Book Review: A Touch of Stone and Snow (A Gathering of Dragons #2) By Milla Vane
Reviewed by Cardyn Brooks
Fantasy adventure romance
While the title conjures thoughts of hard and cold, Lizzan of Lightgale and Prince Aerax embody ranges of vulnerability and heat in their volatile relationship with each other and the people of Koth. Ten years earlier a simple military skirmish resulted in a slaughter that left Lizzan as the sole survivor, leaving her scarred, shunned, outcast, and forced into a lonely, dangerous nomadic existence from which Aerax's newly elevated status from unacknowledged, scorned royal bastard to necessary heir couldn't save her. Circumstances have honed these childhood sweethearts into fierce warriors and steadfast lovers even as fate conspires to taunt them with each other's proximity. Preventing a demon-possessed warlord from paving the way for The Destroyer to consume all of human existence becomes their first priority. If they accomplish that mission, then saving their personal romance should be easy, right?
Scapegoating, false narratives as political leverage, silence as violence against disenfranchised members of society, and many other themes of sociopolitical commentary organically enrich this fantastical tale of supernatural beasts, magic, and an assorted mayhem. Emotional depth and range interspersed with gallows humor make these characters breathe with authenticity reinforced by gritty dialogue and vibrant descriptions of fanciful landscapes and creatures. There are also cinematic battle scenes. A Touch of Stone and Snow delivers a stellar read in every aspect of storytelling excellence.
Published by Jove, July 21, 2020