I'm a little giddy today to welcome author Sara Raasch back to the blog as part of the promotional tour for Ice Like Fire, the second book in her amazing YA fantasy series. I absolutely ADORED last year's Snow Like Ashes and can't wait for my copy of Ice Like Fire to arrive, but in the meantime I'm lucky enough to turn the blog over to Sara so she can give us a little more information on protagonist Meira's homeland, the Kingdom of Winter. Be sure and check the bottom of the post for the full list of participating blogs as well as all the details on a fun giveaway!
The Top Five Things you should know about the Kingdom of Winter:
1. Their cultural style is very heavily influened by Grecian outfits—partly because I loved the juxtaposition of putting a traditionally “summery” outfit in a wintery setting and also because the colors and appearance of Grecian outfits reflected the exact type of feel I wanted for Winter: clean, simple, flowy.
2. Similarly, the food in the Winter Kingdom is a mesh of things that are typically found in winter settings (sparse game, certain very determined plants, etc) and, again, a Greek-style influence (olives, lamb, yogurt). This aspect is never mentioned in the books, as it’s one of those “cool but serves no real purpose” details that got cut, like this description of the food that was served at the ceremony in Chapter 7:
My stomach gurgles in the cloud of aromas that emanate off the food. Things we shouldn’t have wasted our limited reserves on, but things my self-appointed chefs were adamant we serve. With Cordell’s rations and the wild game provided by the nearby forest, we have just enough to ease everyone into a normal diet—but hardly enough to splurge on party fare.
Chicken roasted in a bed of rosemary; thick circles of bread baked in wood ovens then topped with dried cherries and crumbled cheese and sliced tomatoes. Even lamb rolls, a delicacy that made all Winterians at the celebration-meeting release small whimpers of delight at the prospect of eating again—seasoned lamb mixed with chunks of salty olives and currants, all rolled into a cabbage leaf, and boiled until tender and tart in a mix of lemon juice and water.
I have to admit, hearing the chefs describe what dishes they planned for our celebration made my eyes glaze over with delight. But all I see when I look at the table now is the debt we acquired getting this and the wastefulness of baking so much food at once. The only thing before me that doesn’t make me flinch is the bowl of melted snow, or the fancy Winterian way of saying cold water. Won’t run out of that any time soon.
(Okay, okay, the “melted snow” part was just me trying to be funny.)
3. One of the small details about the Winter Kingdom that did make it into ICE LIKE FIRE is the plants they use for decoration in Chapter 7: evergreen sprigs and snowdrops. That color combination, something vivid against white, carries throughout the Winter Kingdom—from the colors of their outfits (where everyone always tries to wear something white for formal events) to the color of their landscape (snow dotted with trees or cities). A continuing theme of providing a blank canvas for something vibrant and beautiful.
4. The architecture of prominent Winterian buildings gets some descriptions in ICE LIKE FIRE, but as with most of things in Winter, it’s all very damaged and nothing like how it should be. But the original style of the Jannuari Palace, in particular, has lots of basis in, again, Greek style architecture, with a huge heaping portion of Baroque style too—lots of clean, distinct moldings; pretty carved details; lots of light; and stucco/marble details.
5. In SNOW LIKE ASHES, Winterian phrases were introduced (“Sweet snow!” “Snow above!”)—and I tried, really really hard, to work the phrase “Chill out!” into ICE LIKE FIRE. But, alas, my editor didn’t go for it. I should really just stop trying to be funny.*snort* Thanks so much Sara!
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ICE LIKE FIRE
It’s been three months since the Winterians were freed and Spring’s king, Angra, disappeared—thanks largely to the help of Cordell.
Meira just wants her people to be safe. When Cordellan debt forces the Winterians to dig their mines for payment, they unearth something powerful and possibly dangerous: Primoria’s lost chasm of magic. Theron sees this find as an opportunity—with this much magic, the world can finally stand against threats like Angra. But Meira fears the danger the chasm poses—the last time the world had access to so much magic, it spawned the Decay. So when the king of Cordell orders the two on a mission across the kingdoms of Primoria to discover the chasm’s secrets, Meira plans to use the trip to garner support to keep the chasm shut and Winter safe—even if it means clashing with Theron. But can she do so without endangering the people she loves?
Mather just wants to be free. The horrors inflicted on the Winterians hang fresh and raw in Januari—leaving Winter vulnerable to Cordell’s growing oppression. When Meira leaves to search for allies, he decides to take Winter’s security into his own hands. Can he rebuild his broken kingdom and protect them from new threats?
As the web of power and deception weaves tighter, Theron fights for magic, Mather fights for freedom—and Meira starts to wonder if she should be fighting not just for Winter, but for the world.
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Sara Raasch has known she was destined for bookish things since the age of five, when her friends had a lemonade stand and she tagged along to sell her hand-drawn picture books too. Not much has changed since then — her friends still cock concerned eyebrows when she attempts to draw things and her enthusiasm for the written word still drives her to extreme measures. Her debut YA fantasy, SNOW LIKE ASHES, came out October 14, 2014 from Balzer + Bray, and the sequel, ICE LIKE FIRE, comes out October 13, 2015. Neither features her hand-drawn pictures.
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Two lucky winners will receive a set of ICE LIKE FIRE trading cards/mini bookmarks. To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway is open internationally.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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