Title: Blizzard (The Black Ice Trilogy #2)
Author: Mikayla Elliot
Genre: Fiction/ Fantasy/ YA
Favourite Quote: “There was so much to learn in our world that I had not yet seen, things that tickled the edges of my distant memories, past lives, no doubt, that teased and whispered to me of what I knew of them, had seen and held, smelled and possibly even tasted, but they alluded me.”
I was able to receive a copy of Mikayla Elliot’s second Black Ice Trilogy ‘Blizzard’ through Netgallery for an honest review. Once again I would personally like to thank the author for this opportunity.
Our story carries on with our protagonist Neva and her search for her lost niece Lucy.
Eliza knows that Neva still has a lot to learn before going out into the world on her own so she sends Helsing and his men to search for Lucy knowing that they will not fail. With so many questions unanswered for Neva, Eliza knows she must continue her training by first learning where she came from and the battle that began before the vampires existed on earth. With Neva’s ability to look into the past, their minds travel back where Eliza grew up and first met Zachariah and his cousin Lord Reegan.
‘My temper snapped. “Since I have been changed, I was taken from my family, taken from my lands and forced to remain here. I didn’t ask questions; I didn’t doubt the cause because deep down I believed and knew there to be truth. But I should have! I should have asked more questions, pushed back, not been so… so damned accommodating. Maybe if I had been more of myself I could have saved my family.” I stood, tossing the heavy book of laws and other vampire knowledge across the table, listening to it slide and watching Eliza’s shocked expression shoot up to see me in my fit of rage.’
The first half of the book draws us into Eliza’s complicated past, betrothed at the age of 12 to secure her families situation, she finds herself whisked off to Lord Reegans’s castle to wed. Her mother, Janice, does not trust Lord Reegan or his means to marry her daughter so young, especially as he is 10 years older than she is. With the little time she has left with her daughter, Janice is allowed to spend two months at the castle to make sure Eliza settles in. This is where we discover that Janice is actually a priestess with generations of magic in their bloodline which will soon be passed onto Eliza when she hit womanhood. With little time for her to teach her what she’s about to go through, Janice spends as much time as possible teaching Eliza everything she needs to know without Lord Reegan finding out about their powers.
Lord Reegan commands Zachariah to train Eliza to use a sword in order to defend herself if necessary which Zachariah is not happy with but trains her all the same. We begin to see how this creates a bond between them over the years they fight together. Lord Reegan returns after a long time away from the castle and observes their fighting skills. He takes the opportunity to attack Zachariah for keeping secrets as well as Zachariah’s unmasked feelings for Eliza, which leaves him severely wounded. Eliza uses her powers to heal Zachariah and refuses to heal or return with Lord Reegan. He threatens to kill her family if they do not return to the castle, so they come up with a plan to get rid of Lord Reegan for good.
Without giving too much away, Eliza shows us the past up right until Kareese, who Neva is able to see the world through, turns 14 and her destiny is revealed. Still young and naive, Kareese is a typical teenager who is going through too many emotions including jealousy of the closeness between Thedryk and her mother. She’s brought up in war and bloodshed that still affects her until the very end. It’s good to get a glimpse in Kareese’s life to understand how young and innocent she really was but she still stood her ground when she needed too. It’s interesting to see how Thedryk reacts around Kareese when they are betrothed, there is only pain and jealousy on her side and duty on his.
In the second half of the book, Neva is brought back to the present day after experiencing her past life with Eliza and Zachariah and the war that occurred when she was young. Her older self is now experiencing visions of a full vampire that she is destined to fight against but cannot see what she looks like. Something is blocking her vision, but as her ability is getting more powerful, everyone in the castle is also able to see and experience her night terrors with her. With too many secrets still going around, Neva decides to leave the castle in search for her niece herself, of course with Thedryk by her side. Their feelings towards one another is still complicated with too many things left unsaid.
“I never asked for this life.” My chin was quivering. “And in all that time you didn’t change me, though you could have. Don’t tell me your sob story when you and this precious Council left me to live an endless stream of lives so I now have memories that suddenly appear. Dreams where I suddenly remember without warning, where the pain in my heart and mind is real and leaves me sick and exhausted. If you know the lives I lived then you know those horrors I experienced, and I have barely even cracked the surface of those experiences myself! Yes, I do have some right here. Everyone else determined my fate, from the last time I was born as Kareese to my death in this last life, now, as Neva. Not to mention, I was a child when I died as Karesse, a sacrifice made to save the world and even then, I did not understand what that meant. Foolish, naive, and desperate, and since my change other vampires have conspired against me. My entire family has been murdered, my niece missing, and you are shocked by my present behaviour?”
Thedryk hadn’t stepped away, but his face revealed the conflict within.’
The story is great, I loved the way it brought us into the past to experience Eliza’s own story, which just made you fall in love with Zachariah. Neva and Thedryk’s relationship is still up and down as trust is still an issue, especially when Thedryk has secrets he cannot share. You know it’s going to last a lifetime, that their love will never die, but the tension remains. It would have been nice for the to have shared a kiss at least once.
One thing I found difficult to understand is how Zachariah returned and everything was normal again. Not that you really minded after you witnessed his past and how heroic and in love his was with Eliza. I read back through but I still couldn’t get my head around it. After the last book introduced us to his new stolen title as Lord Vlad, it just created more confusion and felt unfinished. I hope the next book will provide us with more about what happened to him in that timeline.
Desperate to find her niece Neva is willing to do anything to get her back, but the path she follows unveils a dark past with volatile truths, and a present intertwined with unforgiving consequences. In a race against time and dire odds, Neva embarks on a journey that will forever change the lives of those she knows and loves, as well as her own.