Ice Forged by Gail Z. Martin
Book Description: Condemned as a murderer for killing the man who dishonored his sister, Blaine “Mick” McFadden has spent the last six years in Velant, a penal colony in the frigid northern wastelands. Harsh military discipline and the oppressive magic keep a fragile peace as colonists struggle against a hostile environment. But the supply ships from Dondareth have stopped coming, boding ill for the kingdom that banished the colonists.
Now, as the world’s magic runs wild, McFadden and the people of Velant must fight to survive and decide their fate …
My Review: The next book in the series doesn’t come out until April. April. That’s five months. Five whole months. There is no way I’m going to be able to wait that long.
After killing his father Blaine McFadden is sent to Edgeland, a prison so far north that it’s night for months at a time. He had a very good reason for killing his father but Blaine didn’t offer any excuses when he was hauled before the king. Blaine, who changes his name to Mick, spends years working in the ruby mines and on the fishing ships. When he earns his ticket he sets up a homestead with friends that become family.
The supply ships from Dondareth stop coming due to war which puts a strain on the entire prison system. War is the beginning of the end though. Soon the magic is gone and things go from bad to worse. Dondareth and the other kingdoms fall. It becomes a very different world. Mick and his friends become caught up in an effort to restore the magic. The problem is that people are trying to stop them. Vampires to be exact. Magic was something that helped keep the vampires in check. Now the only magic left is wild, dangerous magic that is unpredictable and destructive, reeking havoc on the countryside. It turns out that Mick is the only one that can save the magic.
I love adventure books and this one doesn’t disappoint. The characters are completely well rounded. This is an epic adventure so you have the time to get to know the characters. It was also great to have so many characters share the journey. The book starts out following two separate characters and it was interesting how the two stories merged and then parted again.
The relationships between the characters are well done too. You get the feeling that no one person is the glue. These people would be together no matter what. They were all convicted of terrible crimes, some falsely, but they are good people who are loyal to their friends. There is never a question that his friends are going to go back to Dondareth with Mick to help him fix the magic. In fact none of them have any reason to ever go back to Dondareth. Even Mick who thinks his family is better off without him.
This book has it all. There are vampires, fires that decimate kingdoms, shipwrecks, and marauding warlords. There is also a great mystery. Mick isn’t quite sure how he’s supposed to go about getting the magic back. He has ancient maps and stone disks with holes in them. What else could anyone want in a book? This one makes my list of the best books that I’ve read this year. I’m reading The Summoner next.
Original Background Image: Ice by Any Bay from PublicDomainPictures.net