Monday, March 26, 2018

ARC Review: Ice Wolves by Amie Kaufman

Ice Wolves
Author: Amie Kaufman
Series: Elementals (Book 1)
Publication: HarperCollins (March 27, 2018)

Description: From New York Times bestselling author Amie Kaufman comes an electrifying new series about a brother and sister who must harness their powers and find their place in a sharply divided world.

Everyone in Vallen knows that ice wolves and scorch dragons are sworn enemies who live deeply separate lives.

So when twelve-year-old orphan Anders takes one elemental form and his twin sister, Rayna, takes another, he wonders whether they are even related. Still, whether or not they’re family, Rayna is Anders’s only true friend. She’s nothing like the brutal, cruel dragons who claimed her as one of their own and stole her away.

In order to rescue her, Anders must enlist at the foreboding Ulfar Academy, a school for young wolves that values loyalty to the pack above all else. But for Anders, loyalty is more complicated than obedience, and friendship is the most powerful shapeshifting force of all.

My Thoughts: Anders and Rayna are street kids in Vallen and have been since they left an orphanage when they were six and the carers wanted to separate them. Life is hard. They make their way by stealing and picking pockets. But they have each other. The think of themselves as twins though their personalities are much different. Rayna is the leader because she is quicker with a story and more of a planner than Anders.

The city is guarded by ice wolves who are protecting them from the scorch dragons that caused the war that made them orphans. One day, while picking pockets at a monthly trial to find more ice wolves, they need to be tested to get away from one of their victims. Rayna touches the magic staff and turns into a scorch dragon which puts her in immediate danger from the ice wolves doing the testing. When Anders touches the staff, he becomes an ice wolf but his main concern is saving his twin.

When Rayna is forced to leave the city in the company of other scorch dragons, Anders is determined to find and rescue her. His best course of action is to join the Ulfar academy which trains the ice wolves to protect the city. His only intention when joining is to learn enough about the dragons to find his sister. He doesn't expect to make friends including his roommates Lisabet, Viktoria, and Sakarias. Lisabeth questions the wolves policies toward the dragons and helps Anders learn to read and find out more about the magical objects held by the wolves which might help him locate his sister.

While Lisabet wants to find some way for the dragons and the wolves to talk and to forge some kind of peace, most of the adult wolves don't think that is possible and may, in fact, be creating incidents to make the dragons look bad in order to secure the wolves' power in the city. There is a magical object that will locate the dragons which Anders wants to steal in order to find his sister and the wolves want to use to carry their war to the dragons' home. He steals it and has many adventures on his way to the home of the dragons where he learns that all is not as he thought.

The story is filled with adventure. I liked Anders who had great love and loyalty to his sister. I liked that he made friends in his new school and that he learned that it was all right to step out of his sister's shadow and make his own decisions. This is the first book in a trilogy. I am eager to know what happens next for Anders, Lisabet, and Rayna.

Favorite Quote:
Though Anders and Rayna had often wondered about their parents, Anders barely ever felt like he was missing out. He and Rayna were a team, and they were enough for each other. More than enough.

But now, he was finding that all this time, he had wanted something more. He just hadn't known it. The feeling of family at Ulfar was hare to deny. The fact they all managed to be a pack despite their differences only added to the feeling that if he'd had the chance, perhaps me might have belonged here.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.

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