A Fiery Read | Review of ‘Frostblood’ (Frostblood Saga #1)


By Cynthia Ayala

Frostblood by Elly Blake
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Image Credit: Goodreads

“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.” —Goodreads

Published January 10, 2017, by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Frostblood by Elly Blake takes an interesting and magical to deal with real-world issues like prejudice and racism.

As a young adult novel, the novel does lean towards some clichés that for many would hinder enjoyment. Ruby is in a sense the chosen one who can save the kingdom from a dark curse that has been lurking in the throne of her enemies. This curse is also the reason her people, Firebloods, have been hunted to death. Enemies are harboring her, Frostbloods who want to see the end of the tyranny and bloodshed. In that respect, it is a little cliché, admittedly, but the depth of the novel lies within the prejudices and hardships that Ruby has to endure. Friends turn against her; she is imprisoned for one reason alone: the color of her blood and tortured because of it. Ruby’s world is blanketed in hatred and vengeance, making it both compelling, dark, and mature. However, her fate is more significant than her need for vengeance, leading the character to go through enormous character growth. Moreover, she is not the only protagonist in the novel that goes through character growth. The icy Arcus begins the novel and his relationship as an unfeeling slab of ice, but through his interactions with Ruby, and vice versa, the two learn that their inherent dislike and distrust vanishes. There was once peace, and through the dynamics between these two characters, they find that peace again while also analyzing the faults of their kind as well as the benefits of their abilities. Ruby faces her demons while Arcus faces his fears, and together, through dialogue, they work together to find the peace they each so desperately need for their rebellion to succeed and the future to take hold.

Blake also does a great job of stepping away from the usual elements. Within the mythology, Blake has set up ice against fire. This is a huge step away from the norm where the opposite of fire is usually water. The battle between fire and ice makes the story more interesting because it is an unusual pairing, and it makes it more challenging. The harder the ice, the more work fire needs and that goes both ways.

Frostblood such a rich novel because it focuses so much on the prejudices and overcoming those. It taps into the pain of the characters and brings it to life in this world of magic and mythology.

As entertaining as the novel is, the level of fantasy tropes does make the novel just a tad predictable. Anyone who reads enough will be able to connect the dots and see just where the story is going and how it will unfold. That being said, the character development and riveting use of magic in the novel makes it a compelling read. (★★★☆☆ | B+)

Product Details:

Pub Date: Jan. 10, 2017

Page count: 376pp

Age Range: 14 & Over

ISBN: 978-0-3162-7325-1

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

List Price:  $17.99

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