Also in this series: A Heart of Blood and Ashes
Series: A Gathering of Dragons #2
Published by Berkley on July 21, 2020
Genres: Epic Fantasy Romance
Source: Self Purchased
Milla Vane returns to her exhilarating A Gathering of Dragons series, into a world of fire, demons, and passion in the midst of a great evil that will bring only death and destruction.
Danger lurks in the western realms. Though an evil king has been defeated, a sorcerer warlord has risen and nobody is safe. This demon-possessed warlord creates magical terrors, attacking nations with the ultimate goal to weaken and demolish them before the Destroyer's imminent return.
When Lizzan leads the Kothan army against these terrors, only to see her soldiers massacred and to emerge as the only survivor, she is called a coward. A disgrace. A failure. Shunned from her home, Lizzan now wanders in solitude through the lands as a mercenary for hire, until she encounters a group of warriors seeking new alliances with the northern kingdoms--a group that includes Aerax, the bastard prince of Koth, and the man who sent her into exile. Though they were former childhood friends, Aerax cannot trust the woman whose failure led to the fall of a kingdom. But when a goddess's demand binds them together, Lizzan and Aerax must find a way to overcome their painful pasts. Or there will be no future for the western realms...
This review may contain spoilers, so fair warning, upon reading the review.
In The Touch of Stone and Snow we have a story that continues in the gritty world of Milla Vane of the Gathering of Dragons series. After reading the first book “A Heart of Blood and Ashes” I have been so intrigued by this style of fantasy and quite frankly I adore epic fantasy and so happy to see more authors writing in this genre. Its definitely one we need more books in. And I have been highly impressed with Milla Vane to be honest. I just love how she developed this story and I will say that I couldn’t seem to get enough of this book and it turned out so different than I expected and most especially the romance turned a road I never expected and I was all in for it.
The Touch of Stone and Snow is a story that begins with a love story of two people….Lizzan and Aerax. Lizzan and Aerax were once best friends who turned into lovers, but then in a battle that Lizzan led, all of her men were killed and she was held to blame as the only survivor and she was cast out of Koth, her family living in disgrace and losing the man she loved and the only home she had ever known. Lizzan now works as a protector to lead innocent people through the dangers of bandits, and those touched by the ‘destroyer’. Aerax has never stopped loving Lizzan, and will never tell her the full story but he and his pet snow cat (a saber tooth tiger) feel the loss of Lizzan in their lives. But while on the trail sent on a mission….Aerax finds her and even though there is a tension he feels more complete with her near. As Aerax and Lizzan work together and reconnect they will also have to face a danger, one they won’t be ready for and it will take the both of them to destroy it and reach the HEA they so richly deserve….
I have to say that A Touch of Stone and Snow was such a endearing read. I just fell so hard for Aerax and Lizzan. Now I will say that Lizzan isn’t your average heroine and not normally my cup of tea since I do have a hard time relating with such alpha females, but boy I adored her. Because even though she has such a tough exterior, she also possesses this sweetness and charming vulnerability I wanted to see more of. Now Aerax …*sigh* he was delicious in every way. I love that even though he made his own share of mistakes, he owns up to them and isn’t afraid to go after what he really wants. He has such a protective side but also appreciates Lizzan for the woman she is and supports her in every way and I found that so sexy. I was expecting so much ANGST in this book and I was pleased to see that it didn’t turn out the way I expected or last as long as I was ready for which had my heart pleased. I don’t care too much for angst to be throughout the whole story so to see it resolved more earlier on was quite refreshing.
Now as a plot line this story kicks booty let me tell y’all. Because wowzers, will she never cease to surprise me in that? Because I just couldn’t get enough of seeing how she just pulls you into this suspense filled story. Both Aerax and Lizzan and their group have to battle off some enemies and the intensity in some of these scenes definitely keeps one on edge all the way through. Especially in the later half of the story, that is where it really picks up speed. The first half the focus tends to be the romance between Aerax and in the second half they are pushed to the test in saving the lives of their people. I found the style of seeing the growth of the story to be one that feeds your attention in the right manner.
A side note I ADORED Aerax having a pet saber tooth tiger, so so cool!! And quite frankly the bond between the three of them was adorable and I couldn’t seem to get enough of it.
Overall I found A Touch of Stone and Snow to be a fantastic addition to the series that embodies thrilling adventure, the beauty of finding love again and good conquering evil —-an edgy, keep you on your toes read that will leave you eager for the next one.