**This book was courtesy of Xpresso Tours
The Ice Queen by Rebecca Bauer is a quick-paced kingdom conqueror with hefty injections of wit and humour.
Aria is a courtesan-in-training in Tower of the Moon, fast approaching her eighteenth birthday, when the ‘privilege’ of deflowering her will be auctioned off to the highest bidder. To her surprise, it is a young guard, Weston, who wins, and there’s more to him that he’s ever let on. Due to his brother’s death, Weston has come into his inheritance- as Crown Prince of the Forest Realm. Transient love, and a strong desire to aggravate his father, lead Weston to purchases Aria outright, intending to take her home with him.
But Weston isn’t the only one with a secret. When they are stopped at the mountain pass through the Ice Realm that leads to Weston’s home, Aria reveals that she is the missing Princess of the the ice Realm, sold as a child when her murderous brother stole the throne. The pass guards happen to be rebels against the usurper king, and with Ari’a’s presence, they are ready for open rebellion. The Ice Queen cometh!
I loved the wit and humour Bauer has injected into her writing.
Ex: Aria flashed him a quick grin- he returned it sarcastically. It made the reading so much fun! I felt the characters deepened thanks to the humorous interactions. Both Aria and Casimir are full of so much sass. The system of magick was detailed and consistent. This is a world I would love to visit. Just, maybe, not during war!
I did feel that time seemed to pass unnaturally fast for battles and travel, making it seem like mere days for something weeks to months in the doing. There was the occasional indication that longer stretches of time had passed, but for the most part it felt rushed. This is especially true for me regarding Valtteri teaching Aria swordplay. Even with the assumed innate talent of the old blood Ice Queens, it would still take weeks of practise. I would also offer a warning for mild sex scenes and language. Doesn’t bother me, but a book that might otherwise be suitable for younger readers becomes rather not so.
???? Recommended for those who enjoy sword and sorcery fantasy, and sassy characters.