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Profile Image for Erica (storybookend).
372 reviews286 followers
May 3, 2020
Thank you to Netgalley for an e-arc to review!

I didn’t like this one as much as the first book, but it was still an exciting story. I loved that this time they went to Reyker’s homeland of ice and snow.

And the romance was heart-wrenching, especially that one moment at that one place, kind of halfway or more into the book. But, I didn’t like the turn of events after this. I wish the book had more of Lira and Reyker and less of Lira with another character.

The very ending does give some promise to the next book, even though I hate what Lira did before that. I don’t like that plot device.

However, if you’re looking for a brutal tale of battles and warriors, gods and fate, then you should try this series.

𝐶𝑜𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑛𝑡 𝑤𝑎𝑟𝑛𝑖𝑛𝑔: 𝑓-𝑤𝑜𝑟𝑑𝑠
Profile Image for Natalie  all_books_great_and_small .
2,221 reviews77 followers
September 1, 2020
I received an advance reader copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review via netgalley and the publishers.

Kingdom of Ice and bone is the second book in the Frozen Sun Saga by Jill Criswell.
Lira and Reyker are unaware of each other still being alive and feel each others loss immensley. Both feel despair at not only the loss of each other but their loss of everything else they held dear. When fate throws them back into each others lives they desperately want to find a way back to each other as well as fighting for what they hold dear to them but with Draki at the heart of everything they want and need how can they achieve this.

This book ended on such a cliffhanger and I'm so desperate for book three! I couldn't put this book down!
Profile Image for Melissa.
595 reviews819 followers
October 20, 2021
I. Am. Broken.

I sincerely hope that Reyker and Lira will have the happy ending that they deserve. Thinking that the person you love most in the world is disastrous and their story is one so full of passion, it was only fitting that the universe (a.k.a. Draki) will do everything is their power to keep them apart...

But this ending? I am crying all the tears.

Many thanks to Blackstone Publishing for the complimentary e-copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Profile Image for Brittany.
900 reviews118 followers
April 2, 2022
3.5 Stars ✨

Enemies to lovers kept apart… this book for me suffered from middle book syndrome. It was good lots of heartbreak and brutal battles. But I missed what I loved about the first book. I know this one had to be bc of how book 1 ended but I missed the banter and love of both main characters working together. I’m so sick of Draki!! The ending had me wanting to scream… Holding out for book three in hopes that Lira and Reyker finally get their HEA.
Profile Image for Renée Gendron.
Author 17 books73 followers
November 5, 2021
This book had all the right ingredients: a romance in which the lovers were kept apart, a second suitor with strong abilities, an interesting magic system, a dragon, and gods.

It seems to me the ingredients weren't in the right proportions. I'm not sure how to correctly explain it... the FMC came across as having too strong of internals. The prose was passable. There were many moments that lacked tension. The dynamics between the FMC and her out-of-reach love were strong and could have carried more of the story.

The dynamics between the FMC and dragon were interesting, but often not fully fleshed out.

The descriptions of the magic system were very interesting, but seemed disconnected from the rest of the story.

It was okay.
Profile Image for Melissa Mitchell.
Author 10 books217 followers
September 3, 2020
(4.5/5⭐️) “I dropped into his soul, light as a petal, steady as a root. His essence was a mosaic: loves and losses, victories and sins, memories, thoughts—everything that made him who he was. I drew it toward me, calling his soul as if it was a creature, and it bowed to me, its mistress. His soul was mine to control. I commanded it to shatter.”

What an absolute transformation our hero takes from the woman she is in book one, to now. Lira has lost everything, including Reyker. She watched her home burn and her family slaughtered at the hands of the Beasts of the Frozen sun. She wants vengence. Filled with the essence of the Fallen Gods, she embarks on a quest into enemy territory, to the frozen mountain of fire. But the Dragon is waiting for her, and no matter how hard she fights, he is always one step ahead. He is determined to claim her, to take her as his consort, and she must give everything to resist him. Reyker is fighting too, living under the false belief that Lira is dead. Only their love has the power to bring them back together. Even that might not be enough.

Wow! What a wild ride! The amount of suspense Jill Criswell employed by flipping between Lira and Reyker kept me turning pages at an insane speed. The story was FAR from predictable, so I was constantly trying to chart a path through the plot each time I set it down, ever unsatisfied by my own theories, which drove me to pick it right back up again.

Jill’s writing paints a portrait of a Viking inspired society that is both beautiful and brutal. I love the realism she brings to the pages. These warriors are deadly and flawed. Most of the characters are morally gray. Yet, the depth to which she has constructed them is outstanding. Case in point: I found myself relating to the Dragon in more than one instance. I still hate him, but I hope there might be some redemption for him in the third book. This is just an example of Jill’s talent with his character.

“...just as desire and morality do not exist on the same plane, neither does hate live alone in its castle.” (Spoken by the Dragon)

This quote really resonated with me. It was one of my favorite lines from Draki. He made a difficult but valid statement when he said this. I liked it.

Regarding the plot, Reyker and Lira are frequently crossing paths, but just a second too late. That frustrated me in a good way. I found myself practically yelling at them. No! Wait just a moment longer and you’ll see her! But they always barely missed each other. This technique kept me on the edge of my seat for the first half of the book. Then, when Lira comes to the Dragon’s lair, I was eager to learn more about her magic, and thrilled by the powers she developed.

“Just like that, I made my choice. Damn the god of death and his serpent-bitch sister. Damn the twisted monsters Veronis and his brethren had become. Whatever choices I made from here on would be to right the wrongs that had been done to the first gifted girl of Glasnith, a girl who’d been betrayed by her family and her gods just as I had, whose life and love were stolen from her as mine were. The woman my mother named me after.”

As a character, Lira’s growth is insane. She goes from a helpless woman stuck in her father’s clan, controlled by his decisions, to a woman who takes matters into her own hands. And there are times that she makes brutal decisions to kill. This is NOT this same woman we saw in Glasnith. I loved the changes. I loved the morally gray decisions she made. Her character thrilled me.

Reyker was...well, Reyker. He does the best he can, but when the battle sickness takes him, there’s not much he can do to stop it. He makes one questionable decision in the second half of the book that really challenges his morality. I liked that. No one is perfect, and he’s been thrust from one extreme circumstance to the next.

The love between Reyker and Lira endures. It drives each of them throughout the plot. I was sad that they got so little time together. But the moments were beautiful.

“These scars tell the story of our love. What we fought through and sacrificed to be together. If you erase them, you erase us.”

My only qualm with this story was the ending. I felt like after two books of hunting the dragon, there should have been more closure. Lira and Reyker are no closer to defeating him. If anything, their plight seems more hopeless than it did at the end of book one. I felt as if I was being dangled at the end of a string. The cliff hanger was great, but I’m mildly frustrated at this point. So I’ll have to trust Jill. Book three had better bring things to a resolution or I’m going to have trouble continuing after that. My patience will certainly run out. That being said, I can’t wait to see how Jill handles Lira’s character and the change we witness at the end of the second book.

I can’t wait for book three!

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Profile Image for Sara Zaninelli.
330 reviews27 followers
July 4, 2020
“A man is nothing without his morality. My father taught me that.”

Is it legal to end a book in such a shocking and heartbreaking way? I think it shouldn’t and I can bet the next book will be absolutely awesome. But let’s speak about this one. Lira and Reyker are sure the other is dead and for the greatest part of the story they are not together and I seriously missed their scenes. They are misled and deceived very easily in ways that sometimes annoyed me. They both have their missions to saver their own countries from Draki and find a way to be reunited, even in the afterlife. The story is really captivating and I adored how the lives of the gods are intertwined with the ones of the main characters, as in the first book. I found Draki to be a very interesting villain, we get to know him better and we can see his motivations. I mean, I still hate him but it must be difficult to be the undesired son, the less loved... this can make you do despicable things. The problem is that in many cases possession and devotion are confused with love, and only the ones who have been truly loved can see and feel the difference. Draki is sure that what Reyker and Lira feel make them weaker because they are vulnerable, but if you don’t have a reason to fight, a reason to be good, then what can prevent you from becoming a villain?
I’ve been able to ready a copy in advance thanks to Netgalley.
Profile Image for diana.
836 reviews118 followers
September 27, 2020
Review originally posted on My Bookish Escapades. Follow the blog tour!

“I love you.”
It was a whisper, a breath, caressing my skin like a breeze. The whisper became a kiss. I closed my eyes and leaned into it, into him, his chest pressing against my spine, his arms encircling me. His mouth started at my ear, wandering leisurely down my neck.
I sighed, my bones turning to liquid. “Do you think you’ll ever get tired of saying it?”
“Perhaps in a thousand years.”

What the mother eff. I cannot believe that just happened.

Oh my gods. Please, please stop hurting my loves. Reyker. Lira. Holy sh*t. These two went through so much. SO MUCH. I don't think I can survive the next book. I barely even survived this one. I honestly want to cry.

Jill Criswell, you're evil. And brilliant. And an amazing, amazing writer.

Kingdom of Ice and Bone was pure brilliance and action and everything you'd want in a sequel. I don't know what else to say. I just finished reading this and all I want to do now is to keep Reyker safe. Away from the bloodshed and deaths and Draki. Ugh, Draki. Seriously, what is wrong with this guy?!?

I don't know what book three has in store for us but I. Need. It. Now.

I received an ARC to read and review.
Profile Image for Alicia.
1,483 reviews62 followers
December 8, 2021
This is one of those trilogies where the MCs are tortured in every conceivable way before they finally get their happy ending. (Please tell me they get a HEA) I can just picture the author sitting and cackling with a maniacal laugh as everything falls apart. Everyone I like gets killed off (yes, I am exaggerating) but some of those hurt. Lots of adventures and new worlds to explore, and it ends on a killer cliff hanger. But this time I have book three!
Profile Image for Madison.
425 reviews5,122 followers
September 6, 2020
3.5 rounded up

"Nothing is gained by the dead envying the living, nor the living envying the dead."

*ARC provided by Blackstone Publishing*

This is the sequel to Beasts of the Frozen Sun, do not read ahead if you haven't read book one.

Profile Image for J.A. Ironside.
Author 57 books328 followers
October 7, 2021
Enjoyable second instalment in the series. I even liked this one a little better since the pacing was less gruelling. Mild irritation in the form of Lire and Ryker constantly being torn apart when they find each other again - and I'm not massively shipping here, but it is frustrating - perhaps the third instalment takes care of that? Dracche is a great villain - well rounded, plausible and terrible. And I'm enjoying the fact that Lire is being forced to confront the darkness in her own nature. While there's a distinct lean towards romance in this fantasy, it doesn't over power everything else, which I appreciate. Overall a good series so far.
Profile Image for Sam Glasbrenner (Sassyowlreads).
353 reviews41 followers
June 16, 2021
I didn't love this book quite as much as the first book but it was still great! The romance was heart-wrenching and the battles were brutal! My main complaint is not having enough of Reyker. I will definitely be reading the 3rd book when it comes out!

Thanks so much to Netgalley and the publisher for the e-arc!
Profile Image for Carina Rosas.
350 reviews2 followers
March 22, 2021
This was better than the first one!!!!!!!!!!!
I need book #3 :( now.

I can't wait to know what will happen.
Profile Image for Raven_Blake (dreamy addictions).
764 reviews222 followers
December 4, 2020
*I received an eARC from the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Kingdom of Frozen Sun is the second book in the Frozen Sun saga. This sequel was exciting yet frustrating as hell. The romance was heart wrenching. The author took star crossed lovers to another level. Nonetheless, I really had great time reading it. So many aspects were explained in depth in this sequel such as the characters backstories, the world, and the magic. So you'll not find much action, but you're still going to love it.

After the events in the first book, Lira and Reykar find themselves on the opposite sides. They're both unaware of each other still being alive and tries to mourn for their loss. Alongside her exiled brother and his band of refugees, Lira fights with the forces that conquered her island. On the other side, Reykar once again becomes the dragonman and he must feign loyalty to the warlord aka the draki. While fighting the battle madness, he tries to help Lira's people by joining with the renegade soldiers. When both of their paths collide, they desperately try to find a way back to each other.

Lira grows more mature and powerful in this book. Even though she's heart broken, she still stood strong and helped her people to fight against the Draki. Reykar is complex, and very intriguing. Even after getting captured by the dragon. He's not given up hope and tries his best to defeat his brother. The character development of both of these characters were well done. The romance was emotional and heart wrenching. There're so many obstacles between the main characters. The ending left me sad. Draki was an interesting addition to the plot. He's kind of a morally grey type of character and an interesting villain. Even though he's a bit dark and twisted, I really enjoyed his backstory. The secondary characters were also pretty good.

The plot was engaging throughout! The pace was perfect, and things get pretty intense in the last part. FYI Lira and Reykar doesn't meet until the end of the book, and it killed me especially at the near miss scenes. There are so many surprising plot twists, and they kept me hooked till the end. The writing was pretty good. The story was shifted between Reykar and Lira's POV. The world building was amazing. The book was set in Iseneld, Reykar's hometown. I enjoyed the Icy landscape, the magic and the myth about the Fallen Gods.

Overall, It was a great read! Even though I was a little bit disappointed with the bittersweet ending, I can't wait to know how the story unfolds in the next book.
Profile Image for Luca the Jellyfish Queen.
401 reviews7 followers
December 9, 2021
Kingdom of Ice & Bone is the follow-up to Beasts of the Frozen Sun, which I liked way more than anticipated. Lira was a headstrong character, the worldbuilding was fascinating and the historical influence was one not used too often.

Unfortunately, Kingdom of Ice & Bone didn't work for me.
I don't usually need much to be happy about a book. The first one had a lot of it: gods being dicks, people getting murdered, magic, all that good stuff! And I really liked Lira and Reyker, even when I usually can't see the appeal in the "romances" that get forced in YA and NA novels. It's just a whole ass genre I do not care about.
The romance was still as strong in this one as it was in the first book, even when Lira and Reyker think the other's dead for a big part of the book.
Lira's powers get stronger and she turns into a very morally-grey character and I was here! for! it!
We also got to meet new characters (Alane, for example, who I adore and really hope gets to become the bamf I know she can be!)

What killed my joy was the politics.
I don't have the patience to deal with political intrigue and subtlety.
Action? Absolutely.
A few pages taking place in a royal court? Sure.
A book that's 80% of political intrigue? Absolutely not.

But, if you enjoy, say, And I Darken for example, this book might be the thing for you! Morally grey-ish characters, trauma, murdering, political intrigue, this book has it all! It just really didn't work for me!

@Blackstone and Netgalley: Thank you guys for this ARC!
Profile Image for Cait | GoodeyReads.
1,796 reviews255 followers
August 31, 2022


Wow, that one threw me through a loop. Goodness gracious. I still can’t believe that’s what happened and now I’m very concerned as to how this will all wrap up in the last book. I need answers. I need things to go a certain way! AH.

This was a pretty good middle book. Once again, loved the audio book. There was even more action and I loved seeing more of this world and where Reyker grew up. Getting more backstory on the Dragon and seeing an oddly humane side of him really layered his character. I love a good villain that has their own history to play into the plot.

My biggest issue was unfortunately how the romance. Reyker and Lira were good and set to find each other sooner rather than later, and instead, found each other after the halfway mark and only for a few chapters?! WHY. I hate when things are dragged out like that and they can’t actually work together. That was frustrating.

I love all of the Viking aspects and the writing is great. I find myself flying through the story because I adore these characters and feel connected to what is happening and wanting to know more. I’m excited to finish the third book soon!

Overall audience notes:
- YA Fantasy
- Language: very little
- Romance: kisses/make-outs to closed door
- Violence: physical altercations, magical attacks, murder, war themes
Profile Image for Savannah (forest_reader).
645 reviews41 followers
July 2, 2020
I was so excited to dive back into the Viking world with Lira and Reyker again. This book was one of my top-anticipated sequels this year! Before I go on, I have to warn you that this review may contain spoilers for the first book, Beasts of the Frozen Sun. Read at your own risk!

This book picks up where BOTFS left off: Lira and Reyker are separated, and they each think the other is dead. But they both have the same goal to defeat Draki and restore peace to their lands. Lira grows a lot in this book, especially with her magic, and I loved learning about a new land with new gods. There weren't as many fight scenes in this book; it was more of an exploration of Iseneld, magic from the gods, and the characters' goals. However, it still remained tense and entertaining throughout! There were a few things that bothered me , but Jill Criswell is a fantastic writer. I can't wait for the third and final book.

Writing Aesthetic/Style: 5
Plot/Movement: 4
Character Development: 4
Overall: 4

Thank you, Jill Criswell, for the review copy!
Profile Image for Ama.
128 reviews5 followers
June 16, 2021
***I received an uncorrected proof of this ebook from netgalley in exchange for an honest review***


I did not enjoy this volume as much as the first. It felt like a book-length interlude that could have easily been cut to a novella. The action-packed plot from book one was lacking here. There were action scenes, but there were SO many dream-sequence scenes cutting them up.

The main characters spent the majority of the book apart, only to have a momentary reunion that felt so pointless. I wanted to see more of their relationship development in this book, and there was almost none.

The interactions between Lira and the character she spent most of the book with made me feel extremely uncomfortable. That was the point of them, but I honestly just wanted to shower off the yuck. I did not like certain decisions Lira made towards the end of the book. I hate memory-erasure as a plot point, just as I hate rape as a plot point. Both violations of different types and, frankly, I am sick to death of reading about them.

I do plan on reading book 3, and I'm really hoping it will turn around my opinions of this trilogy as a whole.
Profile Image for Heather.
319 reviews290 followers
May 20, 2021
4 stars

What I Liked

An extremely well written fantasy with dynamic characters and an intricate plot. This series has depth to it and the world is very intriguing. The last 80% of this book really hooked me.

What I did not like

There are some lulls in the storyline, but overall this is building up to be a really great series.

In Conclusion
I enjoyed this book more than I enjoyed book 1 and I would recommend this series to fantasy lovers of all kinds.
Profile Image for Mary.
16 reviews
September 28, 2020
Rating: 3.5/5
Kingdom of Ice and Bone is the second installment in the Frozen Sun Saga and picks up right where we left off at the end of book one (Beasts of the Frozen Sun). I have tried to sit on this for a little while since finishing earlier today due to uncertainty about how I felt about this one. Overall, I did enjoy it, in some ways more than the first book and in some ways less.

What I Liked:
Draki: I personally enjoy getting a villain backstory and getting to see their other side/what made them who they are, so the Prologue and overall getting to spend more time with Draki, seeing his gentler side at times and his care towards both Lira and Reyker, were awesome for me. It might make me seem twisted and be an unpopular opinion, but I was actually rooting for Lira to develop affections for Draki, especially with where her character growth was headed.

Character Growth: I loved the character development in this book. Seeing Lira grow so strong, intelligent, independent, and powerful, and expanding on her magic powers was one of my favorite parts of this book. It was also nice to see Reyker spend less time imprisoned and getting beaten. In this book we get to see what a strong warrior he is, as well as his softer side through his compassion towards his people, the Daughters of Allira, and Quinlan.

Split Perspective: It was great spending more time in Reyker's perspective. It gave the plot more angst and depth.

Justice: I hated Madoc and all his trouble, and the scene where Lira gets her revenge is AMAZING!

World Building: As with the first book, I love this world and its mixed Scottish-Viking vibes. We got so much more expansion on what we learned from book one, getting to explore Iseneld and their Ice Gods/Goddesses. It was also nice to see Reyker in his homeland.

What I Didn't Like:
Pacing: First of all, this book for me was a bit slower than the first. While BOTFS was fast paced and action packed, I felt this book focuses more on character development and Iseneld world building/exploration. I'm not saying it was slow or bad by any means, just less going on than book one.

Quinlan: So I did like the storyline with Lira and Quinlan, and the reality of her not being able to fall in love with someone so easily while grieving her believed loss. I also enjoyed seeing more of their relationship - in the first book I did not believe Quinlan's emotions (show me, don't just tell me things) and in this book it was so perfectly clear how much Quinlan cares for Lira. It was sad when he died, but at the same time I didn't feel emotionally connected to this character enough when he died and I wish I did.

Missing Eachother: I personally am not a fan of the whole continuing to miss each other by seconds over and over, which dominated the first half or so of this book. I was reluctant and mildly intrigued by him getting there too late just as she jumps over the cliff, but after that I was often thinking, really? They didn't put that together? Lira is really told that someone saw Reyker at the battle at Selkie's Quay and she finds it easier to believe it was a ghost than that he was alive? And all those times in their dreams? And especially when Reyker finds the Daughters of Allira and they are awoken by skoldor - who else would have known to do that but Lira?

Ending: Similarly, I'm not a fan of the whole forgetting memories thing. I get that it is supposed to create the sense of hopelessness for the reader, leaving us wondering how our heroes could possibly win and find each other's love again, as well as create a yearning for the next book. I just personally do not like it.

Thank you to Favourite Pages Book Club, Blackstone Publishing, and Jill Criswell for an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Wendy VanDellon.
124 reviews11 followers
May 8, 2021
I received a free copy from Blackstone through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Picking up a few days after the first installment, both Lira and Reyker believe the other is dead, Reyker at the hands of mercenaries and Lira with her leap off the cliff in an effort to escape Draki. Both find themselves at a crossroads with threads of their destiny laid before them. However, without their other half, the two fight against these paths, aiming to chart their own way. As events in Glasnith unfold, both Reyker and Lira find themselves headed to Iseneld. But remember, Draki, the Dragon, is never far behind.

Jill Criswell expands on Beasts of the Frozen Sun by continuing the world building established in the first novel by allowing the reader to explore Stalwart Bay and eventually make their way with Reyker and Lira to Iseneld. And the land of Iseneld is not one to be trifled with as it seems to be built with the harsh, but beautiful, landscape of Iceland in mind, featuring everything from fields of flowers to harsh glaciers full of crevasses that can swallow an army whole. The settlements in Iseneld were no less fascinating as Fjullthorp, Dragon’s Lair, and Vaknavangur are explored along with the various peoples that live there. As the novel ends with various characters striking out toward The Haunted Isles, the world continues expanding in meaningful and important ways.

Kingdom of Ice and Bone also introduces several new characters, including Andrithur, Solvei, Brokk, Hilde, and several new Daughters of Aillira, most notably Alane, Keeva, and Bronagh. These characters help flesh out the cast of faces in Iseneld and allow the reader to feel as though they have entered another land. However, most of the focus remains on the main cast of Lira, Reyker, and Draki. As a reader, I particularly appreciated that Draki’s story is provided space in this novel. Draki was certainly a threat in Beasts of the Frozen Sun but a relatively unknown one, at least for the audience. In Kingdom of Ice and Bone, the reader is able to see what Draki means to those who serve him as well as the surrounding settlements in Iseneld. Despite a more in-depth view of Draki, the fact that he is a villain is never far, for the manipulative nature of Draki is front and center as he continues to move people around as if they are pieces on a gameboard.

And it wouldn’t be fair to discuss Kingdom of Ice and Bone without mentioning the bond that Lira and Reyker share. Beasts of the Frozen Sun set up a romantic partnership that was easy to root for. It was clear from the start of Kingdom of Ice and Bone that this would remain true. Criswell uses the plot beautifully to act as an authorial fate who continually puts Lira and Reyker in the same physical space without the characters realizing that their other half is still alive. As a reader, I know this is what kept me flipping pages long into the night since I kept hoping they would see one another or that a character they had both interacted with would drop their names so that they would recognize the truth. And while young adult novels often focus too much on the romance aspect, the love story here feels earned, particularly since Kingdom of Ice and Bone really leans into action and adventure with another hardship right around the corner. This novel was definitely darker, particularly with the choices made by Lira and Reyker at the conclusion of the novel.

As a whole, this was brilliant, heartbreaking, and all around amazing, even with the bleaker turn for both the characters and plot. Will I be tuning in for the final installment in the trilogy? I sure will!
Profile Image for Raji.
678 reviews41 followers
September 18, 2020
Find this review and more on my blog at Worlds Unlike Our Own .

3.5 stars
Thank you to the publisher, Blackstone Publishing, and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Lira and Reyker are separated, each believing the other to be dead. But they are determined to complete their missions: to defeat Draki and save their homelands. Reyker could not save Lira, but he is determined to honour her memory by protecting her people by doing the one thing he never thought he’d do – return to being a Dragonman. Lira on the other hand, takes a different path. Imbued with the power of the Fallen Gods, she accepts the chance they offer her to take down Draki and sets off on a journey that takes her to Iseneld. Though they don’t know it, Lira and Reyker’s paths are destined to cross once more, but the cost of defeating Draki will be higher than either of them have imagined.

I really like that the mythology of this world continues to play such a large part in this story because honestly, that was the more interesting part for me. Much of this book takes place in Reyker’s homeland, Iseneld and it was nice to get a glimpse into the country, its people and their ways. There weren’t as many action scenes in this book and much of it was centred around the magic of the Fallen Gods, their goals to free themselves from their imprisonment. Lira’s experiences combined with the magic from the Fallen Gods has changed her a lot, and this is evident in her character growth which was very well done. Reyker on the other hand, while as central to the plot, just felt pushed to the background in contrast, because all the interesting stuff was happening in Lira’s arc.

While the pacing and presentation is much better than the first book, it would have been nice to see more of Lira and Reyker than the number of near misses they kept having, not knowing that the other is so close, or indeed, even alive. I actually missed their scenes, considering how interesting their dynamic has been so far. Considering the number of dreams Lira keeps having though, I thought she should have figured it out much earlier. Draki’s backstory was an unexpected addition, but it makes him a very interesting villain, now that we know his motivations. A villain with depth is a pretty rare thing and makes the story that much better.

The ending kind of ruined things for me though. Memory loss is a trope I’m not too fond of. As I said with the ending of the first book, hopefully this is resolved quickly in the story going forward, as I find it to be rather frustrating, but I can’t really complain about a cliffhanger. I think the author did a good job of avoiding the second book syndrome and kept the story interesting. This was a definite improvement on book one and I’m looking forward to reading the finale in this series.
Profile Image for Rawanaat.
195 reviews21 followers
October 19, 2020
My mind is all over the place now that I actually finished this so I need to get some points down. This saga is definitely improving. The first book was good but as it usually happens with the openers of any series I’m so often confused. Specifically, when it’s introducing gods, clans and the general world building. There was also a bit of a stagnant period in the first book where things just kept going back and forth between Lira and Reyker not knowing what their roles are. I mean I read through that and I know the ending was good but that is exactly why it cost it 1 star from the rating. THIS book however was so wholesome and there was much to comment about:

• Characters: God, Lira and Reyker really pulled through in this one. They were each solidifying their roles in this war against Draki and just testing their limits. Yes, it helped that their time apart facilitated their development as powerful protagonists. No, it was so damn agonizing how they each thought the other was dead. But seriously, I rarely find the female leads to be likable in the recent years I’ve been reading fantasy. I can really handpick only one or two that struck me as anything other than the usual cliché heroine that can do it all – but, Lira here, had so much dynamic and the way she voiced her conflicts and the difficult decisions was refreshing that I enjoyed her chapters. Reyker too, in the first book we repeatedly saw him from Lira’s perspective until mid book. The fact he had more to share of his journey here was quite welcomed. Even both of them and their twisted relationship with Draki. Oh god do I hate him, but also like him like you just can’t choose with the Dragon.

• Plot: it was good. Simply? I can see a big picture, I can see the sides of the war and I can appreciate the consequences which always helps when you want to engage in the story. Because often you find these books with goals that don’t seem half as convincing and I’m like whhyyy am I even reading this? So this is only making me look forward to the next one even more and boy are the stakes high. I haven’t been this excited for more than one series in a year in a long time!

• Extra: again would like to point out that I really like the Gods in this story. Half way through I had this sense of comparing them to Greek and Roman mythology where there’s an equivalent god in each but like that aside I like the stories of the Forbidden Scriptures in general and the Ice Gods too like what a nice touch that gives an otherworldly sense of magic to the wars and battles of man.

*big breath in * yeah so I had A LOT to say about this because I feel like I didn’t do the first book a decent review when it deserved it. Good series. Good story. I need more. I can’t wait
Profile Image for Amanda.
571 reviews17 followers
January 21, 2021
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing a copy for review.

Let's start with the things I enjoyed. I really liked that we got to see more of the world, especially the land of the Frozen Sun. There has been a lot of talk about this land so it was nice to spend some time there. We got to see more of the gods in this one as well. With more of the gods came a better understanding of the magic Lira wields, as well as the Dragon's magic.

Here are some thoughts that I had throughout reading this:
"Ok, so that was painful"
"Gah! Maybe they'll catch each other next time."
"REALLY?!?! Again??!"
"OMG y'all are blind"
"That was even more painful!"

Seriously though, the amount of turmoil in this book is just unreal. Lira and Reyker spend the entire book, minus maybe 10 pages, just circling each other and assuming the other is dead. At one point they are in the same town, and same battle and STILL miss each other. Then things happen, and we end up in the land of the Frozen Sun, home to Reyker and the Dragon. As you can guess from the above reactions, more tension and painful things happen. Then the end comes and you're just praying for a glimmer, just a SLIVER OF you get it? No you do not! The ending takes your bruised and battered heart and just rips it clean to shreds! I would have thrown this across the room, but it's an ebook on my I was left screaming at everyone. I'm also afraid there may be a love triangle (or square) on the horizon. Normally.even with emotional pain, I would probably rate this highly, however this honestly felt almost excessive. There could have been plenty of tension even with Reyker and Lira being somewhat together. I am conflicted. 3.5 maybe??
Profile Image for Becca Mee.
906 reviews26 followers
October 15, 2020
Kingdom of Ice and Bone was a truly fantastic sequel to Beasts of the Frozen Sun. Lira and Reyker both struggle to survive as the Dragon conquers Glasnith. Thinking each other dead, Reyker searches for a way to stop his brother, while Lira tries to stay out of Draki's grasp and do as the gods bid her. Both of their journies take them to the icy land of Iseneld, and both Reyker and Lira find themselves in the crosshairs of plots between gods and men, and to survive, both Lira and Reyker may have to make sacrifices higher than they wish to pay.
I forgot how great this series was. From the first page, Criswell pulls the reader back into this world, reminding us of the stakes and making us invested in these characters individual journeys. I loved loved loved seeing more of the dynamic between Lira and Draki. I love a good anti-hero anti-romance as it will. The two of them spending so much time together, albeit forced on Lira's part, really brought out Draki's human side, and who doesn't love a villian that brings out a hero's dark side. Their dynamic is twisted, sexy and alluring as darkness is. Draki, Lira and Ryker are all multi-dimensional characters, and I absolutely love it. I also adored how dark this book got as it gets going. It certainly puts all my favorite characters in interesting spots for the next book, and I need more! Kingdom of Ice and Bone is a story about the lengths we go for love, power and family, and the things we're willing to do or sacrifice to preserve them.
Profile Image for Monica.
613 reviews111 followers
October 29, 2021
Initial Thoughts
I was excited to dive into this book. I actually waited a while to read it because I wanted to have the third book in hand when I read (in case of a cliffhanger).

Some Things I Liked
Alternating POVs. Lira and Rekkar are not together for a large portion of the story so their different POVs made the world feel that much bigger. I loved that they each told parts of the same story and often didn't realize then their storylines were converging.
Romance. I also really loved the way the romance developed in this story. Lira and Rekkar knew they were in love but they also had things to do. Their love fueled them on their respective journeys but I loved their scenes when they were together.

One Thing I Wasn't Crazy About
The writing is heavy with names and terminology that made it a tiny bit hard for me to keep up with. The world building is quite dense and for a sequel, I felt like I still don't fully understand everything. I guess my criticism is that the world it a bit too dense.

Series Value
I'd definitely keep reading. But, I can't say how soon. I do want to find out what happens but this isn't a "drop everything to read more" series for me. I could easily not pick up book 3 for a while and be ok.

Final Thoughts
This book wasn't as good as the first in this series but I have high hopes for the third book. I will keep reading and I'd definitely read more from this author.

Profile Image for Olivia.
3,141 reviews80 followers
September 14, 2020
KINGDOM OF ICE AND BONE picks up where the first book left off. Lira and Reyker are separated and each believes the other to be dead. Their grief is palpable as they fight the monstrous gods in their lives. Lira was saved by the Fallen Ones, and she is beholden to their desires to be free- a task that seems impossible. Her powers have become unpredictable and she is unsure of so many things in her life, except her desire for freedom and to see Reyker again.

Reyker is back with his brother, Draki, the Dragon, who is a conqueror with magic that he uses for evil. Reyker is disgusted with him, but he recognizes him as family, resulting in an internal struggle as he watched Draki torture others and play with their minds.

This book is ultimately a book of battles and gets pretty dark sometimes. I really enjoyed getting deeper into some of the characters, the mythology of this interesting world, and the conflicts and internal struggles that appear throughout. The pacing is a bit slower at first but definitely picks up throughout the book as we get into the groove of the characters and this world, becoming quite engaging until the shocking conclusion.

I would definitely recommend this series for people who enjoy darker YA fantasies, such as FIND ME THEIR BONES and WICKED SAINTS. Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Zoe L..
390 reviews14 followers
September 23, 2020
Even though this is the second book in the series it didn’t leave out the action! Starting off where the first book ends we’re tossed right back into the thrill of everything going on. And as always, it’s still a brutal world in these pages. So, be prepared and grab yourself a bunch of caffeine because you won’t want to put this one down!

I love how different and unique this world is. And even when we get backstories and world building the adventure continues to build. And the characters! Phew! I love me some morally grey characters and we have plenty in this story! Even the bad guy has me going, wellllllll, I mean *shrugs*. So be prepared for some more darker themes and all the fun that goes along with that!

So, be prepared for this book. If you’re just as invested in these characters as I am you just need to be ready. And that’s all I’m going to say on that. But wow, I kind of need the next book ASAP but you know, I GUESS I’ll wait. It’s fine. Everything’s fine.

You can view my full review & giveaway on my blog! I also post about a lot of different types of books!

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@ya.its.lit -
Blog -
152 reviews
September 25, 2020
I went back and forth a lot about what to rate it. Ultimately, the fact that Lira does what she does at the end to Reyker which entirely alters his character, the constant showing of Draki always knowing/anticipating what Lira does isn't that realistic to me, Draki is not a villain I can sympathies with at all even though I think that's what the author tried to do, and that it's constant back and forth for Lira and Reyker's relationship between angst and love started to drive me crazy by the end. I feel like the author, Lira, and Reykey didn't evolve or.frow.mich in the book at all. Parts of the story even reminded me of other YA books, as if the author borrowed plot ideas haphazard7from other books. What did I like? Reyker. And I have hope for what the next book will bring for Reyker and Lira. I loved seeing Iseneld. I found the characterizing and fleshing out of the Daughters of Aillira very interesting too. The Gods and the magic system intrigue me. I recommend this book, but mostly because it's most likely necessary to understand the third book.
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