Series: Frostblood Saga #1
The frost king will burn.
Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has concealed her powers of heat and flame from the cruel Frostblood ruling class her entire life.
But when her mother is killed trying to protect her, and rebel Frostbloods demand her help to overthrow their bloodthirsty king, she agrees to come out of hiding, desperate to have her revenge.
Despite her unpredictable abilities, Ruby trains with the rebels and the infuriating—yet irresistible—Arcus, who seems to think of her as nothing more than a weapon. But before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to compete in the king’s tournaments that pit Fireblood prisoners against Frostblood champions.
Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her—and from the icy young man she has come to love.
4 Drink Me Potions
Canadian pride shines bright in this review! Frostblood is a debut fantasy that fits right in with others in this genre and is sure to be loved by its loyal fans.
While this book may contain elements that you’ve probably seen from other fantasy novels, that doesn’t necessarily subtract from the story here.
WHAT WAS AWESOME:
–A powerful protagonist who was also likeable
Ruby wasn’t the kinda main character who didn’t know she had powers to begin with. What was wonderful about this particular foundation laid out for her is that we really get to explore the depth and her growing control over the immense power that she did have. She was easily likeable (which is important if I’m reading her POV) as she wasn’t arrogant about her abilities and we may empathize with her as she struggles under the vast discrimination against her for simply being a Fireblood.
–Romantic tensions without a love triangle
Personally, I love a good conflicted coupling who weren’t necessarily friendly to start out with. It prevents the insta-love from happening, but it also gives time for us readers to appreciate their chemistry and how they’d come about feeling this way for each other. This book is amazing with it. And while a love triangle could’ve potentially happened, I’m glad it didn’t as Ruby and Arcus seem well-matched and I’m looking forward to seeing how this relationship develops in book 2.
–An overall growth in Ruby
The bottom line in this book was Ruby’s struggle to control her powers and understand what she was capable of. While this took time and sometimes may have dragged out a bit, it was fun to see it happening in a genre where protagonists just seem to do so well with their “super abilities” (once they know they have some).
Additionally, what intrigued me most was her struggle with her own inner darkness. What it meant to take someone’s life. What it meant to finally have power over someone else. What revenge tasted like after being discriminated for so long. These things I think leave room for a lot of potential storylines in the series.
WHAT COULD BE IMPROVED:
Yes, I will admit that this book sometimes felt like it fit in too well with the genre as maybe you’d feel like you’ve read this book before from a mashup of a ton of other fantasies. It may not be for everyone if you’re a diehard fantasy fan and you wanna be constantly surprised and have unexpected twists in your stories.
That being said, I think for a debut novel Elly Blake has done very well in creating this world and the mythology of gods that go with it. I’m sure more surprising things will come out of the foundations she’s laid in books 2 and 3.
–The amount of things in the plot
I wish the plot had a bit more substance to it sometimes. It was fast-paced enough (I finished this one straight through in a day!) but now that I’ve had time to sit on this for a while, I’m not sure a whole lot happens that the synopsis doesn’t already cover.
Ruby gets discovered and thrown into jail. Ruby meets people who want to train her in her powers. Ruby gets caught again and is made to fight for the king’s entertainment.
While this simplifies things by a lot, it still is somewhat true. As a debut, I can understand but I hope book 2 features more than what I already expected from reading the front flap.
Frostblood demonstrates what’s great about YA fantasy with a protagonist who can be powerful yet is still remarkably relatable with her moments of doubt and need for further growth. Being both fun in the romance department and gritty with Ruby’s personal development, I think this book offers something fantasy fans can really enjoy. Elly Blake is someone to watch out for in YA literature.