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Frostblood (The Frostblood Saga) Paperback – August 1, 2017
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"This is an enjoyable, fast-paced debut that blends romance into a story of suspenseful battles, royal prisons, and rebel schemes.... perfect for fans of Red Queen and will delight those who love fantasy, adventure, and romance. A strong addition to any YA fantasy collection."―School Library Journal
"Ruby's a spitfire who faces her challenges with grit.... A slow-burning, classic tale."―Kirkus Reviews
"A strong debut for Blake.... succeeds in laying down intriguing framework for the books to come."―Publishers Weekly
"Ruby and Arcus don't disappoint."―Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"With a fierce and vibrant world, richly-drawn characters, a steamy romance, and page-turning twists, Frostblood has all the elements of a great fantasy."―Morgan Rhodes, New York Times bestselling author of the Fallen Kingdoms Series
"Compelling characters, a fascinating world, and an exhilarating story beautifully wrought in this must-read debut."―Eve Silver, author of the Game series
"Fast-paced and brimming with magic and intrigue, Frostblood will keep you frozen in place until the last page and then leave you burning for more."―Lori M. Lee, author of Gates of Thread and Stone
"A fun, effortless first installment in a new series with a high PoP (probability of popularity)."―The Globe and Mail
About the Author
Elly Blake loves fairy tales, old houses, and owls. After earning a degree in English literature, she held a series of seemingly random jobs, including project manager, customs clerk, graphic designer, and reporter for a local business magazine before finally landing on her current job as a library assistant. She lives in Southwestern Ontario with her husband, kids, and a Siberian Husky mix that definitely shows frostblood tendencies.
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Even though some of the plot elements feel similar to other novels and there are some YA tropes, this book truly manages to differentiate itself from the very beginning. Every time I thought I could guess where the plot was going next, I was wrong. The author subverted many of my expectations through the inclusion of some unexpected scenes. Training of the chosen one is usually glossed over, however Ruby’s training (and her struggles with it) is actually one of the best parts of this book. There was an excellent balance of action and quieter scenes and, while I was left with some questions, the world-building was done quite well.
*One note, this book started off rather shockingly and there are some somewhat graphic scenes later on.
The characterization of both the main characters and the secondary ones is wonderful. Ruby is feisty, sassy, and has a will of iron. We spent a good deal of time with Ruby as she struggled with her training, her emotions, and her past. Seeing what she went through and showing the reader her flaws made me truly care for her. She’s flawed and we can see how she grapples with some of her decisions, particularly some of the darker ones. In this book, characters do have to face the consequences of their actions, something that I personally quite like in a book.
Plus that romance! It’s a hate-to-love romance and it built very naturally, the progression fitting with the both of the characters’ personalities. Arcus has demons and scars of his own and the original barriers between the two of them were quite understandable. What this book does very well is showing how the walls between them start to come down. I loved that they both had to face their own fears and prejudices (and mature quite a bit) as their relationship progressed.
This book was utterly captivating, enchanting, and engrossing. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys YA high fantasy or potentially high fantasy in general (while it is YA, the characters are on the more mature side). I’m already anxiously awaiting the next book in this series.
*I received a free eARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
Fast forward to 6 a.m. and I am wrapped up in my blanket (human burrito style), drowning in feels. From start to finish Frostblood was an action-packed, feels-filled thrill ride.
The book starts off great; quickly but naturally moving right into the action. We meet or protagonist Ruby, who makes a great first impression with her quick snark and fierce fury. At first, I was worried I might have a hard time reading about Ruby, simply because my favorite series (The Darkest Minds), also features a female protagonist named Ruby. Gladly, I was able to get past that almost instantly.
Not knowing who to trust and torn between her need for vengeance and her desire to be free, Ruby finds herself caught up in the midst of an ages-old battle. Faced with her new reality, Ruby must train to become a master of her abilities- snark, fighting and a bit of angsty romance ensue (of course). Elly Blake is a phenomenal writer. Lovable characters and a nail-biting plot made this a quick favorite for me.
The only thing I didn’t love about this book is that we never really see Ruby mourn her mother. One could argue Ruby was absorbed in her need to revenge, which I buy. I just think could have been better established by the author. To be honest, it wasn’t enough to take away from the experience for me, especially as I think it is something that will be addressed in future books.
Ultimately, this book was an absolute win for me. I’d highly recommend this to fans of Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard and fans of YA Fantasy in general. At the end of the day, this book had similar vibes to some other YA works but its characters and plot were unique enough that it didn’t feel like something that had already been done.