In my attempt to read more middle-grade novels, Prisoner of Ice and Snow caught my attention as the perfect read. It’s a mix between Frozen, Prison Break and Six of Crows, and since I love the first two (I haven’t read Six of Crows), I was excited to give this book a go.
In a thrilling fantasy that’s equal parts Prison Break and Frozen, Valor attempts the impossible—breaking her sister out of prison.
When Valor is arrested, she couldn’t be happier. Demidova’s prison for criminal children is exactly where she wants to be. Valor’s sister Sasha is already serving a life sentence for stealing from the royal family and Valor is going to help her escape . . . from the inside.
Never mind that no one has escaped in three hundred years. Valor has a plan and resources most could only dream about. But she didn’t count on having to outsmart both the guards and her fellow prisoners. If Valor’s plan is to succeed, she’ll need to make unlikely allies. And if the plan fails, she and Sasha could end up with fates worse than prison.
Ok, I absolutely devoured this book. At first, I didn’t think that I would like it because of the characters being so young, but then I reminded myself that this WAS a middle-grade book so I had to expect the characters to be younger than what I’m normally used to. I loved how the book instantly threw us into the action with Valor planning to ‘shoot’ the Prince.
*MINOR SPOILER IN NEXT PARAGRAPH*
I was expecting a lot of issues to be wrapped in bubble wrap because of it
being a middle-grade novel, so I surprised to see a lot of things that were dark make it into a middle-grade book. There’s an upsetting scene when Valor is cased in ice as a punishment and I found it absolutely horrible to read and really upsetting as being cold is something that I hate! But the dark twists and turns that happened throughout the book are the things that made it stand out from other middle-grade novels that I have read.
There was a huge range of likeable characters and I felt that all of the characters had so much depth to them and were written in a way that all of them seemed like main characters as each character had a major part to play in the story. There are still a lot of questions about the characters that I would love answers to, and hopefully, we get these answers in the second book: Seeker of the Crown (I don’t know when it’s coming out). Whilst I was reading the ending, I didn’t know that there was a sequel, but the ending was definitely hinting at one at the time and I’m glad that there is because I loved the characters and the whole world. I have read that this book is set in a Russian-inspired world? But, I cannot say for certain as I didn’t notice anything like that as I was reading the novel.
However, there was a slight problem with this book, which is why it got four stars instead of five: the ending. It seemed rushed compared to the rest of the book. The entire book was well thought-out and had loads of development but then in the last few chapters, it seemed as if things were just thrown in randomly and just seemed really rushed. BUT, we have a sequel so everything is all good!
I also loved that nearly every position of power and authority throughout the book was held by a female and were both good characters and evil ones. It was just amazing to see so many strong women in a middle-grade novel and I think that some of the characters can be amazing role models to the young children who read this book in the future.
Also, I can’t write this review and not mention the amazing sisterly relationship in this book. I loved Valor and Sasha and their love for each other. It was so strong and prominent throughout the book and I can’t wait to read more about them and their family in the second book.
Overall, this book was a very enjoyable read. I loved the characters, I loved the premise of the book, I loved the relationships and I LOVE THAT WE’RE GETTING A SEQUEL BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY UNANSWERED QUESTIONS! I definitely recommend this book if you’re looking for an inspiring, dark, thrilling book that is also a quick read!
Warning: contains a handful of scenes that may be upsetting to younger children. I recommend this book for ages 11+
Disclaimer: this book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review