Reviewed by: Margaret
Rating (out of 5): 3.5 stars
Ruby has spent her life hiding her fireblood powers from the ruling frostbloods who would see her dead or in prison. When she is finally discovered by the king’s soldiers, she thinks her life is over. Her mother is gone and her village destroyed. But after months in prison, she’s rescued by a pair of powerful frostbloods who want her help to overthrow the Frost King. They’ll heal her and teach her to use her magic but even after weeks together, they won’t tell her much about the mission.
One of her rescuers is a young man called Arcus with a scarred face and a secret past that intrigues Ruby. I liked watching them bond and got frustrated right along with Ruby when he wouldn’t open up to her. Their romance is predictable, but not problematic in any way. My main issue with the story is that Arcus’s real identity was obvious from the beginning. I felt beaten over the head with the clues by the time it was actually revealed.
I loved the fire and frost magics and the way they interact. The duels between Ruby and Arcus as she trains are really exciting. The history of civil wars and the mythology surrounding the frostbloods and firebloods are interesting as well. The myth features four gods, one for each cardinal direction. The god of the North Wind created the frostbloods, and the South firebloods. It’s the East and West parts of the myth, which involve shadow and light rather than air and water like you might expect, and the prophesy surrounding them that I found a little confusing and just plain odd. I’m hoping that it will be explained more in the second book.
I enjoyed Frostblood, but I feel like there’s nothing here I haven’t seen before. Not that I’ve seen it all in the same place—it’s a mashup that includes fairy tale tropes, Ancient Rome, and scenes inspired by Star Wars. I just wish that some of those influences weren’t so obvious.
The action-packed story made Frostblood a surprisingly quick read, especially in a genre full of epic tomes. So while it wasn’t perfect, it was fun and I’m looking forward to continuing the series.
Sexual content: kissing