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"Propulsive and intricate, Greta Kelly has constructed a world of twisting politics and thrilling magic following a heroine who is both clever and uncompromising, but ultimately, has heart. A stellar read that I thoroughly enjoyed." -- Emily Duncan, New York Times bestselling author of Wicked Saints  A princess with a powerful and dangerous secret must find a way to save he "Propulsive and intricate, Greta Kelly has constructed a world of twisting politics and thrilling magic following a heroine who is both clever and uncompromising, but ultimately, has heart. A stellar read that I thoroughly enjoyed." -- Emily Duncan, New York Times bestselling author of Wicked Saints  A princess with a powerful and dangerous secret must find a way to save her country from ruthless invaders in this exciting debut fantasy, the first novel in a thrilling duology packed with heroism, treachery, magic, and war. Askia became heir to the Frozen Crown of Seravesh because of her devotion to her people. But her realm is facing a threat she cannot defeat by sheer will alone. The mad emperor of the Roven Empire has unleashed a horde of invading soldiers to enslave her lands. For months, her warriors have waged a valiant, stealth battle, yet they cannot stop the enemy’s advancement. Running out of time, she sets sail for sun-drenched Vishir, the neighboring land to the south, to seek help from its ruler, Emperor Armaan. A young woman raised in army camps, Askia is ill-equipped to navigate Vishir’s labyrinthine political games. Her every move sinks her deeper into court intrigues which bewilder and repel her, leaving her vulnerable not only to enemies gathering at Vishir's gates, but to those behind the palace walls.  And in this glittering court, where secrets are worth more than gold, Askia fears that one false step will expose her true nature. For Askia is a witch gifted with magical abilities—knowledge that could destroy not only her life but her people. As her adversaries draw closer, Askia is forced to make an impossible choice—and no matter what she decides, it may not be enough to prevent Seravesh’s fall. 


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"Propulsive and intricate, Greta Kelly has constructed a world of twisting politics and thrilling magic following a heroine who is both clever and uncompromising, but ultimately, has heart. A stellar read that I thoroughly enjoyed." -- Emily Duncan, New York Times bestselling author of Wicked Saints  A princess with a powerful and dangerous secret must find a way to save he "Propulsive and intricate, Greta Kelly has constructed a world of twisting politics and thrilling magic following a heroine who is both clever and uncompromising, but ultimately, has heart. A stellar read that I thoroughly enjoyed." -- Emily Duncan, New York Times bestselling author of Wicked Saints  A princess with a powerful and dangerous secret must find a way to save her country from ruthless invaders in this exciting debut fantasy, the first novel in a thrilling duology packed with heroism, treachery, magic, and war. Askia became heir to the Frozen Crown of Seravesh because of her devotion to her people. But her realm is facing a threat she cannot defeat by sheer will alone. The mad emperor of the Roven Empire has unleashed a horde of invading soldiers to enslave her lands. For months, her warriors have waged a valiant, stealth battle, yet they cannot stop the enemy’s advancement. Running out of time, she sets sail for sun-drenched Vishir, the neighboring land to the south, to seek help from its ruler, Emperor Armaan. A young woman raised in army camps, Askia is ill-equipped to navigate Vishir’s labyrinthine political games. Her every move sinks her deeper into court intrigues which bewilder and repel her, leaving her vulnerable not only to enemies gathering at Vishir's gates, but to those behind the palace walls.  And in this glittering court, where secrets are worth more than gold, Askia fears that one false step will expose her true nature. For Askia is a witch gifted with magical abilities—knowledge that could destroy not only her life but her people. As her adversaries draw closer, Askia is forced to make an impossible choice—and no matter what she decides, it may not be enough to prevent Seravesh’s fall. 

30 review for The Frozen Crown

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    My thanks to Harper Voyager, Netgalley and Greta Kelly! Anyone who is not reading this book, should. It's a duology. Love! I do hate waiting around for 3 to 15 years! I was annoyed by how much I cared about "court life!" I like a mixture of fight, magic and courtly conniving. If I had ever thought that I was tired of Court...I wasn't! Then came the last 40 or so page's. Askia! Her husband and the first wife? Egads! I need the rest of this book now! I need to see some freak lose everything and 🔥bu My thanks to Harper Voyager, Netgalley and Greta Kelly! Anyone who is not reading this book, should. It's a duology. Love! I do hate waiting around for 3 to 15 years! I was annoyed by how much I cared about "court life!" I like a mixture of fight, magic and courtly conniving. If I had ever thought that I was tired of Court...I wasn't! Then came the last 40 or so page's. Askia! Her husband and the first wife? Egads! I need the rest of this book now! I need to see some freak lose everything and 🔥burn! In witchfire! I loved this story, and want more!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mogsy (MMOGC)

    4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2021/01/26/... Mark my words, we’ve got the hidden gem of the year right here, folks, and its name is The Frozen Crown! A fantasy debut by Greta Kelly, this book was utterly absorbing and took me by surprise in the best of ways. From the first word to the very last, I was riveted by the story, the characters, all the magic and the politics, and yes, even those little fine sparks of romance. Set in a world of rivaling empires, the rightf 4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2021/01/26/... Mark my words, we’ve got the hidden gem of the year right here, folks, and its name is The Frozen Crown! A fantasy debut by Greta Kelly, this book was utterly absorbing and took me by surprise in the best of ways. From the first word to the very last, I was riveted by the story, the characters, all the magic and the politics, and yes, even those little fine sparks of romance. Set in a world of rivaling empires, the rightful heir to a beleaguered realm must find a way to regain her throne and repel an invasion, but in order to succeed, she will need to raise herself a grand army. For many months now, the warrior princess Askia of Serevesh has been fighting a losing battle, and desperate times call for desperate measures. Taking along a small contingent of her most loyal guard, she travels south to Vishir in the hopes of securing aid from the emperor, who was a good friend to her late parents. Yet for all her skills with a blade, Askia finds herself no match for the convoluted southern customs and elaborate rules of the imperial court, and while she herself may have roots in Vishir, her enemies in the capital far outnumber her friends. Fortunately, our protagonist has a secret weapon—a rare kind of magic that might possibly gain her access to the mysterious Shadow Guild whose members could help unlock her true potential. With the empire still very much divided on the subject of witches though, Askia must tread carefully despite her willingness to risk everything to save her people. If playing the petty political games of the nobility will get her what she needs, then she will gladly do so, even if it means having to sacrifice her own hopes and dreams. Before I continue, I’ve noticed this novel being classified as Young Adult in several places even though its marketing doesn’t really support this, not to mention that Askia is also in her early 20s. That said, it’s understandable why some might categorize it that way, given a few of its shared elements with YA and the fact that it was such a breezy read. Still, the intricacies of the politics, the character motivations, the conflicts and the stakes at hand are clearly intended for more mature audiences, and at most, I would say this book straddles that ideal middle ground of giving readers the best of both worlds. Try to imagine a fantasy narrative that feels comfortable and familiar yet its finer details are often pieced together in a way that completely defies expectations, and that’s how I would describe The Frozen Crown. In other words, while I can give you the basic gist of the story, the reality is not so simple. Askia might be a princess looking for allies in her bid to take back her crown, but as the plot thickens, one might be surprised to find the line between friend and enemy to be thinner than a knife’s edge. This was a lesson I learned early with the big plot twist that was dropped on us at the beginning, the first of many more shockers to come. Later on, Kelly deftly weaves layer upon layer of intrigue and danger into each scene as her protagonist navigates the treacherous political landscape of Vishir. Along the way, she also manages to work in a wealth of historical information and context to explain the background of her world and characters without having to resort endless exposition. Everything we needed to know—and I won’t lie, it was quite a lot—was revealed organically and in sync with plot events while still leaving plenty of room for Askia to flex her diplomatic muscles and develop her relationships with the other characters. Heck, I even appreciated the light touch of romance which was just a minor aspect of the story, but my interest was piqued nonetheless. To tell the truth, I can find few faults with this book, which makes the fact that it is a debut even more amazing. I suppose if I had to nitpick though, perhaps the magical systems could have been better explained. We know, for instance, that there are various types of magic users categorized by the abilities they possess, and that these powers can range in terms of rarity and strength. The nature of Askia’s own magic is very specific, and I won’t spoil the details here, though I will say I’d wished for more clearly defined rules and explanations on how her powers worked. Another thing I would have liked to see was more of the world, though this was by no means a dealbreaker. Given the limitations presented by Askia’s point-of-view and the need for her to travel in certain circles to fulfill her goal, I didn’t expect the world-building to expand much beyond the narrow scope of Vishir aristocracy, though I certainly wouldn’t object if the next book showed us more either, so here’s hoping. Of course, there are so many more reasons to look forward to the sequel, not least of all the way The Frozen Crown ended, which was a cliffhanger to be sure—though thankfully not one that leaves you with questions unanswered, just a pumped up all-consuming need to find out what happens next! As the first half of a duology, it certainly did its job of getting me hooked, delivering everything I could ever want in a character-focused fantasy. I can’t wait to get more. Audiobook Comments: A special shoutout to narrator Imani Jade Powers who made the story and characters extra powerful. Not only did she provide a great voice for Askia, masterfully bringing forth our protagonist’s spirited personality and clever disposition, her flawless sense of timing and smooth narration kept me on the edge of my seat. Highly recommended.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kristina (heartsfullofreads)

    The Frozen Crown is a really enjoyable adult fantasy debut. It's filled with so much delicious political intrigue. I seriously couldn't get enough. Princess Askia won me over easily. She is strong and determined but also flawed in a way that made her realistic as a character. The stakes in this story are very high and Askia is faced with many hard choices. I appreciated how believable it all was. The world building was very well done. I especially appreciated the own world mythology the author c The Frozen Crown is a really enjoyable adult fantasy debut. It's filled with so much delicious political intrigue. I seriously couldn't get enough. Princess Askia won me over easily. She is strong and determined but also flawed in a way that made her realistic as a character. The stakes in this story are very high and Askia is faced with many hard choices. I appreciated how believable it all was. The world building was very well done. I especially appreciated the own world mythology the author created. It was really interesting. Greta Kelly created a vast world and it was a little hard to keep track of all the names of characters and places in the beginning. However, I was able to catch on pretty quickly. I also really enjoyed the magic system. It's not overly complex, but there are definitely rules and consequences for using magic. The pacing was perfect. I was never bored while reading this book at any point. The ending left me dying for the next book! Be prepared for a cliffhanger. If you are looking for a fantasy with a ton of political intrigue, high stakes, and a dash of romance, definitely add this to your TBR. Highly recommend. Thank you to Netgalley, Avon Books, and Harper Voyager U.S. for providing me with a digital copy in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  4. 4 out of 5

    ❀ Alex ❀ (The Scribe Owl)

    See this review and more at my blog, The Scribe Owl! Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Voyager for a copy of this ARC in exchange for an honest review! 4.75/5 stars! This book blew me away! I really didn't expect much from it, but The Frozen Crown ran laps around my expectations. It was a beautifully intricate royal politics read that was far better than most I've read in the genre! In The Frozen Crown, we follow Askia, the heir to the Frozen Crown of Seravesh. Her nation is facing a threat she can See this review and more at my blog, The Scribe Owl! Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Voyager for a copy of this ARC in exchange for an honest review! 4.75/5 stars! This book blew me away! I really didn't expect much from it, but The Frozen Crown ran laps around my expectations. It was a beautifully intricate royal politics read that was far better than most I've read in the genre! In The Frozen Crown, we follow Askia, the heir to the Frozen Crown of Seravesh. Her nation is facing a threat she cannot defeat by sheer will alone. The mad emperor of the Roven Empire has unleashed a horde of invading soldiers to enslave her lands, no matter how hard she fights back. She is forced to go south and ask for aid from Emperor Armaan of Vishir. Askia is a willful, spirited woman, and has difficulty playing the political games of Vishir. As her adversaries draw closer from all sides, Askia is forced to make an impossible choice—and no matter what she decides, it may not be enough to prevent Seravesh’s fall. Lately, I've had a hard time finding a main character that I actually enjoy reading about. When reading about a character as stubborn as Askia, there is a thin line between "get 'em, girl!" and "help, my head hurts from banging it on this wall because of this stupidity" that authors cross way too often. Askia managed to stay on the good side of that line for the entire book! I never disliked her once. She was a strong, obstinate character that I rooted for the entire time! This may sound random, but she reminded me of Boudica, the strong and brave queen of the British Celtic Iceni tribe who led an uprising against the conquering forces of the Roman Empire in AD 60 or 61 I know that this book isn't YA, so sorry for bringing up YA tropes, but it redid a bunch of the horribly overdone YA tropes in a way that it was still interesting! There is...a love triangle? But it's not a love triangle in a traditional sense. Actually, all the relationships in this book weren't traditional. There's a mutual, though forbidden, love, that I actually enjoyed. It was probably because it was addressed as a fact, and Askia didn't spend all her time mooning over him. And the tension near the end? Chef's kiss worthy perfection. When reading a high fantasy book, if the world-building is terrible it brings down the book so much that the book is easily taken down a half or full star, at least in my book. And you'll be happy to know I didn't take any stars off for worldbuilding! Authors generally inspire places in books after real places in our world, so we had a very diverse world! There was a country that seemed eastern European, one that seemed like pre-industrialized England, and one that seemed middle eastern. It made for an interesting blend of cultures! I had to take a little off because I sometimes got confused with the names. I understand that in a political book like this, you need to know a lot of names. And the names were pretty different from each other! But there were so many of them that I just couldn't keep them straight! Again, this might just be a me thing, but I got pretty switched around. This book was amazing and so close to perfect! I'm so glad I got a copy. I am definitely interested in reading the sequel and I would recommend it for sure! I can't wait to see what this author does in the future! Just think, this is just her debut novel!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Renaissance Kate

    I would recommend this book for any YA Fantasy readers looking to venture into Adult Fantasy. More specifically, I would categorize The Frozen Crown as New Adult because it combines elements of both genres. It features a 21-year-old protagonist who tells her story in 1st person POV, but the content is more graphic in violence and sexual content than typical YA. As someone who typically doesn’t care much for political intrigue or copious amounts of court drama, I was a bit nervous going into this I would recommend this book for any YA Fantasy readers looking to venture into Adult Fantasy. More specifically, I would categorize The Frozen Crown as New Adult because it combines elements of both genres. It features a 21-year-old protagonist who tells her story in 1st person POV, but the content is more graphic in violence and sexual content than typical YA. As someone who typically doesn’t care much for political intrigue or copious amounts of court drama, I was a bit nervous going into this book. While there were some moments that felt slow to me, these didn’t last long and ultimately I was pleasantly surprised at just how invested I felt in Askia’s web of political games. The story is well-paced, and Askia’s character development was excellently handled as she learned to play the game, make allies, and manipulate those around her. As strong as she was, my heart broke for Askia as she constantly put saving her people over her own happiness. This book includes a wonderful and dynamic cast of side characters who had me feeling a wide range of emotions, from love to frustration to suspicion to outright loathing. I enjoyed getting to know them as Askia did and felt every betrayal or slight alongside her. I adored her dutiful guard Illya, her sweet lady’s maid Nariko, and the cunning Queen Ozura, among others. Even better, the plot twists start early in the book (I mean within the first 10%!), and they don’t stop coming until you’ve finished the final chapter. The magic system in this book is really fun, with enough limitations to make it believable yet plenty of mystery to keep it intriguing. Askia is still growing in her abilities and doesn’t quite understand the extent of her magic, so like everything else in the story we learn about her dark and powerful skills along with her. The other characters’ abilities aren’t explored quite as deeply, but I’m hoping the magic system will be expanded in book #2. Otherwise, the worldbuilding was just okay. Country and city names were thrown around in a semblance of worldbuilding, but aside from the need to remember the names of the two main kingdoms, the rest didn’t seem important. The same can be said of the world’s cultures; the characters’ clothing and customs varied at surface level, with southern characters being described as ambiguously “dark skinned”, which I didn’t know how to interpret. Also, the title “The Frozen Crown” didn’t really come into play other than the fact that it’s the crown Askia is hoping to win back. It didn’t really fit for me. All in all, I enjoyed the adult feel to this book and particularly liked the political intrigue more than I anticipated. After that cliffhanger ending, I’m looking forward to seeing how the next book unfolds!🤯. Thank you to Avon and Harper Voyager via Netgalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Caity

    I particularly enjoyed the magic system in this book. It does seem to have clearly defined rules and limits but the characters’ don’t fully know everything about all the different types of magic. This creates interesting situations and problems as they try to discover more information. They also have to contend with people within the court who are distrustful of magic users and even outright hate them compounding the need for secrecy. The court intrigue is also such a great part of this book. Th I particularly enjoyed the magic system in this book. It does seem to have clearly defined rules and limits but the characters’ don’t fully know everything about all the different types of magic. This creates interesting situations and problems as they try to discover more information. They also have to contend with people within the court who are distrustful of magic users and even outright hate them compounding the need for secrecy. The court intrigue is also such a great part of this book. There is some culture clash as Askia learns to navigate the rules and social norms of the court. It is wonderful to see how she not only finds ways to overcome this but also uses her outsider status to her advantage. Figuring out who will really help or harm her and her kingdom is a fascinating game with the highest stakes for both herself and her country. The characters in this intrigue are well done and all around I found the book to be well written and captivating. The ending left me wanting more and I am excited for the next book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Shelley

    *Source* Publisher *Genre* Fantasy *Rating* 4.0 *Thoughts* The Frozen Crown is the first installment in author Greta Kelly's Warrior Witch Duology. 21-year-old Princess Askia Poritskaya e-Nimri, rightful heir to the Frozen Crown of Seravesh, has spent months with Black Wolf Legion battling invading soldiers of the Rovan Empire. In order to save her country, she goes on a courageous quest south to Vishir to seek aid from Emperor Armaan. With little training in decorum and political games, Askia deals *Source* Publisher *Genre* Fantasy *Rating* 4.0 *Thoughts* The Frozen Crown is the first installment in author Greta Kelly's Warrior Witch Duology. 21-year-old Princess Askia Poritskaya e-Nimri, rightful heir to the Frozen Crown of Seravesh, has spent months with Black Wolf Legion battling invading soldiers of the Rovan Empire. In order to save her country, she goes on a courageous quest south to Vishir to seek aid from Emperor Armaan. With little training in decorum and political games, Askia deals with culture shock, patriarchal society, and enemies from past and present, and an enemy who will do anything to have her. *Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews* https://gizmosreviews.blogspot.com/20...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ida Maria

    While this book definitely doesn't re-invent the YA action packed fantasy genre, featuring bad-ass female leads struggling to overcome all the odds that never seem to be in their favour, with a little dash of romance, a sprinkle of magic and a great deal of kickin' ass along the way, I am not mad about it. Because this shit just works, people- at least for me. I have yet to wake up and tire from these plot lines and I can appreciate it when it is well done. Kinda like chocolate cake. Many recipe While this book definitely doesn't re-invent the YA action packed fantasy genre, featuring bad-ass female leads struggling to overcome all the odds that never seem to be in their favour, with a little dash of romance, a sprinkle of magic and a great deal of kickin' ass along the way, I am not mad about it. Because this shit just works, people- at least for me. I have yet to wake up and tire from these plot lines and I can appreciate it when it is well done. Kinda like chocolate cake. Many recipes- one result in all the ways in which it counts. Still freakin' good in my world. But now onto the book and many thanks to Edelweiss and the dudes and dudesses at Harper Collins for gifting me an e-ARC for this exciting new duology. You have my eternal gratitude (and obvious dramatics). Askia was your standard YA female main character. The product of love between a run-away princess and a healer. Skilled with a sword, wronged by many, promised a kingdom, in some way wiser than her years and in others definitely not and...yeah she's got a shitty name. Askia? Seriously? Someone misspelled SASKIA here? Or what happened? I don't know why authors have to be so 'lazily creative'. Jesus. Just stop with that. Please. The blurb already tells you a lot. Mostly that Askia settles at a foreign court and is pretty out of her element there, because she is a warrior in all ways that count and only a Princess by name. Trying to settle in at court and set herself apart at the same time, but not too much because her big personal (magical) secret can never come out or else, is what this book deals with a lot. It's not badly done. The navigation of the court, the characters crafted and moulded and how pieces fall together and some fall completely apart. Some of it gave me real Game of Thrones vibes (The Black Wolfe Legion?). It was also pleasurably grotesque how on one hand people were suffering and dying and on the other hand hunts were organised and big balls were held. I know this sounds vague. But I don't want to spoiler you too hard. Right up until NOW. The book opens up on a battlefield. It was a bit confusing. No foreplay. Lots of names and banners and people with names that didn't really stick with me and already a lot of background story, which you could tell but not really understand. I have to say, I have had better starts with books before. This was neither the plunging into a story head first and swimming for your life (with pleasure), but more a kind of stumbling into it and being a wee bit disoriented and undecided about what to do next. In a weird way this first book felt a lot like a second book. Like I had missed the first one and had gone straight to the second one. Missed the important bits, the problems arising (jealous cousin stealing the crown/rivalry/Askia's parents dying/her relationship with her guards....), the battle unfolding, ending.. the solution dawning, plans forming.... It's clear within the first couple of pages how fierce Askia is. She is more woman than girl and doesn't suffer from shyness of false modesty [or general softness- this woman tortures friends without the blink of an eye, if her role as leader asks for it!]. I guess that's only plausible when you wield death magic and can communicate with ghosts and other horrors? She has a mouth and a body and a brain and she knows how to work it. She is also a tad bit aloof and perhaps arrogant, but I liked that. Oh and she is a red head. Of course fierce female characters can only ever be red-heads 🙄 I don't know why half the books are filled with them right now. Nothing against red hair! It's just a heavily worked cliché these days. Iskander, the Prince/or really just one of them, has "dark skin", whatever that is supposed to mean. He is also more a boy than a man and naive, yes. If you like that, you will like him. Sweet and stuff. Generic, really. And of course he has another brother who supposedly is the complete opposite (yes, this is not the least bit original- I said that at the beginning). But man, nothing is as it first seems and things change soooo freakin' FAST. Vitaly???!! What was that??? Oh my God. To end this review, heed my words of warning bc I would have needed it: 1.If you love animals and are vegetarian or vegan, this book might trigger you. Graphic descriptions of killing animals for sport aka hunts is happening here. Not pleasant. 2.If you like humans: there is torture in this book and the descrition is VIVID. The deaths/kills as well. Not YA. 3.Also: men in this world can take several wives and women's rights are non-existent. BUCKLE UP AND ENJOY THIS. 3.5 stars

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    Thank you to Netgalley and Avon and Harper Voyager for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review. The Frozen Crown. This story centers around Askia. A princess and rightful queen of Seravesh. Her cousin murders her grandfather the king and steals her kingdom. He is a puppet for another, The mad emperor of the Roven Empire. He is steadily burning and pillaging his way to Seravesh in order to take over it and all of the neighboring kingdoms. At the beginning of the book, we Thank you to Netgalley and Avon and Harper Voyager for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review. The Frozen Crown. This story centers around Askia. A princess and rightful queen of Seravesh. Her cousin murders her grandfather the king and steals her kingdom. He is a puppet for another, The mad emperor of the Roven Empire. He is steadily burning and pillaging his way to Seravesh in order to take over it and all of the neighboring kingdoms. At the beginning of the book, we find Askia meeting with a neighboring kingdom begging for am army so she can take back her land and crown. I’m not exactly sure how to explain my qualms with this book so please bear with me through this analogy. Have you ever tried to edit a video clip on your phone? You can slide the bars on either end making the clip shorter from both the beginning and the end of the clip. That’s how I feel about this book... Someone shortened the beginning and the ending and I was only left with the middle of the story. I was dropped into the beginning with no back story or world-building. I was mostly lost until around 30% of the book. After 30% The story did pick up and I enjoyed watching Askia find her way through court politics and intrigues. I felt compassion for the choices she needed to make and the dreams she also needed to surrender. Then I was hit with a huge cliff hanger. I’ve read a lot of reviews lately and cliff hangers seem to be the central point hate in most of them. I am not normally in the “hate” camp on this subject but this ending was especially hard for me since I felt like the beginning of the book was lacking history. It was a double whammy if you will. I probably would have forgiven one or the other but both were too much. I think this story really had a lot of potentials to be great but lacked world-building and back story.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Julie - One Book More

    Askia is the princess and rightful queen of Seravesh, a kingdom that is under threat from the evil emperor of the Roven Empire. As the emperor slowly takes over Seravesh, Askia meets with the neighboring kingdom to garner support and, hopefully, use their army to defeat the emperor. Political intrigue, dangerous trainings, and a murderous plot threaten to end Askia before the emperor can. Askia is a fierce protagonist willing to sacrifice her life and freedom for her people. She continually casts Askia is the princess and rightful queen of Seravesh, a kingdom that is under threat from the evil emperor of the Roven Empire. As the emperor slowly takes over Seravesh, Askia meets with the neighboring kingdom to garner support and, hopefully, use their army to defeat the emperor. Political intrigue, dangerous trainings, and a murderous plot threaten to end Askia before the emperor can. Askia is a fierce protagonist willing to sacrifice her life and freedom for her people. She continually casts her feelings and desires aside because she knows they’re not in the best interest of her country. An admirable and courageous woman, Askia’s abilities are rare, and she learns to use them throughout the novel. I loved this part of the story and can’t wait to see how she further utilizes her abilities in the next book. Askia’s strength, intelligence, and beauty gain the attention of several suitors, most of whom are not of interest to Askia. She loves someone that she can’t have, and this forbidden romance is so good. The longing and desire Askia and her love interest feel are palpable, and I found myself rooting for the pair. The political maneuvering and the unrequited love are the highlights of this novel, as are the strong and determined women. Askia is out of her element in court. Political maneuvering is not one of her strengths, and she struggles to find her place in this new situation. With guidance, she learns the customs and roles in court while also learning who she can and cannot trust. She also trains while in court and learns to control her power. I found the scenes where Askia works with other women to learn about her ability fascinating. Not only are her powers unique, but the strong, fierce, and smart women working together to learn and grow is also fantastic. Everything Askia does, from training to flirting with men, she does to benefit her kingdom. The Frozen Crown is a gripping story filled with political intrigue, dynamic characters, and a jaw-dropping cliffhanger ending. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series! Thanks so much to Netgalley and for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ehsaneh Sadr

    Total page-turner! The stakes are real, the characters are complex and interesting, the world building is the perfect mix of exotic and familiar, and the love triangles are delicious and satisfying. And that cover...gorgeous! Enjoy!

  12. 4 out of 5

    ♠ TABI⁷ ♠

    they said the goddess R.F. Kuang's name when talking about people who might like this book soooooo here I am they said the goddess R.F. Kuang's name when talking about people who might like this book soooooo here I am

  13. 5 out of 5

    Traveling Cloak

    The Frozen Crown is author Greta Kelly’s fantastic first installment of the Warrior Witch Duology. There is so much to like about this book from the beautiful cover to the interesting characters to the tension-filled storyline. The Frozen Crown was a hit with me, and if you like stories like this I think it will be a hit with you, too. Let’s dig in. I have to say (and this does not always happen), but the synopsis nails the plot. The entirety of the book is Askia hanging out in Vishir working the The Frozen Crown is author Greta Kelly’s fantastic first installment of the Warrior Witch Duology. There is so much to like about this book from the beautiful cover to the interesting characters to the tension-filled storyline. The Frozen Crown was a hit with me, and if you like stories like this I think it will be a hit with you, too. Let’s dig in. I have to say (and this does not always happen), but the synopsis nails the plot. The entirety of the book is Askia hanging out in Vishir working the political system in an attempt to bring an army back to Seravesh and free her kingdom from her usurper cousin who took the throne forcefully. That was a mouthful, which, suffice to say, is pretty much the way this story goes. There is a lot of political maneuvering, which I am not always a fan of on its own merit as the main driver of the narrative. But, Kelly does a great job of incorporating enough narrative tension to make it work. I credit the depth of the story for that, because, even though the storyline sounds very straightforward, it is much more intricate than it appears. In addition to the main storyline, there are lots of other angles at play: family issues, forbidden magic (gotta love a Secret Order of Witches), manipulation (policital and otherwise), and even a little romance (not much but just enough to make it worth mentioning). The author included all of these aspects into a very well-written narrative that ebbs and flows and created enough tension to make it intriguing all the way through. As good as the plot is, this story is really all about Askia. She is the driving force behind this story. Exiled from her kingdom, Askia’s sole focus is finding a way to free her people and win her throne back from her cousin. What I love about Askia so much is she does not pretend to have the right answers all the time. She is a badass warrior witch, and, no, she does not care about your rules. Askia is going to do things her way… until, maybe not? She is a “foreigner” (more on that shortly) in Vishir’s court, and has to learn how to play by their rules if she is going to get an audience with the emperor. But, being a queen herself, Askia is also allowed certain accommodations for a person of her station and the local etiquette does not always apply. So, what we get is an Askia who is at times confident, self-assured, and demanding; other times she is unsure and wavering. What makes this even more interesting is the fact that Askia is not a true foreigner, as she has ties to Vishir. She lived there for a time with her parents when she young and spent time there on and off. I do not want to say too much more about that, because I want to keep away from spoilers, but it is important to note that there are a ton of layers here. It goes deep, constantly building upon the tension. I really grew to love Askia over the course of the story. Her loyalty, dedication, and courage are inspirational, and her story evokes a lot of emotion. She is the perfect protagonist for this story. I should mention the rest of the cast of characters. The character set is not huge, which I enjoyed. The fact that there are only a handful of important characters allows for the reader to get to know them intimately, which fits with the tone of the book. I am not going to mention them by name, but know that Askia encounters witches, old friends, new friends, family, love interests, wanna-be love interests, politicians, and foreign dignitaries. She also spends a little bit of time swooning over a few hunky guys (wiggles eyebrows). The character set was great, every one of them being distinctive and fascinating in their own way. I do have to say, there is not a ton of world-building, which I found to be surprising because the first thing I encountered when I opened the book was a map. I am never going to complain about a map (I love them so!), but the story does not get into the wider world all that much. But, as I mentioned before, this story is meant to be more of a small batch, a close-up, and there really is not any reason to do so. And did I mention the gorgeous cover? It hooked me from the start. I cannot sign off without talking about the ending. It has its share of twists and turns, though nothing I would label as shocking. It is quite a satisfying ending in certain ways, but it does leave things wide open for book 2; this being a duology, the second book will be the finale, and I am excited to see where it goes. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed The Frozen Crown. The story is intimate and intricate. And quite intriguing all the way through. If you are a fan of this kind of story about royalty and political intrigue, I recommend this book for you. I will be anticipating the next (and last) book in the duology, for sure.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Askia is the heir to the frozen crown of Seravesh after fighting against the Roven Empire they get too strong for her forces. She travels to the neighboring kingdom to request help and an army to fight for her throne but realizes court politics are something she will have to learn fast, after fighting like a warrior for years. Askia is not your typical simpering court darling and she gains the attention of a prince, some warriors, some court members and even the Emperor. Pretty much everyone want Askia is the heir to the frozen crown of Seravesh after fighting against the Roven Empire they get too strong for her forces. She travels to the neighboring kingdom to request help and an army to fight for her throne but realizes court politics are something she will have to learn fast, after fighting like a warrior for years. Askia is not your typical simpering court darling and she gains the attention of a prince, some warriors, some court members and even the Emperor. Pretty much everyone wants something from her in one way or another and she has to hide her amazing witch powers from almost everyone for fear of persecution cause they kill witches due to their power and their own religious beliefs. Or just cause guys are in charge and suck as usual and jealous they aren't witches, that's usually my take on persecution, jealousy. Is it bad that the attention of the Emperor was kind of hot even though he has a menagerie of wives he's ignoring. What is wrong with me? I mean I should be more enraged that she can't just petition for help as a royal without marrying someone but ..... Princess Askia is not free to choose who she can marry or love or who can help her without her looking like she's in bed with them literally. So she does not have many options which is so frustrating. But the principal wife of the Emperor may be able to teach her a few things to help her be a stronger ruler and witch. The magic system in this book is very interesting and kept secret in an underground guild. This is a duology.  I need to know what happens to Askia, you left her in a very bad spot!!!  Rating:  Thank you @bookriot, @netgalley and @harpervoyageur for the advanced copy for my honest and voluntary review.  #thefrozencrown #netgalley #bookstagram #scififantasy #bookreview #menagerie #sexywarrior #prince #emperor 

  15. 4 out of 5

    Krisette Spangler

    3.5 stars Askia is the crown prince of Seravesh and a witch, but another ruler is after her throne. She flees to her godfather's kingdom in hopes of securing an army to restore her rule, but finds she must play the games of court in order to achieve her goal. During her time there she forms bonds with other witches who will help her to use her magic in order to defeat her adversaries. Askia is faced with the difficult choice of marrying to secure an army or being true to herself. I really enjoyed 3.5 stars Askia is the crown prince of Seravesh and a witch, but another ruler is after her throne. She flees to her godfather's kingdom in hopes of securing an army to restore her rule, but finds she must play the games of court in order to achieve her goal. During her time there she forms bonds with other witches who will help her to use her magic in order to defeat her adversaries. Askia is faced with the difficult choice of marrying to secure an army or being true to herself. I really enjoyed the book, and it's quite a page turner. There is almost no swearing. Anytime there was bad language it felt really forced and out of character, so I'm not sure if the author felt she had to get the F word in there a few times to keep it edgy. It would have been better without it. The ending of novel will make you wish you had waited to read it until the sequel comes out in the fall. I will definitely be looking for it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tadala Z

    When you find a book that is so beautiful written you can’t help but fall in love with it. This is the type of book. This was a roller coaster to experience and so artfully written that I’m speechless. All I can say is you need to read this book because words won’t do it justice

  17. 5 out of 5

    Whitney Moore

    If you don’t have this book on your radar, you need to add it right now. Right now, go! This book has all the twists and turns, the perfect amount of magic and some saucy moments thrown in. I am dying to read the next book!⠀ ⠀ The Good:⠀ •Some pretty gory details in certain parts.⠀ •Askia is amazing. I love her sense of humor and her sarcasm. I also love that she doesn’t give any fucks. Like throw all court politics and niceties right out the window.⠀ •The world-building and backstory is 🔥 ⠀ •The char If you don’t have this book on your radar, you need to add it right now. Right now, go! This book has all the twists and turns, the perfect amount of magic and some saucy moments thrown in. I am dying to read the next book!⠀ ⠀ The Good:⠀ •Some pretty gory details in certain parts.⠀ •Askia is amazing. I love her sense of humor and her sarcasm. I also love that she doesn’t give any fucks. Like throw all court politics and niceties right out the window.⠀ •The world-building and backstory is 🔥 ⠀ •The characters are all so well-developed and easy to imagine.⠀ •Askia’s magic is super cool!⠀ •The story of the Two-Faced God 🌜🌞 ⠀ •Excuse me, Greta Kelly. That ending was just dirty. ⠀ ⠀ The Meh:⠀ NOTHING. Okay, it was a teeeeensy slow in the beginning but that was not a bad thing.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mackenzie Schley

    Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Voyager for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I’ll cut straight to the chase in case you just want the bottom line: I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Fair warning though, it may start to consume you with the urge to read continuously to the detriment of all other things in your life. In a way, the main character Askia reminded me of all the strong female characters Tamora Pierce has created over the years and first sparked my love of readin Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Voyager for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I’ll cut straight to the chase in case you just want the bottom line: I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Fair warning though, it may start to consume you with the urge to read continuously to the detriment of all other things in your life. In a way, the main character Askia reminded me of all the strong female characters Tamora Pierce has created over the years and first sparked my love of reading fantasy. Askia is determined to do what she must to protect her people, but being strong doesn’t mean she’s without flaws or doubts. She has just enough of those to feel real as she struggles against the odds to take back her kingdom. There are many layers to her life even though she’s only in her early 20s and it’s fascinating to learn more as the story progresses. It has classic hallmarks of a fantasy novel (magic that comes at a cost, a diabolical villain, forbidden love interest, and a high stakes journey) that Kelly manages to put together in a way that the story still feels fresh, fascinating, and engrossing. It ticked all the boxes for me and I’m definitely excited for the next installment.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

    This was a fun read about a princess--Askia--trying to reclaim her northern kingdom from an evil emperor who's slowly conquering all the northern countries. She travels to the southern kingdom of Vishir to seek an army, but there, she relives the pain of her parent's death. They died because they were witches, and Askia has a secret--she's a death witch. Political intrigue, a bit of romance, some sword fights, solid characters. The plotline may be a bit familiar, but it was still a fun read, and This was a fun read about a princess--Askia--trying to reclaim her northern kingdom from an evil emperor who's slowly conquering all the northern countries. She travels to the southern kingdom of Vishir to seek an army, but there, she relives the pain of her parent's death. They died because they were witches, and Askia has a secret--she's a death witch. Political intrigue, a bit of romance, some sword fights, solid characters. The plotline may be a bit familiar, but it was still a fun read, and I'll be reading book 2. 3.5/5

  20. 5 out of 5

    Eliza Baum

    Oh hell no. I'm too pissed off at this book to write a coherent review. Maybe tomorrow. ** Update (tomorrow) This book follows Princess Askia as she travels from her war-torn Northern kingdom to the empire in the south to seek aid in the form of an army. Once there, she finds that the methods she'll need to use to gain support fall outside her comfort zone, and she makes many blunders along the way, but ultimately she'll stop at nothing to achieve her goal. There's really only one thing I liked abou Oh hell no. I'm too pissed off at this book to write a coherent review. Maybe tomorrow. ** Update (tomorrow) This book follows Princess Askia as she travels from her war-torn Northern kingdom to the empire in the south to seek aid in the form of an army. Once there, she finds that the methods she'll need to use to gain support fall outside her comfort zone, and she makes many blunders along the way, but ultimately she'll stop at nothing to achieve her goal. There's really only one thing I liked about this book, and that's the fact that the focus/goal of the main character remains clear throughout. Everything Askia does is through the lens of helping her people by gaining an army. And that's pretty much where the praise stops. This book was such a letdown. It started strong, and I had really high hopes. Generally speaking, it wasn't difficult to read, and I found that I got through chapters pretty quickly. However, what started as an intense story about war devolved into a story about court politics--not a bad thing on its own, but the story was fixated on the parts of it that revolved around "proper" behavior of a woman in society and the need for Askia to get married (or not fall for a guy, as the case may be). The world itself was very interesting, so it really annoyed me to see it fall into the same tired handling of women in fantasy. It could have been far more nuanced than it was. Instead, what I found was a story that promised one thing and delivered another. Half the male cast was interested in Askia, and the two cases where she was interested were so poorly developed that I just didn't care. Given that I'm usually a sucker for a good romance subplot, this was also disappointing. The setting shift was annoying, because with that setting came an entirely different story than what this could have been. There were too many characters with not enough attention to developing them. There was instalove/lust. The females characters flip-flopped between being friendly/nurturing to being cold and bitchy with very little provocation. The male characters were either flirty, creepy, or fatherly. The (albeit brief) sexual content was entirely unnecessary. And god, the ending. Let's talk about that for a second. Strong, intense, war-focused opening. Bland, "let me be a proper woman, but not too proper because I'm a rebel" middle...BUT NOW let's get back to the action at the 90% mark and throw in the kitchen sink! I'm gonna spoil the whole thing under the tag, because I need to remember why I hated this once I forget this plot, just in case I'm ever insane enough to think this needs another try. (view spoiler)[Askia gets butt hurt that guard Illya doesn't stick around while she's getting wined and dined (and fondled) by the emperor, and also because the prince didn't like it either and was equally butt hurt. She's all sullen and just wants to be alone once she gets back to her room, so much so that she ignores her ghost traitor friend (whose name started with a V) until the last second when someone bursts into her room. She uses magic to escape, ending up falling from the sky in the great hall. The Emperor is concerned, immediately proclaims to the gathered crowd that they're getting married. Evil Count guy protests and presumably takes info back to his master (who was the one who tried to magically kidnap her, also wanted to marry the chick because idek). Askia signs the marriage contract, which makes Illya sad and Prince Iskander turn into an immature punk. Finds out the queen is dying, so Askia is gonna be the Big Bitch queen now. She marries the Emperor just in time for the Evil Count to murder the other queen. Askia immediately takes charge of the country because the all-powerful Emperor is Too Sad to do it himself. Later that night, Emperor proclaims to his two sons that he's making Askia Empress instead of putting one of them in charge while he goes to war. Understandably angry (even if they're both punks), they protest right up until the Big Bad magically swoops in, murders the Emperor, and kidnaps Askia. She wakes up and is somewhere else, held prisoner. THE END. (hide spoiler)] No joke, it ends on a ridiculous cliffhanger. Also no joke, all of that happened between 83% and 97% (where the book ended) in the kindle version after about 75% of the book where NOTHING HAPPENS but social blunders. The magic system was interesting, and that's the thing that saved this from a 1-star rating.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ray Curto

    I was given a free copy of The Frozen Crown by Greta Kelly (author), Avon and Harper Voyager (publisher), and Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. This novel is the first in Warrior Witch duology. The Frozen Crown is the first novel, written by Ms. Kelly, that I have read. I would describe this novel as an epic fantasy based in a palace. This review will not contain any spoilers. Ms. Kelly did an amazing job in creating a world that is vibrant and alive even though it takes place in one loc I was given a free copy of The Frozen Crown by Greta Kelly (author), Avon and Harper Voyager (publisher), and Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. This novel is the first in Warrior Witch duology. The Frozen Crown is the first novel, written by Ms. Kelly, that I have read. I would describe this novel as an epic fantasy based in a palace. This review will not contain any spoilers. Ms. Kelly did an amazing job in creating a world that is vibrant and alive even though it takes place in one location. She describes the palace, city where the palace is located, and other regions in this world with just enough detail to give the reader the ability to visualize the setting without interrupting the flow of the story. The magic system is more soft than hard. The people who can use magic or called witches. The types of witches are fire witch, death witch, a type of witch that heals, and other types that are mentioned but not featured. The main character has magic ability and uses it in interesting ways in this story. I found the magic system is straight-forward and not difficult to understand. Ms. Kelly has created a main character that is fleshed out and three dimensional. She is a twenty-something, and she is a princess-in-exile and her primary objective, in this story, is to get a ruler from a nearby empire to provide an army to assist her in overthrowing the ruler of her home country so she can rule. The main character is willing to do whatever she can to save her country even if she must sacrifice herself to get the ruler to agree provide the arm. One of the strengths of this novel is the political machinations and palace intrigue on display. Ms. Kelly has done a commendable job of creating stakes through the machinations and intrigue and still maintain the progression of the plot at a quick pace. I found the evolution of the main character as a political operator to be compelling and engaging. Another strength in this novel is the characters. Each of the major secondary characters are almost as fleshed out and three dimensional as the main characters. Each of these characters have separate and distinct arcs, particularly the ruler who is being approached by the main character to provide the army. The other members of the ruler’s family that are featured in this story are also separate and distinct from each other. Ms. Kelly creates compelling and interesting characters is to weave a backstory that ties the main character to the ruler and his family through her deceased parents. As already mentioned, the story flows at steady – but a quick – pace which still allows for the both the characters and the plot to breathe to feature the machinations and intrigue. The stakes increase as the story progresses and explodes in an ending that caught me by surprise but wanting me to read the next novel in this series as soon as I finished The Frozen Crown. Ms. Kelly featured the machinations and intrigue in such a way that is both complex and interesting. I was never taken out of the story while I read this novel. I think the politics and intrigue in The Frozen Crown are on par with the politics and intrigue in Daughter of the Empire which is the first novel in the Empire series written by Raymond Feist and Janny Wurts. The only quibble I have with this novel is that slightly slows a bit in the middle of the novel, but it was not too bad because events pick up and increase in intensity as the stakes are raised higher and higher until the emotional gut punch of an ending. I rate The Frozen Crown 5 stars. I would like to thank Greta Kelly, Avon and Harper Voyager, and Netgalley for the free ARC.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Portrait of a Book

    First Reviewed on Portrait of a Book: http://www.portraitofabook.com/2021/0... First Thought After Finishing: I need the sequel immediately! Any novel billed with both magic and treachery is one that makes it onto my TBR list immediately. I was very excited to get a copy of The Frozen Crown on Netgalley, and the intriguing synopsis of this book did not disappoint! From the magic system to the political intrigue, this book kept me turning page after page to see what would happen next. Askia is the r First Reviewed on Portrait of a Book: http://www.portraitofabook.com/2021/0... First Thought After Finishing: I need the sequel immediately! Any novel billed with both magic and treachery is one that makes it onto my TBR list immediately. I was very excited to get a copy of The Frozen Crown on Netgalley, and the intriguing synopsis of this book did not disappoint! From the magic system to the political intrigue, this book kept me turning page after page to see what would happen next. Askia is the rightful heir to the Frozen Crown of Seravesh, but political maneuvering of her cousin has kept her from her throne. Instead, her country is embroiled in a war with the Roven Empire. Orphaned and desperate to win back her country, Askia has traveled among war camps, fought with her army, but now must journey to a foreign court to gain allies to defeat Roven. However, once in Vishir, Askia discovers that the real battle is just beginning. Forced to navigate secrets, political alliances, and budding romances, Askia must decide how much she is willing to sacrifice for her country—or for herself. In many ways, this book combined the best of YA and adult fantasy genres. The book was faced-paced with just enough world-building to appreciate the political dynamics. The magic system and guilds were very intriguing, especially Askia’s brand of witchery. There were definitely many powers and forces at play in the book, and it kept the storyline quite interesting trying to figure out how they would all interact together. Askia is a strong female, forged through a difficult past, bound by loyalty to fight for her country. She wants to remain independent, to win her allies through her own merits and through the importance of her cause rather than playing romantic games. This is not to say that there are no attractions in this novel, or no good males, but it is not the overall focus. Instead, Askia spends most of her time training to be a better warrior, a better witch, and better able to navigate court politics. I enjoyed watching her come into her own, confront her past, and find a strength she didn’t know she had to make the difficult decisions. I do wish that there had been a bit more world-building, especially at the beginning—the initial pages were a bit confusing, but the action quickly made up for that confusion. I would also have liked to see more time given to the relationship between Askia and some of the other characters. There is so much more I could say about this book, but it would be a shame to spoil anything. Many of the characters are more than they seem, and the truth only begins to come out the more that you read. I will be interested to see how the world expands in the next book, how the hints of romance play out, and how the characters will rise to new and unexpected challenges. Most Memorable Aspect: Askia’s brand of witchery and her strength. Visit a world suffering from war, and follow Askia’s journey to fight the expansion of a dark empire. Greta Kelly’s fantasy debut is full of intrigue, compelling characters, and action—it’s a story not to be missed. I will be eagerly awaiting the sequel!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Bob/Sally

    From its opening betrayal to its shocking conclusion, The Frozen Crown is a book that pulled me in and refused to let me go. I spent but a single afternoon and back-to-back evenings with Princess Askia (whom I adored), but it was enough to make me care, deeply and passionately, about the woman, her cause, and the choices she's forced to make. The only thing stronger than Greta Kelly's characterization is her flair for intrigue, resulting in a book that you just cannot put down. I've been thinking From its opening betrayal to its shocking conclusion, The Frozen Crown is a book that pulled me in and refused to let me go. I spent but a single afternoon and back-to-back evenings with Princess Askia (whom I adored), but it was enough to make me care, deeply and passionately, about the woman, her cause, and the choices she's forced to make. The only thing stronger than Greta Kelly's characterization is her flair for intrigue, resulting in a book that you just cannot put down. I've been thinking all day about how to approach this review, and perhaps the best word I can think of to sum up this book is unexpected. There are so many pieces of this story that are familiar, and yet the way those pieces fit is entirely refreshing. At its heart, this is the story of a woman faced with the need to barter her freedom to save her people, with marriages arranged and forced before her, and yet it's never quite that simple. It's a book with a royal harem at its heart, along with two rulers who lay very different claims to a young woman, and yet the women hold all the power. There's a love triangle, or perhaps a quadrilateral, driving the story forward, but instead of being tired and tropey it feels genuine, with impossible choices that hit hard. The world-building here is simple, and yet it works. We're presented with three distinct geographies, a social clash between cultures, and a religious clash between faiths, and it all comes together wonderfully. There's no info-dumping and no heavy-handed exposition - it just fits naturally. What's even more impressive is that there's nothing black-and-white about it all, especially the quiet war between the Shadow Guild and the Shazir. I've never felt such conflict over a character as I did with Khaljaq, with revelations about Askia's parents making it even harder to know whether to trust, hate, suffer, or dismiss the man. Surprisingly, for a book that's almost entirely set at court, comprised largely of dancing and debate, the pacing here is perfect. It's a story that moves along quickly, with a definite sense of urgency, and nary a moment where it stalled or fell into a lull. If there's anywhere the book does feel a bit thin or soft is with Enver and Iskander, half-brothers and Princes with very different personalities and agendas. A little more depth or complexity to either would have added some genuine drama to the book, aside from the love triangle, but (to be fair) Iskander does get some interesting growth as the story continues. Also, there's a certain gift in the second half of the book that gets entirely mishandled, and I struggled to believe none of the characters suspected its significance, but it's not a deal-breaker. Be warned, this is the first part of a duology, and there is a MASSIVE cliffhanger, but instead of walking away feeling cheated or frustrated, I'm desperate to find out how it all ends. Askia is a kickass heroine deserving of that desperation and, while he spends most of the book off-the-page, I suspect Radovan will prove to be a worthy antagonist. https://beauty-in-ruins.blogspot.com/...

  24. 5 out of 5

    Linda McCutcheon

    "I felt my future, my people were balanced on the tip of a blade. But if I pushed too hard, my people would fall...In the great game of power I had only one more card to play. Me." And play that card she does with great care, love, honor and a bit of magic in this female driven sci fi fantasy. The Frozen Crown by Greta Kelly is book one of the Warrior Witch duology. It is worthy of comparison to the original Star Wars trilogy and Princess Leia in all her glory. The premise is actually very simple. "I felt my future, my people were balanced on the tip of a blade. But if I pushed too hard, my people would fall...In the great game of power I had only one more card to play. Me." And play that card she does with great care, love, honor and a bit of magic in this female driven sci fi fantasy. The Frozen Crown by Greta Kelly is book one of the Warrior Witch duology. It is worthy of comparison to the original Star Wars trilogy and Princess Leia in all her glory. The premise is actually very simple. Princess Askia is trying to save her land from a brutal invasion led by her vicious cousin. She travels to other lands to raise an army to save her people. What follows is not simple but it is exciting, adventurous, surprising and complicated. The author has created a world filled with dubious leaders, political intrigue, fierce warriors and a fun mythology. Askia is a strong minded female protagonist who is more warrior than royal politician. She also has a secret that could upset the delicate balance of her reign. It involves magic and her ability to control it. I really enjoyed the detailed sword fights and battle scenes. I could have done without the descriptive hunting of animals. I loved the forbidden romance and wanted more and hopefully book two will include more of it. I wish there were less characters. I just could not remember them all without notes. The jaw dropping cliffhanger guarantees I will be pre ordering the next book. If you enjoy getting lost in a faraway land that is a mash up of Game of Thrones and Star Wars this is the book for you. I received a free copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalley for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Asaria

    Plotwise the book is ok. I enjoyed Askia's journey from an underdog to a seasoned political player, as well as her character development. Most of the time, characterization is fine with an exception of Iskander, the young prince. A kind, friendly lad, his type is really difficult to pull off. Personally, I found him bland, especially when compared to his mother or father who really leave big impressions. Nevertheless, my main gripe lies with worldbuilding. Kelly uses Slavic names for her northern Plotwise the book is ok. I enjoyed Askia's journey from an underdog to a seasoned political player, as well as her character development. Most of the time, characterization is fine with an exception of Iskander, the young prince. A kind, friendly lad, his type is really difficult to pull off. Personally, I found him bland, especially when compared to his mother or father who really leave big impressions. Nevertheless, my main gripe lies with worldbuilding. Kelly uses Slavic names for her northern countries. Mostly Russian ones like Arkady that sound very contemporary to me. Two, no patronymics. If you are writing a novel set in Russian inspired world, it's a must. Three, the name of the capital of the heroine's kingdom sounds more like last name. But that's an impression of Western Slav. I also have misgivings with Vishir naming conventions and traditions like harmonious harem politics. Far from realistic. Ramesses III would have a lot to say on this, and so Ottoman sultans. All in all, someone from Middle Eastern countries is better equipped to analyze Vishir's part. On the other hand, having a warrior princess as a leader of Slavic inspired country isn't as far stretched as it seems. Maria Morievna from Russian fairy tale comes to my mind as well some older variants of Cracow's Vanda legend. There is also a recent discovery in Denmark that lends credibility to Askia. The archeologists uncovered a burial with the remnants of Viking. Not male. A woman. Slavic, Viking woman :)

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nicole momming_and_reading

    First, I want to thank my friends at Harper Voyager for the gorgeous gifted final copy of Greta Kelly’s debut novel, The Frozen Crown! I am not usually a reader of high fantasy, but this was a fun ride and a great way to find a little bit of distraction duirng this difficult news cycle. Askia is the princess of Seravesh, a kingdom that is war torn by an evil emporer, Radovan. Askia has magic powers she’s had to suppress in order to keep Radovan at bay. She travels to the continent of Vishir to se First, I want to thank my friends at Harper Voyager for the gorgeous gifted final copy of Greta Kelly’s debut novel, The Frozen Crown! I am not usually a reader of high fantasy, but this was a fun ride and a great way to find a little bit of distraction duirng this difficult news cycle. Askia is the princess of Seravesh, a kingdom that is war torn by an evil emporer, Radovan. Askia has magic powers she’s had to suppress in order to keep Radovan at bay. She travels to the continent of Vishir to seek help from the emperor Armaan to defeat Radovan and his Roven army. There, she meets fellow witches who teach her how to use her powers in secret and finds allies to help her in her quest to defeat Radovan. As you can see in that brief summary, there are a LOT of different & unique names. As a novice to this genre, I found it really difficult to keep track of these different characters and lands, and while I greatly appreciated the map in the front of the book, I desperately searched for a family tree or list of dramatis personae to help me. Once I got into the story, I did find it a bit less challenging, but I think that an additon like that could be a huge help. The novel read like a feminist Game of Thrones. There was magic, royal courts, and lots of fun political intrigue. Askia was such a fun character! I loved her perspective, her choices, and her personality. She was thoughtful, sincere, and pretty bad-ass. I can’t wait to wrap up this duology and learn more about Askia!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alexia

    Welcome to my not review review where I will babble on about how I felt about the book more than the book itself 😌 This is fantasy okay. We got court politics, a well thought out magic system, yearning, pining, betrayal. The author put her foot on our necks and did not let up one bit. I stayed up till 6am finishing this cause I could not put it down. I cried severaltimes. Ilya. I think that’s all I need to say about that. (But no really I would take a paper cut to the eye for this man. Someone ple Welcome to my not review review where I will babble on about how I felt about the book more than the book itself 😌 This is fantasy okay. We got court politics, a well thought out magic system, yearning, pining, betrayal. The author put her foot on our necks and did not let up one bit. I stayed up till 6am finishing this cause I could not put it down. I cried severaltimes. Ilya. I think that’s all I need to say about that. (But no really I would take a paper cut to the eye for this man. Someone please get some fanart made now). I have never wanted a character to love and sleep with so many characters yet here we are. Askia deserves a harem of men. Her own menagerie. I would be there as her dutiful servant of course. I hate being omniscient cause it’s like watching an impending trainwreck. You know what the problem is and what’s about to happen and no matter how much you yell at people to look, you just have to watch in horror. This is why I didn’t even shed a tear at the end cause I just knew some mess was gonna happen 😔 also the snippet we got of the next book! Finna sneak into Harper Voyager’s office and find a copy okay (for plausible deniability though I would never do this). And at this point I might as well add a finished copy to my cart cause I need this book on my shelves. *Thank you to the publisher for an ARC. All opinions are my own*

  28. 5 out of 5

    Malkie Hematillake

    The political/court intrigue was so well-written and nail-biting that it had me on the edge of my seat. I also loved the complex world-building and the parallels between the Empire of Vishir and the Ottoman Empire. Askia’s character underwent a great deal of development throughout the novel, but I can’t say the same for most of the other characters. In fact, my biggest gripe is that incredibly important characters were so one dimensional they barely felt like people. Enver and Illya were unfortu The political/court intrigue was so well-written and nail-biting that it had me on the edge of my seat. I also loved the complex world-building and the parallels between the Empire of Vishir and the Ottoman Empire. Askia’s character underwent a great deal of development throughout the novel, but I can’t say the same for most of the other characters. In fact, my biggest gripe is that incredibly important characters were so one dimensional they barely felt like people. Enver and Illya were unfortunate examples of this. Illya seemed to be incredibly important to Askia, but he was given little to no personality beyond being a caricature of a skilled and broody soldier. Overall, this was a fun and exciting read, but it lacks character development.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Megan Gross

    4.5 I received an uncorrected proof copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway and I am so happy I did. A strong female lead who is still coming to terms and learning how to be a smart leader. Askia has to learn how to balance different types of strength in the middle of a political minefield with the future of her country at stake. There were many real-world themes and nuances portrayed in this book that I think Kelly did a great job capturing the heart and head of. They allowed me to feel 4.5 I received an uncorrected proof copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway and I am so happy I did. A strong female lead who is still coming to terms and learning how to be a smart leader. Askia has to learn how to balance different types of strength in the middle of a political minefield with the future of her country at stake. There were many real-world themes and nuances portrayed in this book that I think Kelly did a great job capturing the heart and head of. They allowed me to feel connected to the characters, made the world feel even more real, and made the stakes feel even higher. An amazing debut from Greta Kelly. I wish I didn't have to wait for the second book.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Marianna Brown

    I don't think I could justifiably give this book a full five stars, but the elation and excitement I felt when I turned the last page is somewhat rare. After winning a free copy of this book, I didn't have high expectations but within the first chapters, I was already engaged. The intrigue picked up around halfway and took several wild turns through to the end. Askia was a strong main character with a great understanding of duty and the sacrifices it requires and she was consistent throughout, a I don't think I could justifiably give this book a full five stars, but the elation and excitement I felt when I turned the last page is somewhat rare. After winning a free copy of this book, I didn't have high expectations but within the first chapters, I was already engaged. The intrigue picked up around halfway and took several wild turns through to the end. Askia was a strong main character with a great understanding of duty and the sacrifices it requires and she was consistent throughout, another quality I admired. Overall, I enjoyed it immensely and am eager to read the sequal!

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