I have just read a fantasy of badass and most brutally epic proportions.
And I must say, I am a fan.
Beasts of the Frozen Sun is every bit as epic as its cover and it had complex world building (slight Scottish-fantasy vibe from it too), characters to fall in love with, and brutal wars between monstrous men. I like my fantasies from the dark side and this definitely delivered there. It was so immersive too. When I finished, it felt like coming up for air because I was so deeply into it.
let me tell you all about my FEELINGS here…but before I do…
this is part of the blog tour hosted by MTMC Tours and I have an epic INTL giveaway running on my instagram right now! I also have made some iphone wallpaper in honour of the book!
This book honestly had a checklist of things I love.
Which, I mean, shout out to it catering specifically for my epic fantasy needs. 🤗 There are some tropes that just make my heart flutter and this ticked off so many of them. Such as…
- boys who are turned into weapons so they become monstrous…but secretly they’re soft heartfelt marshmallows inside
- girls with SWORDS and they get very angry when the sword is taken off them (#aminlove)
- gods that sometimes walk the earth and mess about with humans
- when people go to war against the enemy who they think are “beasts”…but they’re every bit as monstrous
- basically the whole analysation of “what makes you a monster”; legit my favourite discussion
- magic powers (they had soul-reading!!!! I really liked this!!!!)
- the whole “oh you’re SICK and we’re ENEMIES but we’ll CUDDLE just to stay warm” 😏 ok sure, you go on.
Be still my beating heart. I just had such a good time with all of this.
I definitely got Scottish vibes from it, with the clans and weapon styles and some the language. So that was fantastic. There is also a lot of god lore that’s pertinent to the plot. Our heroine, Lira, is “god-gifted”. This is a rare thing and only happens to usually one woman per clan. She’s a daughter of Aillira and can read souls and determine truths. Her father, also the clan-leader, basically “uses” her as a lie-detector but she’s 17 and has the choice to go study in the temple or get married.
But what if there was a third choice?
The plot was go! go! go! action!
We have EVERYTHING from village raids to wars to men from the West coming in to slaughter and pillage the small villages of Lira’s people. It’s intense and seriously SO much is packed in it will leave you a bit exhausted. I was really grateful for the brief moments when they got to pause and, like, snuggle. 10/10 for snuggling in epic fantasies too ok.
It’s also dark and quite brutal.
This is super fine by me 😌I like my fantasies from the dark side and while it didn’t get graphic/gruesome, it also did NOT spare the characters and the vicious beast-men did horrific things to their captives. Reyker goes through hell and back, he truly does lol sob, my poor boy. It’s bloody and heartbreaking; it’s about people who refuse to let go of hope and each other.
Look, Lira and Reyker are everything and I love them.
SO SO love them. Usually I wave a hand vaguely at epic fantasy romances for not contributing to the plot but THIS?! This is superb. I ship them so hard. They’re star-crossed lovers for sure and everything conspires to keep them apart.
Reyker is the beast, the boy who nearly drowns and is saved by Lira even though she know she shouldn’t help the enemy. She fights off death for him, she teaches him her language, she holds him when the rest of the world has declared him fit only as an animal to be put to death.
Lira hates being used and caged. She hates being property by her horrible uncle and father, men pitted in darkness while ruling their clan, and she refuses to believe Reyker isn’t worth saving. And she is so frikking powerful. Gah, I loved that.
*:·ﾟ✧ Beasts of the Frozen Sun is a bloody fantasy of beasts and soul magic and fierce belief that redemption is possible if you cling fiercely to rebuilding yourself *:·ﾟ✧
Action-packed with high stakes and brutal fights and monstrous men and powerful women and meddling gods.
Burn brightly. Love fiercely. For all else is dust.
Every child of Glasnith learns the last words of Aillira, the god-gifted mortal whose doomed love affair sparked a war of gods and men, and Lira of clan Stone knows the story better than most. As a descendant of Aillira and god-gifted in her own right, she has the power to read people’s souls, to see someone’s true essence with only a touch of her hand.
When a golden-haired warrior washes up on the shores of her homeland–one of the fearful marauders from the land of the Frozen Sun–Lira helps the wounded man instead of turning him in. After reading his soul, she realizes Reyker is different than his brethren who attack the coasts of Glasnith. He confides in her that he’s been cursed with what his people call battle-madness, forced to fight for the warlord known as the Dragon, a powerful tyrant determined to reignite the ancient war that Aillira started.
As Lira and Reyker form a bond forbidden by both their clans, the wrath of the Dragon falls upon them and all of Glasnith, and Lira finds herself facing the same tragic fate as her ancestor. The battle for Lira’s life, for Reyker’s soul, and for their peoples’ freedom has only just begun.
About the author:
Jill Criswell is a writer of Young Adult Historical Fantasy. She was born and raised in the swamps of northeastern Florida. She earned degrees in English and Psychology and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida. Her greatest passion, besides reading and writing, is traveling the world; she’s visited fifty countries across six continents, falling in love with places like Iceland, Namibia, and Cambodia. She works as a university English teacher and lives in South Carolina, near the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, with her husband and daughter (who is named after a volcano in Iceland).
| WHAT DO YOU THINK? |
what was the last epic fantasy you read? is this one on your TBR? 😍