Frost like night

With Frost like Night comes the end of another series, this time Sara Raasch's story about the Winter queen Meira. In the first two instalments, Meira and her countrymen tries to take back control of their land. Sixteen years earlier, the king of Spring, Angra, took over Winter and Meira and a few other Winterians had to flee and lived as nomads after that. But now Meira is on the throne as queen yet Angra is still out there trying to take over her land and her world. Meira faces the last battle now, the one that will make or break the future of the world.

After the queen in a neighbouring country turned against her husband and sided with Angra, Meira and a handful of Winterians are captured. Meira manages to escape with help from a man who holds answers to all the questions she has and who teaches her how to finally use her magic. He also tells Meira what she needs to do to defeat Angra and get rid of the Decay, which threatens to overtake every living soul and ruin the world. With this information, Meira joins her countrymen again and together they plan the last battle that will seal the fate of the world. Fighting Angra won’t be easy and to win, Meira will have to give up everything.

I like this series, despite the story being obvious. However, it’s been a while since I read the second novel and I was surprised in a negative way when I started reading Frost like Night. I’d just read a few chapters when I noticed how repetitive it was. Every other page Meira felt the need to tell the reader what needed to be done to win over Angra. It felt like only three things happened in this nearly 500 pages long novel: Meira needed to get the keys to the magic chasm, she needed to defeat Angra and then, of course, there was the question of when she and Mather would kiss. The entire story was built on the need to get the keys and yet Raasch didn’t seem to think that the reader would be able to remember it and therefore repeated it over and over and over again. Did Meira need the reminder for herself? She thought of little else but defeating Angra, why would she need to constantly think “I need to get the keys to the chasm. I need to get the keys to the chasm!” If you were to cut away every repetitive section I’m certain this novel wouldn’t be more than 150 pages long.

The relationship between the characters were good, but nothing more. Meira, like so many YA heroines, carried the world on her shoulders and had no one to really lean on. She needed to do everything herself and made somewhat rash decisions. She had the opportunity to work on her magic for some time to get stronger or to run straight into battle with Angra. She decided she didn’t have time to lose and gambled the life of every human in the world when she left after just a few days of training from a man who spent many years perfecting his magical skills. Meira’s relationship with her magic was tense in the first two instalments yet somehow, she overcame it all in a matter of days. All of a sudden, she had full control of everything and she was as strong, if not stronger, then Angra. It felt very unlikely, and quite stupid on her part, yet I, the reader, was supposed to accept it because a sixteen-year-old girl, who’ve always made rash decisions, knows best.

As you can tell, I didn’t really like Meira in this novel and so much was focused on her and the battle that everyone else kind of faded away. This is the run-down of what happened to the rest of the characters during nearly 500 pages: Ceridwen did something very obvious, Mather kept loving Meira from afar, Sir decided that Meira wouldn’t marry anyone from Winter because they were all her subjects and didn’t tell her about it, Theron was not around much, Angra was a meanie and Nessa was chipper and annoying as usual. On top of this, Raasch decided that she needed to kill off some characters for the sake of, well… nothing, really.

Both the repetitiveness and the bland, flat characters made the novel boring and I struggled with it for over a month before finally finishing it. Now I’m left with a feeling of emptiness. Not because the series is over, but because I knew every single thing that would happen and in the end, this wasn’t an interesting read at all. It’s hard to surprise me, I tend to know what will happen in pretty much every book I read, but it’s not usually this obvious. Maybe I’m getting too old for YA or maybe YA need to step it up a bit. A lot of novels in this genre are repetitive and Frost like Night was no exception. I want something new and fresh, not something I’ve read a hundred times before. Raasch did not deliver and I am disappointed. Hopefully her future books will be better, because this was just not good enough.