Author: Elly Blake
Series: Frostblood Saga, #1
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Release Date: January 12th 2017
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.
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.
– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com
My Thoughts On…
I received an ARC of this book in the July Fairy Loot box and after reading the blurb, which described Frostblood as perfect for fans of Victoria Aveyard and the Throne of Glass series, I knew it would become a book I’d quickly love as well. Luckily that proved to be more than true. Frostblood jumps right into the action, there’s no build up or development but that’s not to say the characters and setting aren’t developed perfectly as the plot commences.
Ruby is a Fireblood in a world where her kind have been hunted by the King to near extinction. Her mother has always told her to keep her gifts hidden but Ruby continues to practise in secret, until one night in the woods she hears the soldiers approaching her small village. With nowhere to run and the villagers who Ruby has lived among her whole life outing her as a Fireblood Ruby watches her mother die and her village set aflame before being carted off to the King’s prison.
Five months later she escapes with the help of two mysterious Frostbloods, making a promise to help them with one task in exchange for her freedom once it’s completed.
In the weeks leading up to the summer solstice Ruby trains with the help of Brother Thistle and Arcus, trying to control and master her powers because while she has the strength needed to complete her task she doesn’t have any control or belief in her powers. Ruby thinks she is safe in the temple surrounded by the monks that make their home there, but there are people who aren’t happy with her presence there and who will do anything to see her back in prison where, as a Fireblood, she belongs.
Captured once again this time Ruby finds herself taken to the King himself, which may be where she needs to be to complete the task Brother Thistle and Arcus set before her but is a place where keeping herself alive long enough to attempt it is a bigger challenge than she thought.
Ruby is a Fireblood and, despite being hunted simply for what she was born as, she still keeps trying to master her powers. However while she has the raw power she has very little control over it, and no one who can teach her in her small village. After the King and after her months in prison Ruby is desperate for revenge; in one swift blow he took away her mother and her home, and now she has nothing else left.
Impulsive, stubborn and free-willed Ruby seems determined to forge her own path but at the same time she understands why Brother Thistle and Arcus are training her. She butts heads with Arcus more often than not she listens to him when he is teaching her, until he gets under her skin and she lashes out with their her words or her powers. Ruby’s powers are not easy to master and she has a very limited time frame to gain control over them.
Arcus is very closed off to the world and Ruby in particular, which is typical of most Frostbloods though not to the same degree. He keeps his emotions close to his chest and acts cold and standoffish around Ruby. The two of them are polar opposites, and not just because of their opposing powers, and because of that they clash more often than not. Ruby is stubborn and refuses to listen most times, whereas Arcus is controlled and guarded.
The relationship between Ruby and Arcus is full of tension and back and forth. As a Fireblood and a Frostblood the two are supposed to be mortal enemies but as an outcast from his own people Arcus isn’t exactly a typical Frostblood. Both of them have reasons to hate the other’s kind but as they get to know each other eventually Ruby starts to see beyond Arcus’s frosty exterior.
There are a few secondary characters and although they don’t take the centre stage the way Ruby and Arcus do they are still well developed. Everyone Ruby interacts with – be it the monks she lives with for months studying her powers, or the women in the King’s palace who either help or hinder her when she arrives there – have their own secrets, their own motivations, and their own personalities which shine through.
There was a lot of amazing world building in this book; creating a whole new world, as well as the backgrounds to two groups with powers over the frost and fire, takes a lot of development but Elly Blake made it work in this book. There was a lot of history behind the war between the Frostbloods and the Firebloods; nothing definitive the way it never is when stories are all that have been handed down between the two groups, coloured by who is telling them. There are plenty of myths about the Gods and the way the powers came to be, and then there’s the world itself. It’s not a happy one; with frost covering most of the land it’s hard for people to eke out an existence, and that’s saying nothing of the soldiers the King sends out to terrorize the people and destroy their homes in search of Firebloods.
Frostblood is an amazing start to this new debut series by Elly Blake. I reckon it’s going to be an amazing series plenty of people love, and I am certainly looking forwards to the sequel’s release. There’s nothing about this book I didn’t love – the plot, the characters, the world building, the relationships – I can’t wait to see more of Ruby in the second book.
What did you think of Frostblood? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.
All quotes have been taken from an ARC and may differ in the final publication.