Barbara Pietron

When sixteen-year-old Ice is visited by an evil spirit, his medicine man training warns him that things aren't right in his quiet Northern Minnesota town. His suspicions prove true when he's attacked by a Windigo--a human turned monster by a compulsive hunger for human flesh--and he soon discovers that a bad medicine charm is being used to spread the Windigo curse. The hunt is on to find the charm and the person using it before the town is overrun by cannibalistic monsters. Although the pieces of the puzzle come together to form an impossible conclusion, one which will challenge traditional belief and question numerous ritualistic items, Ice knows he must still reveal the truth. Because there are worse monsters than Windigos.

In this fictional story of Native American mythology, male protagonist Ice races to learn the truth and protect local citizens from the Windigo.

Heart of Ice is a prequel to the award-winning Thunderstone, Book One of the Legacy In Legend Series, by Barbara Pietron.

Author Bio

Having a love for witches and vampires before they were trendy, Barbara gravitates toward stories with supernatural elements both when she reads and when she writes. Although classified as young adult, her books are enjoyed by a wide audience—pre-teen through adult.

Barbara’s novel Thunderstone was awarded 2013 Book of the Year Finalist status by Forward Reviews and before it was published, Thunderstone was a quarter-finalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakout Novel Award contest, winning a review by Publisher’s Weekly.

When she’s not writing, Barbara works in a library where she’s tortured by all the books she has yet to read. She’s a cult fan of the movies Labyrinth and Nightmare Before Christmas and a fan of all things Tim Burton. Barbara lives in Royal Oak, Michigan with her husband, daughter and a cat that often acts like a dog.

Connect with Barbara on her website, Goodreads, and Facebook

  • Critic Score:96/100

    Our Review Ranking:

    A Truly Exceptional Read


Our Review


I liked the cover. Simple, clean and fitting with the genre. 

Book Blurb:

Excellent blurb for Heart of Ice. Great introduction of the main chararacter, Shattered Ice (what a cool name!), and a perfect amound of intrigue to introduce the genre and hook the reader.

Formatting :

No formatting issues.

Grammar & Spelling:

What a joy to read a book that has obviously been through several rounds of edits and proofreading. Not a single issue with spelling, grammar, or punctuation.

Character Development:

By the end of the first chapter I was completely vested in the main character. He is interesting, unique, but not so out there that I was unable to find was to relate. I liked that while he is mature for his age, I suspect a direct result of his calling to be a medicine man, he is still a teenager, still dealing with all of the feelings teeagers deal with: self-esteem, dating, friendships, parents, and school.

I thought the dialogue was one of this book's strenghts. Nothing felt forced or unnatural. I might have liked to get to know some of the supporting characters a bit more, but I totally appreciate the focus on the main character.

Plot & Structure:

From the very first page, I was drawn into the story. This author is masterful in her ability to weave in back story, introduce characters and make their motivations and actions clear and meaningful. I love that we are seeing this modern mashup of ancient Native American spirituality set against the backdrop of a kid trying to find balance between his teenager-ness and his calling to be a medicine man. There was a clear delineation between the antagonist and protagonist and the tension builds nicely. The climax and intro/flow into the next book was expertly done.


Another perfect score. This book was a fast read and once started, I couldn't wait to find out how it all ended. Excellent transitions between characters, nice handling of time line shifts, and perfect timing on the ending. 

Use of Language:

Great use of language. Nice variation on sentence length, no overly repetitive words and great descriptions of characters and setting. I might have liked to see a few more words from Ice's native language, and maybe a tad more descriptive language, but the current offering keeps the pacing smooth and leaves just enough room for my imagination to add its own mark on the story.


The characters and unique Native American spirituality thread made this a unique read. I had no idea where the book was going, but never felt like I was floating out in left field either. Though some of the themes the main characterd deals with are required for this genre, these characters and approach felt fresh and intereresting. 

Overall Readability:

I can't wait to recommend this book. And I am excited to read the remaining books in the series. This author is an artisan author, a skilled storyteller with a well-honed voice and brilliant technique. If the remaining books in the series are as good as this book, the entire series is worthy of recognition!

A Note From the Critic:

It was my absolute joy to read this book. It completely pulled me into the story and kept me there right until the end. I am so looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

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