Prisoner of Ice and Snow (Prisoner of Ice and Snow #1)
Author: Ruth Lauren
Genre: MG, Fantasy
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
Publication Date: September 7th 2017
Format: eARC (288 pages)
Valor is under arrest for the attempted murder of the crown prince. Her parents are outcasts from the royal court, her sister is banished for theft of a national treasure, and now Valor has been sentenced to life imprisonment at Demidova, a prison built from stone and ice.
But that’s exactly where she wants to be. For her sister was sent there too, and Valor embarks on an epic plan to break her out from the inside.
No one has escaped from Demidova in over three hundred years, and if Valor is to succeed she will need all of her strength, courage and love. If the plan fails, she faces a chilling fate worse than any prison …
My Rating: ★★★
Prisoner of Ice and Snow throws us right in at the deep end. From the very first pages we are in the thick of the main plot and it took me a few chapters to fully understand and realise what was going on. Maybe that’s the YA fantasy reader in me though who is used to chapters of world building at the beginning of the books I read, so that isn’t a criticism by any means.
Valor, our leading lady, willingly commits a crime in order to get herself sent to the same prison as Sasha, her twin sister. The prison itself is horrible and that goes to show how great a sacrifice Valor has made for her sister. I really loved that this book was about sisters because it made me think of my own and I know that I would also do anything to protect or help my own sister. I think many young readers will also admire Valor for her bravery and courage, definitely two traits that I was really pleased to see represented by a female character in middle grade literature.
The plot was interesting with the right amount of twists and turns along the way but I found that the pace was quite on/off. Some chapters felt full of action and others seemed a lot slower. I didn’t know when reading this that it is the first book in a series and so I was disappointed with the ending. Knowing now that it is a series I think the ending makes more sense but it still frustrated me slightly as it felt very rushed. It has certainly left itself open for plenty more action in the next book though and I’m sure younger readers will audibly gasp at the last couple of paragraphs.
As far as characters go there wasn’t enough detail for me. I felt like I got to know Valor quite well but I really wanted more depth to the other characters she befriends along the way. There’s a fab selection of characters and I really wanted to get to know more about them, maybe that will come in book two. Valor is a character I can imagine a lot of young readers really liking, especially young girls who may feel inspired by her courage and bravery. She does make some decisions that are really not very well thought through and at times she was a bit unlikeable to me but that’s just my own opinion.
Overall I thought this was a good book with an interesting plot, plenty of action and a nice selection of characters. I’m sure younger readers will enjoy this quick fantasy, especially any sisters out there.
Thanks to NetGalley, Bloomsbury and the author for my copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
Have you read Prisoner of Ice and Snow? What did you think?
What are some of your favourite Middle Grade fantasies?