Okay, I'm just going to confess and get this out of the way first:
I envisioned the main character as Elsa the whole time. White hair like snow? Check. Blue eyes and pale skin? Check and check. Love of the all things cold? Check. A little snowman companion obsessed with summer? Negative... but the series isn't over!
Anyway, moving on...
I initially picked this book up a couple months ago, and after reading a chapter or so, I put it down and never touched it for a while. From the get-go, it seemed cliche, and already the main characters were going through an angtsy, sexual tension filled training session. Been there, read that! One of my friends convinced me to pick it back up, and while it is filled with cliches, it was still a good read. However...WARNING: There is a love triangle
Oh, my old enemy, we meet again. I've worked so hard to avoid you, read reviews of books that looked interesting to ensure that you would not dare show your face. But I was complacent in my search with this book, and here you are, once again plaguing me. Shame on me, but I will not be fooled again. I will continue to fight you throughout this series since I want to see where things go, but I will hate you and wish to smite you the entire time.
The subpar love triangle isn't the only cliche in the book. The main character is a girl who doesn't realize how special she is until she finds out she's a FREAKING ICE QUEEN - cause why not?
, all the boys are vying for her attention, and she is looking to overthrown an evil
ruler and free her people. Sounds familiar, right? But with Meira, she is likeable
. I did not get frustrated with the decisions she made (and most of her decisions were sound), her character is relatable, and the reader really gets to understand who she is over the course of the story. Her interactions with the other characters are real, and she is definitely one of the better female characters I've come across in YA fantasy novels.
The setting and world-building also had unique elements to keep me reading. I like how the Seasons came to life, with each Season becoming actual cities with people able to weild their elemental magic. Rhythms were also introduced, but there are a lot of questions unanswered there, but I think the Rhythms and their purpose will be fleshed out more in the later books (or at least the plot seems to be heading that way). Autumn and Summer were also breifly mentioned, and I'm hoping we get to learn more about them. I will reserve my judgement until then.
The one thing that did bother me about as much as the cliches was the big plot twist at the end. So many in-your-face clues were dropped over the course of the book that it was almost impossible to NOT know what was going to be revealed. That detracted from the storyline a bit, but overall, it was still a good read. The next book will be the big tell in how the series will develop, and I that it just gets stronger.