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.
I received this ARC while attending BEA last year in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.
I picked up Elly Blake’s debut novel, Frostblood, by chance at BEA last year. I love a good fantasy and when I saw Morgan Rhodes’ praise on the cover, I figured I just might get along swimmingly with Elly and her new world. And I was quite right indeed!
Fantasy worlds can be hard to understand at the best of time. Too much detail and you will overwhelm a reader and too little detail might just lead to confusion, but Elly does things just right! In this fantasy world we see two key groups, the frostbloods and the firebloods. And they both basically wield powers of their given element. Frostbloods are the ones who are more in control of things, in fact, firebloods are dying out. Ruby is one of the remaining ones, and is really the only one we meet in this book. Whether there are more out in the world in hiding is not something that is explored just now. Ruby is taken prisoner for being a fireblood and after witnessing her mother murdered, she wants nothing more than to take revenge on the man who killed her. It’s a few months after her arrest that she’s rescued by a pair of frostbloods, and in this world these two groups do not get along.
The frostbloods rescued her with the intent that she be trained and used to help take down the current frostblood king who is get a bit tyrannical in his ruling. But Ruby barely has any control over her abilities and has until the summer solstice to train.
Ruby is taken in by this group of monks, who for the most part, treat her kindly. Well, a few of them anyway, some treat her with disdain and others are just wary. But the one who drives her the most insane in the young man named Arcus who is always wearing a hood that hides his face from her and others. These two have no love or like for one another. There’s disdain and pettiness between them. But at the same time, it’s almost quite comical. Yes, Arcus comes off as cold and unfeeling, befitting to his frostblood nature, but naturally, the reader can tell there is a reason for that. He has his own story that we will soon learn as Ruby’s story continues.
I must say, I am quite the fan of the hate/dislike to romance stage of things. It’s very rare, when I am actually taken by surprise of a hate to romance situation. For the most part I can totally see when the hate will become love and that doesn’t really bother me too much. What I tend to like about this scenario is how long the love takes to build. To me, that speaks of real life romance. I’d like to think it will take time before true feelings and love come about and we totally get that here. Granted it might come somewhat early page count wise, but a book can only be so long, unfortunately! ;)
The second half of the book was really quite exciting. Ruby is taken prisoner (again) by the king, this time! And he has a special hate for firebloods, but instead of an outright execution he’s a fan of the good old Roman days of Colosseum battles and fights to the death. Ruby is pitted against enemy after enemy all while the king and his power source are within her reach.
The book is divided into two parts, the first part has a nice slow burn of buildup. We’re learning about the characters, the world, seeing things slowly begin to develop, while the second part is where a lot of action takes place. We get encounters with our villain and an even greater evil as well! There was so much to this part! So many shocks and surprises! It was amazing!
The ending to this one was perfect! We get a nice roundabout conclusion, yet Elly still leaves a few minor threads dangling to keep us hooked and awaiting release of the next book. Because there has to be a next book! And curse my reading this one early! While the cliffhanger rates very low on the agonizing scale of needing the next book now, I still need to have the next book now because I just want to know what will happen to these characters that I have come to love so completely!
Frostblood is definitely one incredibly amazing fantasy read that had me turning the pages as fast as I could! It was an exciting and thrilling read filled with impeccable characters and I am already looking forward to the next one! Be sure to add Elly Blake to your list of authors to watch out for! She’s already on the fast track to my list of favorite authors!!
Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars
Frostblood releases January 10, 2017