Bleeding Snow (Rise of Isaac book 2) by Caroline Peckham, e-book, 212 pages, published in 2016.
In this sequel to Creeping Shadow, Oliver, May and their friends have burst through the gateway to Glacio, only to be immediately captured and imprisoned by the Queen’s men. The Queen’s son has been kidnapped by the horrible gem trolls of the mountains, known as Grolls. She forces the group to accompany a band of hunters led by Hector Rook on a perilous journey in an attempt to retrieve the young prince. They must travel through ice and snow, and face murderous beasts, huge Grolls and soldiers led by an insane commander. Even if they survive, gain their freedom and their Gateway keys, the delay might still cost May her life.
Another fast-paced installment in The Rise of Isaac series, Bleeding Snow had me intrigued right from the first chapter. I was excited to get into this book, and I wasn’t disappointed! There was a lot of action, some of it rather gruesome and violent, but exciting none the less, along with magic and a little romance. I really enjoyed the description of their mountain journey, and the fight scenes. The whole story is well written, and the characters are complex. And I just love the book’s cover!
I feel like I really know the main characters. I like most of them immensely. I am beginning to like Quinn a lot more now too, and even Larkin has shown some improvement through this story. I’m not saying I like him yet, but there is potential for him to become a better person. The addition of the hunters was interesting and welcome. Despite his gruffness and dislike for magic I became rather fond of Hector, and I’m hoping to learn more about him in the next book.
Commander Xen was pretty scary. Cruel and powerful, he was a formidable enemy, and not one I would like to meet in a lonely mountain pass. It seemed incongruous that he cared for and even showed tenderness towards the boy Nex, but perhaps evil villains do need a sidekick! I liked that he was hampered by his magical illness, otherwise he would have been far too powerful. The Queen was pretty evil too, but in a more hands-off kind of way. She was conniving and manipulative, and I didn’t care for her at all.
In this book we learn more about Isaac and William, and what happened to Alison when she disappeared. Isaac reminded me a bit of Voldemort in his pale and sickly appearance from his exile in Vale. I didn’t like or trust him, I feel that he is capable of doing anything to gain his objective, no matter what or who he destroys in the process. William is acting rather despicably too, but I didn’t get the same evil loony vibes from him that I got from Isaac. Both him and the Vark, Kogure, were able to send shivers down my spine.
Bleeding Snow is suitable for high school students, and is perfect for fantasy fans. It is the second book in The Rise of Isaac series, following on from Creeping Shadow. I can hardly wait for the next book in the series!
*I received this book as a digital copy from the author, who asked me for an honest review of this book. I did not receive any other remuneration, and the review is composed entirely of my own opinions.