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The City of Ice by K. M. McKinley. Book Review

December 27, 2016

city-of-ice

As the Morfaan begin to make their rare and incredible appearance into the world, the race is on to reach the marvels of the City of Ice. But all is not well and great changes are afoot that may herald an era of unimaginable destruction.

Each member of the Kressind clan is now on their own remarkable journey. Although this book concentrates largely on the mission of Trassan’s iron ship to the ancient Morfaan City of Ice, rumoured to contain incredible technology, and Garten’s presence on a diplomatic mission to meet the surviving Morfaan, who are prophesied to soon appear.

Not as much of the book is devoted to the other siblings. Katriona begins to lobby for substantial political changes in her world now she is allied with the Tyn, enslaved magical creatures. Aarin, the spirit guider journeys to the monastery on the Final Isle. The wastrel Guis now possessed by a Darkling who is up to no good with the Infernal Duke. Rel is still in exile at the Glass Fort. Presumably these branches of the Kressinds will come into their own in the next book, as well as the stories of other characters involved in the first book.

The world of the Kressinds is still rich and further supplemented with the introduction of the Morfaan, as well as the Iron gods, the Draathis, old enemies of the Morfaan, who are beginning to play more of an active role through the medium of their servant Shrane.

This is a very full storyline requiring a reader to stay on top of the vast cast of characters, as well as plot twists and turns. So The City of Ice is probably not a book to read as a standalone before reading The Iron Ship.

The Kressinds are at the core of the story, so when the narrative takes a turn away from the family, such as the sadomasochistic arrangement between the prostitute Madelyne and the Infernal Duke, the direction of the story becomes a little shaky.

But there is plenty of action as well as suspense and intrigue. The City of Ice also does not pull any punches when it comes to sudden and unexpected violence which K. M McKinley uses to great effect, and is one of the factors which create tension for the reader as they wonder what the next page will hold for the well-drawn characters. Certainly the various storylines finish in a wonderfully tantalising way.

The City of Ice was courtesy of Solaris via NetGalley

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