Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Review: Frostblood by Elly Blake

Frostblood Saga #1
by Elly Blake
Little Brown Books 
for Young Readers
YA Fantasy
384 pages

Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a fireblood who must hide her powers of heat and flame from the cruel frostblood ruling class that wants to destroy all that are left of her kind. So when her mother is killed for protecting her and rebel frostbloods demand her help to kill their rampaging king, she agrees. But Ruby's powers are unpredictable, and she's not sure she's willing to let the rebels and an infuriating (yet irresistible) young man called Arcus use her as their weapon.

All she wants is revenge, but before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to take part 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.

Fast-paced and compelling, Frostblood is the first in a page-turning new young adult three-book series about a world where flame and ice are mortal enemies—but together create a power that could change everything.


Magic, frost, fire, bloody battles, dark dungeons, and the dark desire for revenge merge together to form a read which ensnares and holds the tension until the very end.

Ruby doesn't want much out of life; she simply enjoys living in the small village with her mother, and to practice the talent she was born with--fire magic. Even this, she does quietly in corners where no one can see. But as a fireblood, this is too much. Her mere existence is enough to sentence her to death. When someone sees her, the frostblood soliders come, and everything Ruby holds dear is destroyed. Brutally. Now, she has one goal--to get revenge.

Ruby is a girl on a mission to survive and get revenge, and this is a goal she keeps in front of her the entire story. But unlike many tales with strong female characters, Ruby is a natural born fighter. She has fire magic but has basically no idea how to control or use it. And she battles and works on this the entire way through, which helps to make her a character to really cheer on. She's also not a 'stupid' character. Although she does find herself in sticky situations, it's not due to her own stupidity or lack of planning, but rather, she usually acts on solid thoughts and common sense.

The world around Ruby is rich. There's enough familiarity in the life and scenes for the reader to gain a good footing before the fantastical elements take place. There's magic, but there's also quite a few 'normal' characters. This raises the stakes and makes it easier to fever for Ruby and the others when danger arises. The other characters come to life with their own personalities and traits, and it's hard not to get emotionally touched along with Ruby when these friends are threatened.

The plot centers on Ruby and her struggle to find a way to stop the Frostking's tyrannic rule. Although this leads through many action and fight scenes, there's also a romantic plot, which holds its own. There's a slow building of trust and friendship, which flowed well with the surrounding circumstances. At least, at first. The romance does start to dominate the plot in the middle, but then, as Ruby's revenge tilts back into full swing, it gets shoved hard to the side. Although it all circles around back nicely into a full-tension ending, this hiccup did pull me out for a bit.

The ending is as epic as hoped for. About half of the plot is wrapped up, leaving the rest to be answered in the upcoming books.

Summed up, this is an exciting read packed with magic, romance and adventure. I can definitely recommend it to YA fantasy fans.

No comments: