr.
  • 09-02-19

The book was "meh" to me

The book didn't have an overly bad plot to me but the rape was just something that I personally don't enjoy in my books. Now if that is something that you can look past then this would probably a great book for you. Though I would like to point out that the narrator did a fantastic job and can't wait to listen to more of their books.

"I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

1 of 1 people found this review helpful