Author: Elly Blake
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Source: Hachette via NetGalley
The first in a page-turning young adult fantasy series perfect for fans of Victoria Aveyard's Red Queen and Sarah J. Maas's Throne of Glass series.Review by Nara
In a land governed by the cruel Frostblood ruling class, seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has spent most of her life hiding her ability to manipulate heat and light - until the day the soldiers come to raid her village and kill her mother. Ruby vows revenge on the tyrannous Frost King responsible for the massacre of her people.
But Ruby's powers are unpredictable...and so are the feelings she has for Arcus, the scarred, mysterious Frostblood warrior who shares her goal to kill the Frost King, albeit for his own reasons. When Ruby is captured by the Frost King's men, she's taken right into the heart of the enemy. Now she only has one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who took everything from her - and in doing so, she must unleash the powers she's spent her whole life withholding.
Frostblood is set in world where flame and ice are mortal enemies - but together create a power that could change everything.
I seem to be a bit of a black sheep with Frostblood, because all I can see on Goodreads is a string of 4 or 5 star ratings from my Goodreads friends and an average rating of 4.05. I so very much wanted to enjoy the novel- despite the blurb sounding a bit generic (for once I actually read the blurb before reading the novel haha), I had high hopes. Hopes that were unfortunately crushed basically within the first few chapters.
The book overall is extremely generic. There were maybe one or two original threads in a story that seemed like basically every other poorly written YA fantasy. From the death of the protagonist's mother to being captured in a prison to being rescued to being captured by the King (all of these things are in the blurb so I won't consider them spoilers), you could basically predict every twist and turn in the narrative.
The romance felt stale and forced, and I personally couldn't feel the chemistry between Ruby and Arcus. Actually Arcus just as a separate character felt quite one dimensional, which could have contributed to my lack of interest in the romance. On the flipside, Ruby wasn't the most likeable of protagonists and seemed to be constantly complaining, which also didn't help boost my interest in both the romance and the book overall.
It was a bit strange that Ruby was The Chosen One to destroy the Ice Throne and stop the corruption of the Frost King considering that she didn't seem particularly powerful or at least in control of her powers at all, especially at first. I mean, seriously, I for one certainly wouldn't have chosen her considering only her powers while she was captured in the jail, unless she was the only Fireblood left in the world (and therefore the most powerful). She does get more power later in the novel, but I don't feel like the monks could have predicted that.
Overall, Frostblood was quite the disappointment. However, I actually think it's probably not that bad for people who don't read a lot of fantasy. My standards for high fantasies are pretty high, so while this book might not have quite hit the mark for me, it may still be good for others.
It was okayRatings
World Building: 1/5