Anime Book Light Novel Review

How to Melt the Ice Queen’s Heart: Vol.1 – Light Novel Review

How to Melt the Ice Queen’s Heart is the debut work of Kakeru Takamine. A slow romance, between a boy who helps anyone in need and a girl who keeps everyone at distance. With beautiful illustrations by Ichigo Kagawa and an interesting description that caught my eye, I had to check out volume one of this title published by Tentai Books.

Simple World

Unlike many light novels, How to Melt the Ice Queen’s Heart takes place in a simple setting. Both the main characters are high school students and have everyday lives. No crazy student council or strange events. Just a simple backdrop, which lets us focus on the characters and their story.

Fire and Ice

How to Melt the Ice Queen’s Heart follows protagonist Asahi Kagami and the titular ice queen, Fuyuka Himuro. Readers who know some Japanese may already sense the imagery here. The fire that is Asahi melting the icy Fuyuka’s defenses away. While the overall flow of the plot is no secret even from the start, I certainly enjoyed the ride.

Asahi isn’t too outstanding. That said, he’s not just your average but kind protagonist that you find in so many romances. He’s smart, but not overly so. While kind, he can be pretty pushy about it at times. He’s a skilled cook due to his parents both being in the business and can keep a house well as he lives separately from them.

Fuyuka is very much the ice queen. She takes it even further than the normal stereotype. Keeping conversations to the absolute minimum and with no known friends at all, she’s very aloof. She even refused to respond to her neighbor’s polite greeting when moving in. As beautiful and talented as she is unapproachable, she’s the talk of the school.

Of course, this being a romance story, circumstances do push them together.

How to Melt the Ice Queen’s Heart - Fuyuka 2

Slowly Thawing

As amazing as Fuyuka may seem, she still gets ill just like anyone else. This is what sparks an encounter with Asahi. Living in the same apartment building, he comes across her near the point of collapse. With her still refusing help until she actually faints, he decides to bring her inside his home until she comes to. Even then she tries to leave right away but resigns herself to accepting Asahi’s kindness until she can move again.

Not wanting to be in his debt, this starts a series of events where she helps him in return and then more opportunities to spend time together occur through a run of bad luck.

What I particularly liked here was how Fuyuka did not suddenly fall for him or even become friendly. Progress happens at a glacial pace, with very slight hints of becoming closer through the volume. We get to learn more about Fuyaka and it hints at her life and past, but she doesn’t suddenly deviate from that ice queen the moment she’s showed kindness.

Does this sound familiar? How to Melt the Ice Queen is inspired by The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten, in some ways being a reversed version of the popular light novel. While I enjoy both, I personally prefer this title.

Unwanted Kindness

Much like Fuyuka, Asahi seems quite slow in how he changes. At first, we see him just providing assistance that any decent person would to a stranger. It’s established well that he’s a kind person and not just to beautiful girls in distress – we see him treating his friends well.

In some circumstances, he pushes his kindness on Fuyuka. As time goes on, we can see his thoughts changing from pure altruism to a subtle interest. It’s not exactly love at first sight, but it was interesting to see how his thoughts were taken over with her.

Hints of More

While I don’t want to give too much away, it dropped subtle hints throughout about Fuyuka having a sad past. Beyond that, we do learn some more about her through volume one. It interested me enough to want to find out more though. While we learn about Asahi, we don’t really know too much about the ice queen.

Physical

Originally I reviewed the digital edition of this book. A physical copy came in later, and I’m certainly pleased with it.

The dust jacket cover has a pleasant design showing Fuyuka on the front cover and on an icon on the top of the side. The font on the side and back is consistent with the front cover, so it all feels well put together. The same design is echoed on the book cover itself.

It’s a rather large book, measuring 21cm tall and 15cm wide. This is consistent with other titles I have from Tentai Books but taller than some others. The text size is standard and easy to read and the print quality of both color and greyscale illustrations is great.

How to Melt the Ice Queen’s Heart - Postcards and Bookmarks

How to Melt the Ice Queen’s Heart came with some wonderful postcards and bookmarks. Except for one of the bookmarks, they are only available when ordering directly from the publisher. The included one is inserted into the book on arrival and comes with the Tentai Books logo and the cover image of Fuyuka.

I should take a moment to note how pleased I am with the packaging too. Tentai Books clearly took a lot of care in putting it together. Through no fault of their own, the mail carrier treated it badly. Despite this, the contents came through without a mark on them.

Verdict

I certainly enjoyed volume 1 of How to Melt the Ice Queen’s Heart. While not action-packed or filled with exciting events, it’s just a slow-burn of a romance; the story of two people growing closer despite the odds. Some may feel that it’s too slow for them, but I actually found it more real than many stories in that way. I’m looking forward to volume 2 after reading it and that’s the important part of the review in the end.

HOW TO MELT THE ICE QUEEN’S HEART VOL.1 IS RECOMMENDED

Purchase: Tentai Books, Amazon, Google Books, BookWalker

Want to read some more light novels? How about checking out The Fruit of Evolution? Or our visual novel reviews?

Many thanks go to Tentai Books who provided a review copy of this title.

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