Valor is under arrest for the attempted murder of the Crown Prince.
Her parents were cast out from the royal court. Her sister was banished for theft of a national treasure. Now Valor has been sentenced to life at Demidova, a brutal prison built from stone and ice.
But that’s exactly where she wants to be: her sister was sent there too, and Valor intends to break her out.
From the inside.
No one has escaped Demidova in over 300 years though, and if Valor is to succeed, she will need all of her strength, courage and love. If her plan fails, Valor faces a fate worse than any prison…
An unforgettable story of sisterhood, valour and rebellion, Prisoner of Ice and Snow will fire you up and melt your heart all at once. Perfect for fans of Katherine Rundell, Piers Torday and Cathryn Constable.
As a lover of fantasy and a die-hard Prison Break fan, the blurb for this book had me well and truly hooked, so I was delighted when I was asked to take part in the Blog Tour. A Prisoner of Ice and Snow promised strong female characters, action and intrigue in a frozen fantasy world, and it didn’t disappoint.
How far would you be willing to go to protect your sister?
Welcome to Demidova, a matriarchy where justice is as harsh and cold as it’s frozen landscape. Valor is determined her sister, Sasha, will not spend her life in the country’s prison system, where once you enter there is no escape but death. Imprisoned for stealing a music box required to seal the peace treaty with Lady Olegevna of Magadanskya, Sasha will never taste freedom again, unless Valor succeeds.
Using all of her training as a huntsman, Valor takes aim at Prince Anatol, and seizes her opportunity to get inside Tyur’ma in order to break Sasha out, from the inside. A prison that no one has escaped from in it’s 300 year history. Once inside, Valor must learn how to survive the harsh regime where the other prisoners are as dangerous as the Peacekeepers holding them. With no idea who she can trust, she has no choice but to put her plan into action, and pray she can get her sister out…
The Siberean-esque setting, sisterly solidarity and spine-chilling suspense in Ruth Lauren’s debut novel combine to create a book that demands to be devoured, snuggled under a blanket to ward off the cold that seeps from its pages. It’s fast-paced, all-action plot combined with both fearless and fearsome characters, most of whom are pawns in a much bigger deception, creates a sense of desolation and despair against which, Valor and Sasha’s perseverance and determination offer warmth and hope. A gripping read full of strong female characters who will stop at nothing to achieve their goal.
Looking forward to book two in this fabulous series already.
Great for fans of The Dreamsnatcher, The Huntress: Sea, The Wolf Wilder.
An Interview with Ruth Lauren…
I was delighted to be able to meet Ruth during her signing for Prisoner Of Ice And Snow at Waterstones Merry Hill, and it’s my pleasure to host an interview with Ruth Lauren for the Prisoner Of Ice And Snow Blog Tour.
I say host, as the questions are from my Year 5 & 6 After School Book Club. And, while you’re reading I’ll be eating my Prisoner Of Ice And Snow biscuit…
We loved the vibrant characters, snowy setting and all out action in Prisoner of Ice And Snow. Can you summarise it in three words?
Well, I usually go for four – Prison Break meets Frozen, but that TV show is really only for adults, so . . . Sisters, love, and rescue? Or Icy prison rescue? I’m terrible at this!
Miss Cleveland has lots of great books on her bookshelf, why should children choose Prisoner Of Ice And Snow?
If you like adventure stories with lots of action and twists and turns or if you like intrigue and girls being courageous and fierce or if you like crossbows and palaces and princes and prisoners, then you might like Prisoner. And if you don’t like it, put it back and try something by Katherine Rundell because she really is excellent.
Valor is very brave trying to break her sister out of a prison no one has ever escaped from. Is there anyone you would get sent to prison to break out?
Any of my children, and of course my own sister!
The sibling relationships between Valor & Sasha and Prince Anatol & Princess Anastasia are very different. Do you have any siblings and if so, which is your relationship more like?
I do have a sister. She’s three years younger than me. Prisoner of Ice and Snow is dedicated to her – which should tell you that we’re more like Valor and Sasha now we’re adults. There may have been a bit of Princess Anastasia about me when I was much younger though…
When did you know that Valor’s story would take more than one book to tell?
Not for quite a long time, actually. I first wrote it as a standalone, but then when my agent sent it out to publishers, four houses wanted to buy it and all of them wanted a sequel. That’s when I started thinking about what might happen to Valor next – and I’m very glad I did because I really love Seeker of the Crown.
We really enjoyed Prisoner of Ice And Snow. How long do we have to wait for the sequel, Seeker Of The Crown?
Thank you! I’m so happy you enjoyed it. Seeker of the Crown is out in the US in April 2018, so you might be able to get the hardback version from Amazon shortly after that. The UK version will be out in September 2018. It’s quite a long wait, but I hope it will be worth it.
What was your favourite book as a child?
I really loved Watership Down, The Secret Garden (this has some problematic content that I’m aware of as an adult and that I discussed with my daughter whilst we were reading it together. The main character is a white girl who has been living in India and her attitude towards Indian people is very much a product of the time the book was written, which is to say it’s racist). I loved the The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe too (and I still can’t read it without crying).
Did you have a reading role model as a child?
My dad took me to the library every four weeks so we could all borrow books and he let me use his extra tickets (we had paper tickets back then) to get more books out for myself. I put this in the acknowledgements of Prisoner, because it was really important to me.
And finally, what advice would you give to aspiring young authors?
Read lots. Read all the time. It’s the most important thing you can do.
A huge thank you to my After School Book Club for the questions, and to Ruth for such brilliant answers, and biscuits!
About The Author…
Ruth Lauren lives in the West Midlands in England with her family and a lot of cats. She likes chocolate, walking in the woods, cheese, orchids, going to the movies, and reading as many books as she can. She’s been a teacher and worked in lots of different offices, but she likes writing best. Prisoner of Ice and Snow is her debut novel.
Where To Buy…
Prisoner Of Ice And Snow is available to buy from your local independent bookshop, or by following these links:
Thank you so much to the fabulous Faye and Bloomsbury for inviting me to be part of the #PrisonerofIceandSnow Blog Tour.