Frostblood (Frostblood Saga #1) by Elly Blake (2017)
YA Fiction | Fantasy
“The frost king will burn.
Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has concealed her powers of heat and flame from the cruel Frostblood ruling class her entire life. But when her mother is killed trying to protect her, and rebel Frostbloods demand her help to overthrow their bloodthirsty king, she agrees to come out of hiding, desperate to have her revenge.
Despite her unpredictable abilities, Ruby trains with the rebels and the infuriating—yet irresistible—Arcus, who seems to think of her as nothing more than a weapon. But before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to compete in the king’s tournaments that pit Fireblood prisoners against Frostblood champions. Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her—and from the icy young man she has come to love.”
pooled ink Review:
I bought this book on a whim. I was at my local bookstore and was having no luck finding anything I wanted. I’d either already read it or I wasn’t interested (and it doesn’t help that their YA section is rather small). But I was in a desperate mood for a new book and last minute I saw a single copy of Frostblood tucked between two large books on a shelf. I didn’t really think, I just snatched it and paid for it feeling vaguely victorious.
Now, I’ve read a few reviews from my fellow bloggers and the opinions were pretty mixed. Some loved it, some weren’t impressed…so basically I went into this not really having any high expectations, just a vague recollection of the title and the mixed reviews. I honestly even forgot what it was supposed to be about. Without bothering to refresh my memory by reading the back cover I just dove in…and I read…and night fell…and I’d finished the whole entire thing.
I’m sure you noticed that I didn’t give it 5 stars and that’s because in most ways it was a simple typical fantasy story. But it did have me immobile and reading for hours and if that’s not a good book then I don’t know what is.
So yeah, overall Frostblood was exactly what you’d expect from a YA fantasy, but I actually mean this in a good way. It checks all the boxes on a fantasy list, and isn’t that why fantasy lovers continually seek out similar books? It has everything I look for such as action, magic, mysterious evil, hidden destiny, and even romance. But while I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, a part of me can’t deny that it’s very similar to several other fantasy books that I’ve read. They all fit the same outline, just filled in with different mythologies, characters, and settings.
So yeah, for better or for worse it’s exactly what I’d expect from a YA fantasy. It’s not genre-shattering or revolutionizing, but it’s good fun and a perfect choice when looking for something you know you’ll like (assuming you’re a fan of fantasy like me). It’s a safe choice, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a good read.
Despite its familiar plotlines this book was actually very easy for me to get into and it trapped my attention successfully. The fact that I’d read similar versions of the same hero tale didn’t seem to matter. I wanted to read a thrilling fantasy that blocked out reality for a few hours and this book delivered.
I liked how Arcus and Ruby’s personalities reflected their gifts of ice and fire. I enjoyed watching Ruby’s flaring temper and I swooned over Arcus’ cool control. Like the elements they wield they balanced each other in ways they never expected and watching this unfold was captivating for a fantasy-lover like me.
I found the idea of the Minax really intriguing (although I was bummed that it shared similarities to one of my own fantasy books I’ve written…not that any fantasy can be wholly original, not with millions of stories out there. It’s like you can only ever write a different version of the same story…). I found the idea of the darkness and its role in the story entertaining and well used.
I can’t honestly say that anything in this book actually surprised me, but I just wanted a book to whisk away the hours and this one certainly did. I wasn’t letting my brain try and jump five steps ahead of the story, instead I was able to just exhilarate in each twist and turn, simply enjoying the ride.
So if you’re a YA fantasy lover like me, and if you’re looking for a book you can feel confident will please you, then I’d suggest giving Frostblood a chance. It has a sort of comforting predictability that will grip you and keep you tight in its grasp for hours.
Burning with a fire that threatens the very world it’s trapped in, Frostblood brings darkness into the light for a battle of wills and power that could change Ruby, the kingdom, and the world.
Purchase here: Frostblood
Similar Recommended Reads: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, The Young Elites by Marie Lu, Roar by Cora Carmack, Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini, An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Meet Elly Blake!
Elly Blake loves fairy tales, old houses, and owls. After earning a BA in English literature, she held a series of seemingly random jobs, including project manager, customs clerk, graphic designer, reporter for a local business magazine, and library assistant. She lives in Southwestern Ontario with her husband, kids and a Siberian Husky mix who definitely shows Frostblood tendencies.