Publisher's Weekly, 10/29/12
For her first novel, Dvorin offers a straightforward traditional, quest-driven fantasy. Orphaned siblings Jarrod and Whisper Thornn, though close during childhood, choose diverging paths as adults. While pious Jarrod becomes a Temple Guardian, Whisper learns the arts of theft and deception from the cunning Mins Delacorr. After a breach opens in the magical Boundary protecting their homeland, Jarrod embarks on a difficult journey to stem the apocalyptic Blight, along the way facing both life-sucking wraiths and tests to his faith in the Goddess. Whisper, meanwhile, has been assigned to seduce a precious ring away from a sorcerer. Her mission dovetails with Jarrod's after Mins's death, and brother and sister find themselves pooling their very different resources. Strong female characters distinguish an adventure that otherwise leaves too many loose threads to be tied up in later outings. (Dec.)
Sample Reader Reviews from Amazon and Goodreads
As grand fantasies go, this one is full of things I love: smart, often kick-ass women; interesting politics; weird magic; strange folks who are probably bad but not exactly, specifically villainous; and of course, the undead. The writing is excellent, the story is adeptly-told and well-paced. My only beef is that I wanted to know what happened to everyone! But we'll have to wait for the sequel for that, I suppose.
I usually don't read this type of fiction, but I was totally absorbed by Julia Dvorin's richly detailed world of priestesses, sorcerers and otherworldly phenomena. A large cast of deftly drawn characters and interwoven story lines made for a very enjoyable read.
Fantastic debut fantasy with plenty of twists and turns, beginning with the main characters: brother and sister, as different as night and day, both essential to the plot. With strong characters that defy stereotypes and themes that delve into questions of fate and chance, Dvorin's Ice will encourage re-readings and keep fans waiting breathlessly for the next installment.
Loved this. The characters were compelling, all with different priorities and beliefs that made complete sense from their perspectives. I loved Whisper and Jarrod's relationship in particular. I tend to be suspicious of books that hang on prophecy as a major plot element, but this one has a really clever take on the interpretation and perception of prophecy, gods, and magic. I love the contrast of utter conviction and uncertainty characters feel about the foretold. Some parts of this book are hilarious; some are completely horrifying (few arcs have creeped me out as thoroughly as Whisper's first big job in this book). I can't wait to see what comes next.