Published: January 12, 2021
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Series: Warrior Witch #1
Pages: 384 (Hardcover)
My Rating: 4.5/5.0
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.
This was one of my most anticipated releases of early 2021 and I’m SOOO HAPPY it lived up to my expectations! At first it came off as a little young adult and I wasn’t so sure about it, but the book quickly found its stride and I fell in love. The Frozen Crown is an awesome political-centric fantasy and has seriously whetted my appetite for more books focused on statecraft and the nuanced maneuverings of those involved.
Princess Askia is heir to a crown she does not possess. Her kingdom has been taken by a treacherous cousin on behalf of the sorcerer king of Roven and she is on the run with her fiercely loyal armsmen. Her quest to retake her kingdom leads her across the sea to the Empire of Vishir, where she spent many years of her childhood… until her parents were murdered by religious zealots and she was tortured on the suspicion of being a witch. By returning to Vishir she must face not only the most powerful man in the world and beg for help, but also the people who were responsible for the most traumatic events in her life. The political game is on and Askia is floundering, sinking, but she must save her people at all costs.
This book was absolutely brilliant. I was on the edge of my seat and was finding any excuse or task to keep listening to it. Let’s just say my house was pretty clean that week! This has to be one of the first books I’ve come across where the main character was practical enough to push her heart aside and actually consider marriage to someone for an alliance. What a relief – a character can’t say they would do anything to save their people and then not actually take advantage of a marriage alliance! Oh, and I can’t forget that she actually beheaded her friend who tried to assassinate her. It was terrible, but he tried to kill her for Roven to save his own kin. Askia was awesome – a skilled warrior, an elegant figure, and a death witch. Yes, a death witch, meaning she can see and speak to the dead. Or at least that’s all she knew how to do at the beginning of the book.
The Frozen Crown may end up being one of my favorite books of the year even though it’s only February. Only time shall tell, but my level of excitement for the next book is like wayyyy up there. The political aspect of this book was well done – Askia was obviously out of her depth, but she learns and begins to play the game. She deals with her enemies for the sake of saving her people, tamping down her own feelings for the sake of those she loves. The ending was quite the cliffhanger, so I’m really going to need the next book ASAP!