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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Fire and Ice by Michele Barrow-Belisle is the first book in the Faerie Song Saga trilogy. Lorelei Alundra has always had the gift of healing, has always been considered an outsider. She thought the worst of her problems was trying to find a way to get along with her best friend's obnoxious girlfriend, until she meets the mysterious stranger, Adrius, who seems to appear whenever she needs him. When her mother falls so sick that she can't be cured, Lorelei follows Adrius into the woods and into the world of Faerie. But this isn't a place of fairy tales. She can't be the Faerie Princess they think she is. She can't be the one the prophecy says will save all of Faerie, the one that's supposed to stop the Ice Witch. As she's pulled between two dangerous princes from opposite courts, secrets of her origins are slowly revealed. Lorelei will do whatever it takes to save her mother, even if the cost is her life and her budding relationship.
Lorelei is an outsider and considered strange, then she's told she's actually a half Faerie princess and she's meant to save everybody. She goes from trying to fit in at high school to fitting into this magical world. She has to figure out how to live up to this image everyone has of her as their savior, the one that's supposed to stop the Ice Witch. With this whole other world's fate on her shoulders, she has to go on a coming of age journey to find out what she's capable of. Lorelei is very grounded, but still clearly a teenager, young and still figuring out her future. Fire and Ice traces her journey as she goes from a somewhat ordinary life into an extraordinary world she's only dreamed of, one that's strange yet wonderful.
The characters are incredibly layered with a flawless beauty, a twist on how they use words and speak in half-truths. Adrius is the most tragic of the characters as he has several dark secrets and seems broken, but at the same time he has complete hope in the prophecy and in her. Their love story is perfectly suited to the world, a whirlwind of romance, beauty, darkness, and tragedy. The Winter Prince also keeps appearing in her life, confusing her, and concealing unknown motives in a blend of charm and danger so it's difficult to determine if he should be likable or not. Fire and Ice offers a breathtaking world of magic as Michele Barrow-Belisle captures the wonder and danger of faeries, flawlessly bringing out their beauty and wickedness.