Blurb: The Icemark is a kingdom in grave danger. Its king has been killed in battle, its enemy lies in wait, and its fate rests on the shoulders of one girl. Thirrin Freer Strong-in-the-Arm Lindenshield, a beautiful princess and an intrepid warrior, must find a way to protect her land from a terrible invasion. She will forge an extraordinary alliance of noble Snow Leopards, ancient Vampires, and ferocious Wolf-folk. She will find unexpected strength in her friendship with a young warlock. And she will lead her allies to victory with her fierce battle cry: "Blood! Blast! And Fire!"
I give it 4 stars
My Review: From the moment 13 year old Thirrin Lindenshield punches a werewolf in the face, this book rolls along at a brisk clip as the young queen seeks out allies in a coming war. From her homeland of Icemark, through the Land of Ghosts, and on to the Hub of the World, Thirrin's adventures bring her into contact with a myriad of wondrous creatures including valiant werewolves and snooty vampires.
Thirrin is a heroine with fierce pride and valor, but in many ways she is still only a young girl thrust too soon into her role as queen. With the undefeated Polypotan Empire threatening her borders, she must seek her allies in the unlikeliest of places, including among those who were once her land's greatest enemies.
At the beginning of the book there are a few times when the king tells his daughter things she should already know simply for the reader's benefit. But aside from those brief moments of info dumping, this is a highly enjoyable book full of adventure and emotion. I don't usually like head hopping, but in this case it's handled so well I was never confused as to whose point of view I was looking through.
If you enjoy YA medieval fantasy with a Norse flavor, I highly recommend The Cry of the Icemark.