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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frost Arch: Wonderful and Compelling
Like many others, I found this book on its release date and was instantly interested in both its title and description. Now, I have to admit that I do not read a lot of fantasy fiction, having most of my time consumed with grading essays and reading novels with my students, but there was something about this book that caught me; and, I am glad it did.

Frost...
Published on March 14, 2012 by AtticusBookman

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad for a first novel
Reading this book reminded me of exchanging stories with my friends as a teen. The premise is interesting. I like the concept of a Mage race with mutant "magical" powers subjugating humanity. The idea of a flying fox with mood-ring fur appealed to my inner child, who is still squealing over adorableness. Also, the cover art is lovely. I'm glad I picked up the book as part...
Published on March 11, 2012 by Angela Perry


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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frost Arch: Wonderful and Compelling, March 14, 2012
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This review is from: Frost Arch (The Fire Mage Trilogy Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Like many others, I found this book on its release date and was instantly interested in both its title and description. Now, I have to admit that I do not read a lot of fantasy fiction, having most of my time consumed with grading essays and reading novels with my students, but there was something about this book that caught me; and, I am glad it did.

Frost Arch is the first book written by Kate Bloomfield and she succeeds wonderfully in her work. The novel follows a young mage who struggles with both feelings of inadequacy and isolation in regards to her fellow mages. These feelings provide the impetus of her journey into Frost Arch where she succeeds in starting her life over while simultaneously meeting very interesting and colorful characters who help her on her way.

The novel reminds me a bit of the X-Men stories in that the powers that each mage receives can sometimes be more of a curse than a blessing; and thus, the novel ultimately centers around finding your own strength and living the life you were born to live as opposed to the life you think that you would want to live.

Although, I would say that this book might be intended to a teenage audience, the novel does have some surprisingly dark scenes that caught me by surprise and added a level of realism that I had not expected.

I look forward to the second book and urge anyone reading this review to read the novel and support this budding writer.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad for a first novel, March 11, 2012
By 
Angela Perry (Salt Lake City, UT USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Frost Arch (The Fire Mage Trilogy Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Reading this book reminded me of exchanging stories with my friends as a teen. The premise is interesting. I like the concept of a Mage race with mutant "magical" powers subjugating humanity. The idea of a flying fox with mood-ring fur appealed to my inner child, who is still squealing over adorableness. Also, the cover art is lovely. I'm glad I picked up the book as part of a promotion, because it's a fun free read.

I would not recommend paying for it though. As others have noted, the grammar and spelling need work. In addition, there are larger story issues. The main character suffers from a condition I've seen from a lot of newer writers: she is passive. The only major decision she makes in the book is at the beginning, when she runs away. The rest of the book is spent reacting. Even the climax is driven by an over-the-top reaction, not a conscious decision. The main character is also self-absorbed, which makes it hard to relate to her. She places her own wants above her friends' lives repeatedly. She never thinks about the consequences of her actions, which is fine because someone is always there to bail her out. She expects the world to revolve around her, which it conveniently does.

I think this author has talent. What her writing needs now is polish and experience. Instead of tossing books onto Amazon, I'd recommend some classes, a writing partner or two, and some good books on theory and practice. With skill and a thorough rewrite, this could be a very good YA fantasy.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting premise, but..., February 28, 2012
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This review is from: Frost Arch (The Fire Mage Trilogy Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I was intrigued by the premise behind the world in this novel, however the horrible and constant spelling/grammar errors really marred my enthusiasm. The author is obviously a teen (or was purposefully writing for a younger audience, though I don't think that was the case), and while I do see potential in this author, a whole LOT of writing experience/maturity still needs to be gained before I'll purchase anything else by this author. A professional editor, willing to tell the hard truths, would improve this book a lot.

I'm on the fence as to whether it was worth the 2.99 or not. I certainly wouldn't pay *more* for this, but it did keep me relatively interested for a day. It could be so much better, though.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Reading, Looking forward to Book 2, March 11, 2012
By 
Jennifer B. Chung "From Oakland, CA" (San Francisco, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Frost Arch (The Fire Mage Trilogy Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I borrowed this book from the Kindle library, but I definitely think it is worth buying. The concepts were interesting, and the plot moved along nicely. You can definitely tell that the author is English (rather than American) because of the use of certain phrases that only the British say. I actually enjoyed figuring out the equivalent meaning in American English. I had mixed feelings about the protagonist, Avalon. She is often intriguing, but often really slow on the uptake. In other words, other characters have to repeat things several times before she understands what they mean. Her insecurity is often more annoying than endearing. I found myself thinking that she would be mostly useless if not for her faithful and brave friends. A little bit like Harry Potter in the beginning without Hermione's quick intelligence and resourcefulness. I hope that the author makes her horoine, Avalon, a little less clueless in the next two books. I definitely get that the character was sheltered and knows very little about the world, but she could definitely act a little less slow-witted. Maybe the author (Kate) is targeting a much younger audience that has to be spoon fed a little bit, but she should have confidence that more mature readers will be interested in her book and can follow along perfectly without being led too much.

I liked Jack's character. I liked that the author hinted at some of his secret activities. I loved Raeven's character. Only just learned that it should be pronounced REE-VEN (not Raven), just like encyclopaedia. Definitely hope to see Raeven in the next two books.

Note that the book did not really delve much into the human apocalypse, but that was an interesting concept as well. Looking forward to reading more about that and the treatment of humans in book 2.

Oh, and another small note to Kate, there were a lot of typos in my downloaded version. But the story was so engrossing, I tried to just go with the flow. Overall I really enjoyed Frost Arch and will be buying the second book when it's ready to be published.

EXCELLENT first effort to an author with a great imagination! Kudos and many thanks for the engrossing reading!!!

(Whoever gave this book a 1-star review is being completely absurd and clearly did not actually read the entire book.)
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Please edit, the story is worth it., July 4, 2012
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This review is from: Frost Arch (The Fire Mage Trilogy Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
This is an interesting story, with fairly good character development, and an almost instant sympathy for the main character. However, grammatical errors and incorrect usage of homonyms throughout constantly causes me to disengage from the story. Some simple editing would make the story flow so much more smoothly. I hope the next book in the series has more attention to such details, because i am intrigued enough to keep reading.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars needs serious editing, June 12, 2012
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This review is from: Frost Arch (The Fire Mage Trilogy Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
While the general idea of this story is good (all people are mages of varying degrees, and humans are sold as slaves) the execution is extremely poor. I was so distracted by basic word mistakes (queue for cue, etc) and odd errors within the same paragraph and pages. For example: the heroine hitches a ride with a messenger before dawn, she sleeps through til evening (she says this!) then in the same paragraph it's morning as they arrive in the town of Frost Arch. Throughout the story similar blunders occur, it severely detracted from a decent story. While the story lacked a lot of drive, it was interesting. But I shouldn't get my kicks off a book from the grammar inaccuracies. I made it half way but deleted it from my Kindle. The characters were not doing anything and I kept LOL-ing at word fails.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Has potential, lacks polish, September 3, 2012
By 
Joseph D Intranuovo (New York, no, not the city) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Frost Arch (The Fire Mage Trilogy Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I was hopeful when I chose this book to read. I'm a fan of fantasy; I like magic and mages and all that comes with it. Unfortunately, after the title page, everything fell flat. Ms. Bloomfield's story had a ton of potential, but that potential was never shaped into a convincing or entertaining read.

The fantasy setting uses the traditional middle-aged culture/society (though it is not actually taking place in the past), but at times Ms. Bloomfield's mix of that time period's way of speaking with modern phrases made it difficult to feel emerged in a fantasy world.

Her characters, specifically the main character of Avalon, gain no sympathy from the reader. I could not cheer for Avalon or feel bad about her getting into trouble and danger, primarily because it was always her fault (the one exception to this would be the incident with her employer's son. Not her fault. I felt bad. Not cool.) Ultimately, Avalon came off as a character who never considered the consequences of her actions, and just dug deeper and deeper holes for herself as the story moved on. In the climactic chapters of the novel, I found myself feeling bad for the supposed villain because he or she didn't really appear to do anything wrong.

From an editing standpoint, the author is confusing at times; her ideas and sentences seemed out of order, as if she was attempting to write out too many ideas at once or had prematurely left a concept. But the biggest deterrent of all was technical. The grammatical errors in this book were astounding. Spelling, grammar, and punctuation seemed unimportant. While even the most heavily edited book still has mistakes, the errors in Frost Arch occurred so frequently that I began to focus more on when the next one would pop up instead of the story.

(In all fairness to Ms. Bloomfield, I did take note that as of August 16, 2012, she has updated the Kindle files to fix "grammatical, spelling, and syntax errors." I downloaded this book in July 2012, so I just missed the update. I hope that she was able to fix all of the errors. At the least, it would make the reading of this book less frustrating.)

Ultimately, I was disappointed because both Kate Bloomfield and her novel have such potential. Her concept of Mages replacing humans is an interesting one; the problem that the author faces is that her main character is not. If portions of this book could be expanded upon or rewritten, Book One of the Fire Mage Trilogy might actually persuade a reader to purchase Book Two.
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31 of 42 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Avoid amateur work like this., February 27, 2012
This review is from: Frost Arch (The Fire Mage Trilogy Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
This type of book is unfortunately the new "genre" that is flooding the Kindle store. The writing is poor and the editing non-existent. While the premise is interesting each and every page is filled with sentence fragments and tense changes that overshadow everything else. Worse are the transparent shill reviews which are at best over-zealous friends and at worst outright inventions. Sorry Kate.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Book Review: Frost Arch by Kate Bloomfield, March 26, 2012
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This review is from: Frost Arch (The Fire Mage Trilogy Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
What do you say about a book that begins with a little history? Not the sort that takes you back to the conquerors of our globe or the discoverers of modern medicine. I'm talking about the history of our race, the dying breed of the human being and the rise of something else, something more advanced.
No, I'm not talking about cyborgs or futuristic ideals of space crafts and alien technology, either. I'm talking about the mutation of our most basic possibilities. I'm talking about a future where our ignorance has destroyed the world that we know and what has risen from the ashes of our destruction holds the key to powers beyond our wildest expectations.
This is how Frost Arch begins, a tantalizing look into the world we once knew and left behind. A world where humans are considered the scum of the earth, powerless and pathetic. A world where all that now exists in peaceful cohabitation are the Mages - advanced humans with abilities beyond everyday reach.
Avalon Redding is one such Mage. Barely eighteen years of age she wields the gift of fire yet she is unable to control it, unable to prevent hurting those she loves. So she leaves her family in the dead of night and heads for the city of Frost Arch. Her future seemingly grim, she stumbles upon Hawthorne, a winged, fox-like creature that offers her comfort and adoration when her confidence is at its lowest.
Hiding both the secret of a deserted family and her new furry friend, Avalon takes a job in a wealthy manor, her days soon filled with the tiresome whims of the rich. But her free time is consumed with the mysteries of her master's past, a rapidly growing Hawthorne, and her new friends Jack and Camryn.
Jack a healer and Camryn an animal whisperer, they soon find that Avalon is both naive yet endearing, causing more trouble than seems plausible. They say curiosity killed the cat, but for Avalon, curiosity is a part of her nature, leading her into a precarious situation that soon sees her without her power of fire for protection. Will she be able to overcome the trials that befall her? Will she be able to save the ones she loves and stay strong within herself?
Time will tell.
Frost Arch was a surprisingly enjoyable read. After the opening Prologue, I expected a lot of destruction and mayhem, suppression and anger. What unfolded was what I've come to think of as the future written in the past. Quaint villages with taverns and market places, manor homes with servants and stables. The mixture of magic carefully integrated into an era seemingly left in our past. I was captivated by the forgotten time and imagery of make-believe, and I was amazed at how natural it seemed to splice the fantasy proposition with something of a historical fiction.
Frost Arch was well written, the characterisation right on the money for my tastes. I didn't doubt the intentions of the characters at all, and no conversation or exchange seemed unbelievable or rushed. The story line itself was for lack of a better word sweet, although, there were moments of torment that gave the overall plot more depth. There wasn't a lot of action or violence which I tend to like to keep a novel fast-paced, however, the docile nature of the story lended itself quite nicely to the temperament of the characters and the era in which was transcribed.
I rate this book four out of five stars. It was a most enjoyable read that I will definitely venture for the second book in the series to discover what happens to the lovely Avalon, the tireless Jack, and the lovable Hawthorne.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Covers can be Deceiving, October 1, 2012
By 
Lauren Johnson (Santa Clara, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Frost Arch (The Fire Mage Trilogy Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Note: I received this book from the author for an honest review.

I was terribly wrong; I do not always enjoy fire mages, especially ones named Avalon Redding. By her own design Ava's bad luck runs amuck. Not only does she come off stupid but the book reads like she is overly obsessed with physical beauty. I did not really find any redeeming qualities about her character. Her whole thought process was slow making the story draw out when the reader was already able to get to the point over fifty pages before she did. Jack was a one dimensional character who never was fully developed. I read the book expecting more out of him. The only character I actually liked in the book was Hawthorne. He was an intelligent being and extremely protective.

I really, really wanted to enjoy this book. It has a good premises and an eye catching cover. Besides having to get over all of the grammatical mistakes (I can usually ignore them because my grammar is atrocious too) the book ended up being to drawn out with no substance to the plot. I doubt if I will be able to make it onto the next book in the trilogy.

(two stars for the cover)
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