Book reviews

Book review: Beasts of the Frozen Sun (Xpresso Book Tours)

Hi all!
Today I bring you a review I should have posted yesterday, but I had it all scheduled up and ready to post when I wanted to change some sentences, and then I (too late) realized I didn’t schedule it for posting again, so here it still is!
Thanks to Netgalley and Xpresso Book Tours for providing me with a digital copy for reviewing. This did not affect my personal opinion of the book in any matter.
Title: Beasts of the Frozen Sun (Frozen Sun Saga #1)
Author: Jill Criswell
Publication date: August 6th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Tw: mentions of rape, suicide.
Summary: Burn brightly. Love fiercely. For all else is dust.

Every child of Glasnith learns the last words of Aillira, the god-gifted mortal whose doomed love affair sparked a war of gods and men, and Lira of clan Stone knows the story better than most. As a descendant of Aillira and god-gifted in her own right, she has the power to read people’s souls, to see someone’s true essence with only a touch of her hand.

When a golden-haired warrior washes up on the shores of her homeland–one of the fearful marauders from the land of the Frozen Sun–Lira helps the wounded man instead of turning him in. After reading his soul, she realizes Reyker is different than his brethren who attack the coasts of Glasnith. He confides in her that he’s been cursed with what his people call battle-madness, forced to fight for the warlord known as the Dragon, a powerful tyrant determined to reignite the ancient war that Aillira started.

As Lira and Reyker form a bond forbidden by both their clans, the wrath of the Dragon falls upon them and all of Glasnith, and Lira finds herself facing the same tragic fate as her ancestor. The battle for Lira’s life, for Reyker’s soul, and for their peoples’ freedom has only just begun.


First of all; the cover! As always, I am a cover-lover at it’s finest and this one instantly caught my attention!

I really liked how the book sounded when I first heard of it, and was definitely intrigued. The story about a girl who is god-gifted, but doesn’t like how she has to use it, about a boy from strange lands who she should hate but can’t.. it definitely sounded right up my alley.

I mostly liked the book, I thought the way the world worked is amazing and well-thought, and the combination of that world in the world of Lira herself, with her clan, her family and friends, it came together so well.

Lira is a character I found difficult to like sometimes, as she is definitely powerful, not only because of her gift, but also because of the swordfighting she’s able to do. I am always up for strong female characters and she surely is one. The only thing I sometimes didn’t like was the choices she made. Of course, that’s part of the story but I just felt like she chose too much for Reyker where she “told” me she cared so much for her family.

Reyker is a boy who Lira should hate, for various reasons, but for some reason, she is unable to. Instead, she saves him from death and patches him up in secret. She talks to him, cares for him, and slowly learns to communicate with him. There is a certain kind of darkness in him that she sometimes refuses to accept, however, later in the book it is explained. He keeps telling her she should not help him, even tries to refuse her help, to attack her for helping him, but nothing stops her.

Lira’s family and clan is something I don’t usually read a lot about in the books I read, but from the beginning on, it’s clear how things work there. The clan has a chieftain, and the clan listens to the chieftain. And no one is there to stop that in any other way than challenging the chieftain to a duel for the position. I personally find that difficult yo read about sometimes because I’m all for own opinions and voices, but it fit with the book very well.

The story was intriguing, and I found myself wondering what would happen next many times. Although at some point I expected something would go wrong, and then got better again, and I got it right, I still really liked reading the book. There are some mentions of things in the book that might be triggers, so I put trigger warnings in my review. I personally was not affected by them.

I wonder what the gods have in mind for Lira and Reyker and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series!

About the author


Jill Criswell is a writer of Young Adult Historical Fantasy. She was born and raised in the swamps of northeastern Florida. She earned degrees in English and Psychology and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida. Her greatest passion, besides reading and writing, is traveling the world; she’s visited fifty countries across six continents, falling in love with places like Iceland, Namibia, and Cambodia. She works as a university English teacher and lives in South Carolina, near the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, with her husband and daughter (who is named after a volcano in Iceland).
Do you want to own this beauty in a non-digital way? Enter the giveaway for the hardback of Beasts of the Frozen Sun!
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