Shadow and Ice by Gena Showalter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The following ratings are out of 5:
World building: 🌏🌍🌎🌏
Character development: 🤓🙂😎😕
The Hero: Knox (a.k.a. Loki) – he comes from a world of immortals. Actually there are many other worlds with immortals and since they don’t easily die, overpopulation is a problem. As a means to combat that problem each of the Kings from different worlds send their best fighters to fight to the death in the All War when a new planet is found. Each king has to send children to the council to eventually become enforcers and how many children are sent depends on when their fighter is taken out. The winner doesn’t have to send any.
The Story: Knox is a slave to his king and has fought in and won 4 All Wars on different worlds. His King promised that if he wins 5 of them, he will be set free. Knox wants to be set free and kill the king. He is fighting in his 5th on Terra (circa 760 A.D.) and plans to win. There are a lot of rules in the All War and ways for the kings and council to keep the warriors in line, including spelled tattoo ink and other things. When a viking man killed one of the combatants in the All War, he turned immortal and gained use of the immortal’s weapon. All the other combatants were within the circle and the Viking caught them unaware and froze all of them.
The heroine: Vale – she is a native of Terra (Earth). She grew up in foster care going from place to place until she finally was placed with a good woman. She is smart and courageous and doesn’t take any gruff from anyone, she also has synesthesia. Vale plans to open a business with her foster sister Magnolia (Nola lee), but they wanted one last hurrah before settling down, so they went on a vacation to Sweden, but went with a cheap travel service and ended up lost in the arctic circle after their guide disappeared.
The book was told in dual points of view via dual narration. Melissa Moran and Leo Barnabas did the narration. Leo Barnabus is a very good narrator, though I like a deeper voice for a 6’6” musclebound warrior. Melissa Moran has a clear feminine voice which is very pleasing and matched Vale perfectly. I enjoyed both narrators.
The story was very detailed and both Knox and Vale had backgrounds that made them wary of a relationship. They were attracted to each other from the beginning, but I must say I just wasn’t really feeling the chemistry for some reason. The story and the world were a bit too complex or maybe they weren’t explained well enough and the details were a bit disorganized. Overall the story was ok, but I thought it would be better based on the blurb.
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