Series: Frostblood Saga
Author: Elly Blake
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Publication Date: January 10th, 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood and has been forced to conceal her powers of flame from the cruel Frostblood ruling class. But when her mother is killed defending her, she takes up with rebels—including an infuriating Frostblood—to overthrow the king: desperate for revenge.
Honestly, I was interested in this book when I heard about it, but I thought it kind of sounded like just another Red Queen. I mean I was okay with that because I like Red Queen, but I wasn’t expecting much really. Boy was I wrong. And am I glad about it.
Frostblood is a little slow, where we start in the story isn’t really where the action happens, it’s just telling some of the necessary backstory. And then once we’re in the right place, the relationship and plans develop slowly, a slow burn if you will. Get it? Cause she has fire powers.
I’m not the biggest fan of slow pacing, that’s usually the biggest criticism I give on books and the reason that I have a lot of four-point-five star reviews. But in this case, it kind of worked. I was slowly being sucked into the world, and I did end up really being sucked in. Plus, it did pick up towards the last like third or fourth with the rising action and climax.
So to put it all out there, we are in this world where long ago different gods created people that can control fire, control frost, and that are darkness. I guess I shouldn’t say control, they can like make it, not like Avatar where it needs to exist and they just bend it. The creatures of darkness are evil and have all supposedly been locked up under the earth. And despite being peaceful in some moments of history, Frostbloods and Firebloods just don’t get along. Essentially, the Frostbloods have these lands, a kingdom, and the Firebloods have (or at least did? not 100% sure) this set of islands they live on. But the Firebloods ran out of space on the islands and some moved into the Frostblood kingdom to work the land and farm. Things were okay for a bit and then they weren’t, the Frostblood king started pursuing and killing all the Frostbloods.
Okay, world building done. Now to Ruby, our protagonist and a Fireblood. She has some personality traits that are typically ascribed to “fiery” people: a temper, passion, emotion, recklessness. I know it seems a little generic, but honestly those of some of my traits in a character and I loved reading Ruby. I will say she does have another side though. She’s had to hide for so long that she sometimes holds herself back and is afraid of what she could do.
Her opposite is Arcus, a Frostblood. he is helping train Ruby in order to stage a rebellion and destroy the throne—the literal throne because there are some prophecies in play. I liked him because as you can imagine while Ruby has “fiery” qualities he has “cold” qualities: closed off, mysterious, calm, rational. You can imagine the scenes between them, their interactions and dialogue are very sharp. He’s just so different than her. As I said, Arcus is pretty mysterious. We don’t really know his past or why he’s helping with the rebellion, what his stake is. He also wears this type of mask/hood that covers most of his head, so something is going on there.
The Rebellion is against the Frostblood king, but really it’s bigger than that. It can’t be forgotten that this is a world with a lot of gods mythology and backstory, so some of that comes into play. But obviously the king is just horrible based not he fact that he’s killing all these Firebloods and his soldiers are burning down villages and harming innocent people.
There are some other side characters, but I don’t really want to expand on them because of spoilers. I loved them though, they’re so sweet and became really dear to me by the end of the novel.
I liked the arc of Frostblood. It’s the first book in a trilogy, but doesn’t necessarily feel like it. Usually with series each book ends with a cliffhanger or a lot of things unresolved, things get more drawn out because there’s more books. Frostblood ended at a place I was satisfied with, other authors might’ve drawn out certain points longer and ended sooner, but really the spot we ended and all the events being in this first book worked. There was no cliffhanger, more so there were some things that you see not being completely resolved or needing to be touched on but nothing huge and immediate.