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Reviewed by Eduardo Aduna for Readers' Favorite
The second book in Jay and Katie Barber’s Aronshae series is better in every conceivable way than its predecessor, the excellent "Spellbound". "Icebound" picks off after the events in the King’s castle. It is now time for the kingdom to strike a blow against the dreaded Ice Empress. Katya, Jared, Sasha and Mala must find a way to undo the corruption of the crystals while the King Branden and Brother Talas try and retake Snowhaven. New enemies, allies and situations complicate matters and make things in Aronshae more interesting.
"Icebound" expands upon the adventure, sword and sorcery scope of the first book. From a party system which involves a small group simply going on a quest, we now see a richer tapestry of strategy and tactics. The magnificent fight scenes that I loved about "Spellbound" are still present, but much improved and have expanded from hand-to-hand and paired combat to full on military skirmishes. The added scope of this novel did not detract from the rich characterization that was a prominent feature in the first. Even minor characters are incredibly fleshed out, with their own voices, perspectives and personalities. "Icebound" takes the character-driven storyline of "Spellbound" and takes it to new heights with the characters literally becoming living, breathing individuals. Their interactions with each other are such a pleasure to watch. The Barbers have a particular flair of taking a magical species concept and making it their own, dragons, rhymes and shape-shifters, oh my! I had high expectations about the second book of Barber's Aronshae series and "Icebound" exceeded them all. The particular ending of this one though makes me impatient to find out what Jay and Katie Barber has in store for readers in the next book of the series.