Review: Frozen Tides Brings the Heat

Do not let the title deter you: Frozen Tides brings the heat in every which way.
Morgan Rhodes morphs all that readers thought they knew into something completely different. The major cliff-hanger at the end of Gathering Darkness left Frozen Tides open for many twists and turns to take place within the plot, and Rhodes not only did so in the plot but also in the characters’ stories and very own thoughts. Before Frozen Tides Rhodes did not pushing boundaries, but now her writing has no boundaries.
The main characters in this book, whether antagonists or protagonists, had been one-dimensional at one point or another. Frozen Tides, however, brings them all to life and sits them right on the couch next to readers. Lucia has gained a lot of power in the three prior books to Frozen Tides, and her strength is not one to be underestimated. Her character has gone through a lot of development considering the almost cowardly princess readers were introduced to in Falling Kingdoms before she knew she was a sorceress. Her powers are strengthened with Kyan at her side to the very end of the book. Lucia battles internally with her decisions she makes and one decision comes with great consequence.
Magnus and Cleo have always struggled with their relationship throughout the series from Theon’s death to their arranged marriage. Magnus, however, has grown individually to no longer doubt himself and, side note: he doesn’t say irrelevant anymore in Frozen Tides, considers his moves with caution and does not underestimate those around him. Cleo has also grown, not much since Gathering Darkness, but has grown to consider what her heart and mind are telling her combined before moving onto something. Both of them combined, in Frozen Tides, make an incredible team when working together. The married couple, for about 3 books now, struggle to come to terms with each other due to their stubbornness and past tensions. (Magnus even becomes aware of the balcony situations.) Throughout Frozen Tides the duo have powerful moments that leave readers gasping for air with the tension being too thick to cut with a simple knife. By the end of the book they will surprise readers and have them crying (not going to say if they’re happy or sad).
There are two new point-of-views that Rhodes introduces in Frozen Tides that were unexpected. Felix and Princess Amara both get their much needed time in the spotlight with their very own point-of-views. Felix, in Gathering Darkness, is very mysterious. In Frozen Tides, with his point-of-view chapters, he becomes less of a mystery and more of a three-dimensional character. His story gets told not from Jonas or Lysandra’s point-of-view, but his own, which allows for more details and truth to be known. His character is used for a comic relief, to a point, amongst all the seriousness of the upcoming peaked conflicts. Princess Amara also gets to tell her very own story, which leads to some sympathies getting doled out. The Kraeshian Empire, which was only hinted about in Gathering Darkness, becomes a new setting for readers to explore. Amara, along with other characters that arrive in Kraeshia, wonderfully describes her homeland and brings the land to life through fleeting words. The Kraeshian Empire holds much of the conflict in its lands, and it isn’t until the end of the book where it overflows to Mytica.
The end of the book, mainly the second half of Frozen Tides, is where characters’ secrets get told either from their very own mouths or from their co-conspirators’ mouths. It all leads to a very information-packed ending with a major cliff-hanger. This cliff-hanger leaves readers theorizing and yearning for the next installment in the Falling Kingdoms series, name yet to be discovered.
Frozen Tides awed readers in more ways than one, and hopefully the Falling Kingdoms series will continue to do so with the final two installments into this fantasy series.

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