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Full review at Whispers Wonder The wolf must be kindhearted, and the deer must be brave.In a world where warring gods manipulate humankind to carry out their wills, magic and mysticism cloak the land and sea, and clans battle for primacy, a spark of passion, and tears of treachery carried upon the wings of time descend through the ages A girl in the clutches of a monster hidden beneath the skin of a man a boy with eyes far older than his years a mark binding them together forever The boy, now a man, is left broken upon faraway shores after a deadly attack at sea, healed and protected by a woman with familiar violet hair and grass green eyes He is just a beast in the eyes of her people, and an omen of ill fortune that will bring the wrath of both the Dragonmen and the true gods upon them Each has always been the other s fate, but the monster has other plans The gods have other plans They must endure the onslaught, as enemies close in on all sides, to save her life, and his soul Beasts of the Frozen Sun is the first installment in the Frozen Sun Saga, and is an incredible Celtic and Norse inspired tale of forbidden, undying love, and transformation The saga of Lira and Reyker goes far beyond the realm of men and deep into the long lost and often misunderstood myths of those who came before Is this history repeating itself, or is divine intervention weaving the threads of their hearts and souls together It s a story that focuses on the corruption of power and battle of control, holding fast in the face of sorrow and suffering, and finding solace beyond the wall of the norm in the most unexpected places It s a beautifully stunning debut one I wished would never end.Criswell has brought to life a cast of magnificent characters, and although I usually discuss each individually, then explore their relationships, I feel as though I need to speak of Lira and Reyker as one Theirs is one of the most genuine, organic romances I ve ever read While Reyker battles the black river, Lira struggles to find her purpose and destination She calms his turbulent soul, and he bolsters her wavering resolve The two balance each other perfectly, each specifically crafted to fill the void in the other It s really a pleasure to watch their relationship slowly unravel as they explore each other in mind, body, and spirit In addition to our lovers, we re presented with several antagonists throughout, including Torin, Madoc, and of course, Draki, warlord of the Dragonmen Each so different, but when examined closely, so alike in many ways Touched by the gods, they ve all had a taste of power, a power which pushes them to seek domination Torin wants , Madoc wants what s due, and Draki wants Lira All are willing to go any lengths to gain what they seek And Reyker is willing to go any lengths to protect his love.This book gets quite dark and graphically violent, pulling you into a world being realistically torn at the seams by war and deception It has a very grimdark esque flavor hope seems to be an increasingly foreign notion as the characters are met with trials and tribulations at every turn Death and the afterlife are recurring concepts, playing crucial roles in the links between the past and present, and Criswell does not shy away from presenting the grisly details associated with either While I ve seen this labeled YA, I feel that classification ends with the main characters falling within the 17 18 year old age bracket Personally, I m a huge fan of dark fantasy, so this was a pleasant surprise If I had to give one bit of criticism, it would be to give these poor souls a break the instances of out of the frying pan into the fire began to feel a little too inevitable.Criswell s prose is striking, flowing exquisitely across the pages like a saga of old From start to finish, I was dazzled by the world she constructed around me, full of enchanting forests, hungry and violent seas, and charming villages veiling terrible secrets The pacing is perfect, slowing down when necessary, then speeding up to create such a sense of palpable urgency the pages were practically flying by The love emotional, the battles visceral, the mysteries awing After turning the final page, I m still finding it difficult to believe this is a debut, her craft is just superb.The gorgeous cover of this book initially caught my eye, and I m thrilled it aptly reflects the content within A world shrouded in darkness, enemies approaching from the horizon, and the light of love the only hope remaining, Beasts of the Frozen Sun leaves us at a cliffhanger, and I ve been left hungry for For lovers of myth and mystery, dark fantasy, and romance, this book is for you I m anxious and excited to see where Lira and Reyker are taken next I highly recommend.Note A huge thank you to Blackstone Publishing for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review. Title Beasts of the Frozen SunSeries The Frozen Sun Saga 1 Author Jill CriswellRelease date August 6, 2019Cliffhanger YesGenre YA fantasyYou wield the lost sword of the Frozen Sun A weapon of the Ice Gods in the hands of the Green Gods soul reader Tis a story poets will pen, a tale fit for the scriptures This book sounded right up my alley and I couldn t wait to get started on it A historical setting with clans, warriors, forbidden love, God gifted women with unique powers, and an epic battle for freedom Sounded like a grand adventure It started out very strong, and while I liked a lot of elements in the plot, from a technical standpoint there were some things that didn t add up One thing that did work in a big way was the forbidden romance, which ended up being my favorite thing about the book Lira lives in Glasnith, a community composed of many clans Her grandfather is the chieftan of clan Stone, and upon his death, it will pass on to another male in her family There is a lot of speculation who that will be, but as a female, Lira has two options Marry a highborn man of her father s choosing, or pledge herself to Aillira s Temple, a sanctuary where god gifted women could study and hone their abilities So though many women were clearly honored by their gods, the men failed to do so They were simply used for their own gain Lira in particular is used cruelly by her father for her gift of reading souls She s nothing than a tool for him to ascertain whether an accused is guilty or innocent, and she feels tremendous guilt for her part in condemning people to death Reyker is a savage marauder who has taken part in raids along the coast of Lira s land In the prologue you see the devastation he causes along with the other warriors fighting for the Dragon Right away you realize that he s there against his will, and there is a glimmer of good inside him It s just been suppressed under years of death and darkness and he no longer knows how to find his way out When he washes ashore after his ship is attacked by a sea creature, Lira recognizes him as the man who once helped her escape the Dragon Out of obligation she reluctantly takes him to a secluded place to nurse him back to health Theirs wasn t an instant friendship, there was naturally a lot of distrust and animosity on her part Knowing he was a Westlander, or what her people call a beast of the frozen sun, his kind is reviled by her clans Legends called them monsters birthed by leviathans, not even considered human As Drakon starts to infiltrate their land, pillaging with the intent to conquer, her clan is suddenly in need of a new chieftan This is where everything starts to implode The god they worship is summoned to choose a new leader, but with that choice, dissent and scheming runs rampant under the surface The whole foundation of the gods they worship could be crumbling under their feet You follow the Forbidden Scriptures You worship the Fallen Ones How do you know their version of the stories is true Were Aillira and Veronis heroes and Gwylor the villain, or was it the other way around Glasnith s only hope of protecting themselves is the man they call a Beast A man who knows about the enemy than anyone else and could help mobilize allies to come to their aid I loved that he was a bit of an anti hero I think he was developed really well, and the author did a very good job of showing him in a way that draws your empathy He s survived lots of tragedy, loss, and betrayal, and he was consumed with darkness because of it Lira is a conduit back to the light She digs through his layers and helps him to find the man he once was Their faith and loyalty to each other in the face of her people s hatred was heartwarming This was violent and bloody than I was expecting The villain is a pretty chilling guy whom you can t wait to see brought down As this is the first book in the series, of course we leave things at an unresolved place It s a pretty strong cliffhanger, so be warned Overall, there were a few things I loved, and some things that I felt could have used a better explanation or detail However, the plot was fairly original and kept me guessing, so I really appreciated that This was not a tame YA fantasy, so if you re looking for something a little grittier, this could be the book for you Book two in the saga is set to release sometime next year FOLLOW SMOKIN HOT BOOK BLOG ON ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review Meet the love child between Daughter of the Forest Juliet Marillier Sky in the Deep Adrienne Young D Beasts of the Frozen sun is a fantasy inspired in Celtic and Viking mythology We follow the journey of two enemies Lira, the daughter of a Chieftain in an Ireland inspired setting and Reyker, a warrior from a far distant, cold land from a clan known as Beasts of the Frozen Sun, inspired in Nordic Scandinavian setting The premise is enemies to lovers so if you enjoy that trope you ll certainly like this one It follows the struggle of war between two clans and also inserts supernatural deities that complicate the lives of the protagonists Lira is a Daughter of Aillira, women who possess certain magical abilities, while Reyker does not have magic but its connected to it through Lira They meet in unfortunate circumstances but they create a bond that develops from hate to trust and then finally attraction and love I enjoyed the character s development and I really liked Lira and Reyker s relationship It was slow burning, swoon worthy and filled with consent and respect I can t say much without being spoiler ish You might like this book if you enjoy star crossed lovers, angst and politics, war, fantasy, and romance TW Death, Abuse, Mention of rape. Blog Goodreads Twitter Instagram Pinterest Tumblr Bloglovin Read the full review and at Blame Chocolate A big thank you to Blackstone Publishing for the review copy This has not influenced my opinion in any way. When I started this book I couldn t stop reading There was always something going on, tons of action, plot twists, suspense, characters either being killed or under threat or running from something or towards something I could hardly catch my breath.The world building was amazing, solid, and gradually unfolded before my eyes The Celtic and Viking inspired mythology was also brilliantly incorporated without sounding clich , enriching the story even.The characters were another great part of this book genuine and human and relatable Even the villains were able to inspire fear within me and really feel for everyone s safety.If you adore family and particularly siblings dynamics, you ll love Lira and the rest of the Stones, as well as her sisterly devotion to her childhood best friend I wished we d been able to spend time with them, but there was a lot of pressing matters to attend to The romance was lovely but while it tortured me for the longest time and made me crave for it non stop, it didn t actually culminate in the most satisfying way, which was a bit disappointing However, that doesn t mean I didn t find them incredibly swoony and want to find out what happens in book two Overall, I absolutely recommend this It reminded me of my favourite Juliet Marillier novels which, if you haven t read yet, are totally missing out Book Beasts of the Frozen SunAuthor Jill CriswellSeries Frozen Sun Saga 1Cliffhanger YesPublication Date August 6, 2019Genre YA FantasyType Double POVRating 4.25 out of 5 Stars Complimentary copy generously provided by the author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.My Thoughts Story I immediately have to comment on how much I loved the bond that developed between Lira and Reyker I absolutely LOVE books about enemies coming together as a love interest and this definitely happened in this book.He as an enemy washes up on Lira s shore and she takes care of him this isn t insta love or even insta trust their relationship was slow building throughout the book which the author used a very real life development of these characters.And I have to add that even the secondary characters were enjoyable and written with depth and life.Reason for Reading Requested from NetGalleyStory 4 out of 5 StarsSteam 4 out of 5 StarsAngst 4.5 out of 5 StarsWriting 4 out of 5 StarsContent Flow 4 out of 5 StarsWould Read More from Author YesRecommend To Lovers of Fantasy with a believable romance 3.50 Jill Criswell undoubtedly nailed how Gods and Goddesses play with mortals on Beasts of the Frozen Sun This is a fantasy based off of Celtic mythology and if you re a fan of the Vikings show.This is a wonderful love story of Lira and Reyker who were doomed from the very beginning, as each belong in a different clanYou will chase what you cannot catch You will love what you cannot keep, You will kill what cannot dieCharacters Lira a god gifted soul reader and daughter of Torin Reyker a Westlander, Giants with hair like straw, eyes like water The beasts of the Frozen Sun. Torin a chosen clan Chieftain by God of Death, Gwylor Madoc Torin s brother and Sons of Stone Commander Draki a Westlander demigod, daughter of IdjaHowever, it missed some mark and the author failed to create a complex world for the characters I just want the characters to get away from the Island and go to Iseneld already There s definitely highs and lows in this book and I m hoping that some of my questions will be answered in the sequel And I cannot wait for Lira s character to develop like Lagertha s and be as fiercesome as she should be.Thank you Blackstone Publishing and NetGalley for providing me with this e arc to review. Like many people, that gorgeous cover draw me in pretty much immediately The premise of this book was very interesting and I was excited to find out if the inside was as good as the outside I ended up reading this book in two settings First, I read 42% and I really liked where the story was going and I thought this was going to be a 4 stars book But then some other shiny new books distracted me and I had to put down this one for a few days Unfortunately, I didn t enjoy the last 58% quite as much as the beginning I m not sure if it was my mood or just the book itself but I just didn t care about anything I couldn t care less about the romance or the story and I just wanted to skip some of it to get to the end It s a bit disappointing considering how much I enjoyed and really liked the first 42% The romance and the plot intrigued me and I was hooked when she found him on that beach I m sure lots of readers will enjoy this one even if for me this book will end up in the average category, which I tend to forget very easilyThank you for letting me read and review an ARC of this via Netgalley Oo such a pretty cover, there s no wonder it caught my attention This is set on an island not too dissimilar in many ways to ancient Britain and has what I can only describe as Vikings attacking with the usual murder, rape and pillaging going on but actually there s far to it than that We have Draki, a truly nasty villain who appears to be a demigod of some type and he s pitted against Lira who is also God touched in that she can quite literally read souls Her ability is both a blessing and a curse and it s quite intriguing the way the author leads her readers to second guess just what truly is Liras purpose and destiny.Now every story needs a hero so step forward Reyker He is an enemy and yet he is also this truly sweet man who battles to do the right thing The romance between them might not read as torrid but it does feel genuine and well timed There s a wealth of supporting characters too from old friends to family members who just might break Liras heart and as events unfolded at times this was anything but a pedantic run of the mill fantasy Atrocities occur, characters the reader could like die and through it all Lira and Reyker battle on Not perfect as I didn t really care for the made up language although I did think the author did a good job of showing how females were sadly undervalued as well as underrated These Gods are not kind though but selfish and pernicious and as this ends our couple are far from safe and happy but that s only going to make readers want to read.This voluntary take is of a copy I requested from NetGalley and my thoughts and comments are honest and I believe fair. 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, 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 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 monstrousbut 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 The world was incredibly intriguing.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 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 Action packed with high stakes and brutal fights and monstrous men and powerful women and meddling gods. ^Download Pdf ✘ Beasts of the Frozen Sun (Frozen Sun Saga, #1) ⇪ Burn Brightly Love Fiercely For All Else Is DustEvery 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 HandWhen 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 StartedAs 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