Frostblood // A Really Fab Fantasy Which Had Me Hooked (Even If I Had Some Grumbles)

25 January 2017

Published: 12th January 2017
Source: Book Box
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
My Rating:
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.
I have a lot of feelings about this book and they aren’t all positive.  I think my expectations may have been slightly too high going in so I was disappointed and I was also suffering through a bit of a reading slump where I was reading because I knew I had to but didn't want to, so reading this did feel a bit like a chore. That being said, it is a really fantastic YA read and each time I get my teeth into reading it I was sucked into the story. I think I was just letting my feelings in regards to one book affect my feelings to this one as well. I enjoyed the book and I really liked the characters and the plot was interesting.

First Of All: The Characters Rock

I was pretty certain I was going to like the characters going in after reading Nick’s review of this book and I was proved right. Ruby was amazing. She was sarcastic and funny and flawed and I just loved her. She was a girl who lost her mother and had a major guilt complex with her survivor’s guilt only exacerbated by the fact she was the one the soldier’s were after as she was a fireblood. She was stuck surviving through terrible things such as depravation in prison and being taken by utter strangers who expected her to achieve the impossible goal of killing a king when she never once knew how to control her powers. She doesn’t trust these strange monks and she doesn’t understand why she could care about their mission. I have to say, I agreed with everything she did, I would have been the same. Too often in YA fantasy you have these MCs who make grand sacrifices for people when they have their own shit to deal with and I don’t understand all the self sacrificing. It was nice to see Ruby feeling a bit selfish and wanting to put herself first (and avoid further harm to the monks) and then see her reasoning for coming around to the idea of helping them. Character growth and solid explanation for why she does what she does.

Throughout the book, I was cheering for her getting things right and making good choices and I got why she struggled so much because she is left alone without knowing what's going on and she has to make the best of a bad situation. She is a favourite. I was like her, mistrusting everyone she came across because who knows who you can trust when you live in a kingdom where everyone hates your kind?

I know a lot of people loved Arcus and Ruby’s romance with him, as well. I liked that romance but I didn't feel it was a sparky and passionate as some have said. Ruby and Arcus do have fun banter-y conversations and they do bounce off one another but I kept waiting for an incendiary spark between them and it didn't happen. Hopefully, in the next book where they get to spend more time together without secrets I might like them a bit more. That being said, I did like Arcus and the fact our romantic interest had his own secrets and his own hang-ups and wasn’t this flawlessly perfect person (a la Brooding YA Hero) he felt like a fully fledged character with personality who wasn’t always happy with the choices Ruby makes. I can definitely get behind two characters I like getting together, it’s why I hope the romance gets interesting in the next book as it wasn’t enough in this book.

My Issue: The Plot

That makes it sound like I didn’t enjoy the story, and that would be a lie. I enjoyed the book and the characters, but I was annoyed that what were meant to be plot twists were glaringly obvious to me five chapters ago. I don’t mind figuring things out but I figured a lot of things out way before they happened and that bothered me. I would have liked a bit more mystery and a bit less predictability. I mean, this may have stemmed from the fact this is a well trod genre and it’s hard to be completely original in YA fantasy and it’s hard to avoid the usual plot points. I may be being too critical, but I did feel like it was following a path which had been done before and that was a bit frustrating.

It’s Not All Doom And Gloom

I did really enjoy Frostblood. I was hooked but suffering from a slump which left me not wanting to read. Basically, this is a really fun YA fantasy which fans of that genre will enjoy. It isn't ground-breaking. It will never define the genre. But why does every book need to be new and amazing? I liked it a lot and would easily recommend it to others, surely that means it's a good read, right? I will definitely be sticking around for the next book, anyway. I need to know what happens next and any book which hooks you like that deserves some love in my eyes.

Have you read this and what did you think? And tell me I’m not alone with needing to be blown away with a book to still be able to thoroughly enjoy it.
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