Thirrin enjoys life as a carefree daughter. She is an impulsive teenager, who gets bored in the lessons that she has with an old scholar named Maggiore Totus. He later becomes Royal Advisor and accompanies Thirrin throughout the story. The Polypontian Empire, led by General Scipio Bellorum, have lost few battles, never a war, and have taken control of most of the countries around them, save Icemark and some others.
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Mar 23, Drakaina rated it it was ok Recommends it for: Very young readers. Now, could they ever? I decided to give it two stars instead of one for one simple reason: the plot and characters can earn one star at best since there is no "no-stars" option , while I do see some potential in All right, I am definitely out of the age range of this book and I have apparently outgrown the phase when one-dimension characters in a straightforward plot can win my heart.
I must admit that I quite liked the way the vampires were presented as the bored, tired with immortality and yet clinging to their existence beings if only they had served anything at all in the plot and their characters had any individuality - well, the latter applies to just every single character in the book. However, all such things cannot save a plot as thin as the most luxurious vellum, or characters that are as bland as it gets.
The plot moves from one predictable event to another, and the characters are characterless pawns on a chessboard with a set game.
I wonder if anyone at any point doubted that Thirrin would persuade the potential allies to joining her, let alone if anyone anticipated the outcome of any of the battles. Moreover: the logic of the plot escapes me. First the whole city is evacuated and the inhabitants make a tiresome march to the safety of the north, to escape invasion. Apart from the fact that this is damn stupid, it also has no consequences: the capital is taken by the enemy well, it was EMPTY , who then leaves it we learn later that the ghosts had some part in driving the enemy out, which actually could be a nice touch, if the author had written it better , and gets annihilated in a battle in the forest.
However, when the army goes back in a matter of weeks having the whole populace of a big city relocated to a smaller one without any economic problems whatsoever , there is no sign of the battle, even though all those corpses covered in snow and ice should make a gruesome view. Then the small province of the north supplies the army with food, fodder and anything else, the drafted army performs like a professional one after several weeks of training, we get a tedious and over-extended not to mention unconvincing to downright stupid from the military point of view description of the battle of Minas Tirith Frostmarris and the book ends.
At first glance I expected to enjoy the world: the combination of a developed Roman Polipontian Empire, with cannons and muskets, with a Vikingland Icemark featuring some Viking and some Celtic elements, the Amazons Hyppolitans relocated to the north, and some kind of Greek-like south was promising. Add to it sufficiently original werewolves and vampires - all this looks quite well. If only these lands were inhabited by people and not stereotypes And if the author had not fallen into one of my most hated pits: of creating a wise, old and perfect race of talking animals.
I could not bear the Snow Leopards at all, sorry fans. Still, the idea to use as many cultures as possible is a good one, but please Mr. Hill, add some life to your world and characters!
And now comes the worst: unlike many people who wrote reviews here I AM a fan of military history from antiquity to the 19th century , and what I got deserved a huge laugh at best but mostly a huge facepalm. The author is an archaeologist it shows, but it does not guarantee good writing , but has no idea about strategy, tactics, logistics and warfare in general.
The problem is, Mr. A lesson for Mr. Hill to learn from history books: all great commanders who lasted long were loved by their armies, not just feared, and certainly not feared for their madness and cruelty - this generally guarantees quick mutiny, even if the captain wins battles. Oh, and I forgot to say that a small city with a tiny garrison withstands ten days of siege when their walls had been breached in several places by a huge army.
The army cannot take the city despite the military genius of their commander. And mind you, this is not Tolkien, this is supposed to be realistic.
And this is it: the book is full of paper characters who impersonate certain traits, without any hint at psychology, without any doubts. Even the scene when Oskan has to choose between being a Black Witch or a White Witch is predictable and devoid of dramatism.
There is no single traitor or badass in Icemark, there is no place for good Polypontians.
The Cry of the Icemark Quotes
Plot[ edit ] The Polypontian Empire has conquered much of the known world in recent years, much thanks to its fearsome general, Scipio Bellorum. Bellorum has finally decided to invade his small neighbor to the north, the Icemark. After King Redrought sacrifices his entire army to stop the invasion, Thirrin, his daughter, is left alone to save the nation. Thirrin, having just made an alliance with the werewolves by saving their king, must now seek out more allies, as the Icemark and the werewolves alone cannot defeat the Empire.
The Icemark Chronicles