Of Ice & Air follows the exploits of Kailani, a strong willed princess determined to prove that she should be treated as the competent adult that she knows she is. Her family sees her as naïve and not ready to face the violence and evil that surrounds her sheltered life.
On her twenty-first birthday she learns that her long lost mother, Garalia, may have been kidnapped and taken to a lawless realm. Kailani swears to find out what happened to her mother and bring her home if she lives, in spite of the forewarnings of her elders. For the most part this is a quest, but there’s also court intrigue and mystery.
Carlie Cullen has created an interesting fantasy world, worlds actually, populated by some intriguing creatures. I was reminded of the classic Brothers Grimm stories in some respects. I liked that the creatures, domesticated and wild, were uniquely hers. She has a fertile imagination.
I found the pace good for the most part and there was plenty of action. Cullen does a good job with her battle scenes and I had no trouble understanding the action. However, I found the brutality of Garalia’s rape, while well written, off-putting and surprising for a novel of this kind.
This is not a Young Adult book in my opinion.
I mostly read science fiction and thriller genres with an epic fantasy thrown in now and then. Cullen’s story is quite different for me and I found it difficult to relate to her characters—I suspect that the lack of an X chromosome may have something to do with it. I’ve given it three stars, not as a negative, but to indicate that for me, it wasn’t my cup of tea, but wasn’t a waste of my time either.