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Frozen Reign

Review

Frozen Reign

FROZEN REIGN, the final novel in Kathryn Purdie’s Burning Glass trilogy, captures the last installment of Sonya’s struggle to defeat her vile enemy, the ousted emperor of Riaznin, Valko, who still holds onto a portion of his precious kingdom. With the help of Valko’s handsome and kind brother, Anton, Sonya hopes she can finally end Riaznin’s brutal civil war. Still, Sonya struggles with the loss of her empathic powers, seeking help from her Auraseer sisters to restore them before it is too late to save her loved ones from the danger that approaches. After learning of a powerful Esten Auraseer, Sonya departs from the safety of her convent in the hopes of recovering her abilities, but will she forfeit the tentative peace she has built in the process?

"The epic finale Purdie crafts in FROZEN REIGN stalls at moments, but will satisfy devoted readers of the trilogy with a sincere conclusion."

The epic finale Purdie crafts in FROZEN REIGN stalls at moments, but will satisfy devoted readers of the trilogy with a sincere conclusion. Sonya’s struggle to cope with the loss of her abilities presents an interesting internal character conflict, as she fights to understand her role in Riaznin’s revolution without her powers. The development of Sonya’s character as an active participant in the war, despite her recently developed powerlessness, demonstrates her mental strength and personal growth from the beginning of the series. Sonya’s relationship with Anton supplies tender moments, contrasting carefully with the violence of the civil war. The drive Sonya expresses in her fight to save her family and friends is heartening and emotional, and the novel’s focus on the role of female friendship seem especially fitting in the light of current events. Purdie’s narrative of feminine empowerment in the mutual support Sonya shares her Auraseer sisterhood encourages Purdie’s readers, too, to rely upon the power of friendship between women.

Occasionally, however, the plot loses a concrete sense of time. Sonya’s narration skips to the next day in one moment, and then to the next week, without always providing clear distinction between time jumps. Still, through Sonya’s thoughts, the reader uniquely understands both the gentleness and the hatred of Sonya’s emotions. The complexity of Sonya’s feelings deepens the reader’s connection to her character, allowing the reader to root for her in the novel’s most dramatic moments. In all, readers looking for a rewarding conclusion to the Burning Glass trilogy will find what fulfilment in Kathryn Purdie’s FROZEN REIGN.

Reviewed by Janine Chouinard on December 18, 2018

Frozen Reign
by Kathryn Purdie