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City of Ice: City Trilogy    by Laurence Yep order for
City of Ice
by Laurence Yep
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

City of Ice follows City of Fire as the second in Laurence Yep's exciting coming-of-age-and-into-adventure series. The first book launched a set of unusual characters on quest in a fantasy world where magical creatures coexist with humans and human technology. In City of Fire, the bad guys - the uber wealthy Mr. Roland and the dragon Badik - stole an ancient artifact. Roland seeks to acquire all five of the lost treasures of legendary Emperor Yu.

Ranged against the villains are: young Kushan aristocrat Scirye who vowed to goddess Nanaia to avenge her sister's death; Scirye's loyal lap griffin Kles; shapechanging dragon assassin Bayang and her prey, orphan Leech (a powerful warrior in a prior life); and Leech's best friend Koko, another shapechanger. In the first adventure, Scirye pursued Roland by magic carpet. She and her associates ended up in a volcano which they survived with the aid of the goddess Pele.

Now they jump from the frying pan into the freezer in City of Ice. As they pursue Roland north with the help of the fickle great wind Naue, they fly into a battle near the Arctic Circle and help Sogdians against freebooters funded by Roland. After Naue abandons them, they are taken by a Sogdian prince to Nova Hafnia, where they are joined by the prince's daughter Roxanna and her ifrit nursemaid Upach.

After Scirye is given a vision of the City of Death by Nanaia, the argumentative group journeys into the Wastes. Scirye defeats a dreadful hag, Amagjat. They see northern lights and are aided by ribbon-like Dancers. In turn they help a huge polar bear, Lord Resak, against poisonous Ajumaq and a frost giant. Resak takes them down to his ice palace. When Roland attacks, Scirye and her friends join in the defense.

City of Ice is another thrilling, fast-paced and imaginative adventure that also continues to develop relationships amongst the questors, especially between Bayang and Leech, who both acknowledge having done bad things in the past. I'm looking forward to the series conclusion in City of Death!

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