Frostblood Delivers Magic, Suspense, and Love
In January of 2019, I was part of a book club that read Frostblood by Elly Blake. This book is a New York Times Bestseller and the first book in the Frostblood Saga (Fireblood is second with Nightblood being third). This book is also what got me started with writing reviews. It floored me and I cannot wait to continue reading this saga. I didn’t want to put it down. As cliché as this is going to sound, it truly held my attention from beginning to end.
What is Frostblood About?
This is a YA fantasy novel about Ruby; a young woman who is, apparently, the last Fireblood in a world governed by Frostbloods. A Fireblood is someone who can use fire and heat to their advantage, after proper training, while a Frostblood is someone who can use the cold and ice to their advantage, again after proper training. She is taken away from her village by the king’s guard, brought to a prison, and tortured all because of who she is; a Fireblood. However, after being in prison and tortured for months, she is rescued by two men, Brother Thistle and Arcus. In exchange for saving her though, they want her to help them kill the frost king, King Rasmus…or so we think.
They take her back to their abbey where they heal her wounds, she regains her strength, and, with help from Brother Thistle and Arcus, begins to learn how to use her powers properly. The irony here is Brother Thistle and Arcus are Frostbloods, but they both don’t like how the kingdom is being ruled. They know the only way to end it is with the use of a Fireblood.
In the end, Ruby does meet King Rasmus face-to-face, in an unplanned way. The king's guard finds her, and thrusts her into the king's arena where she has to figure out how to harness her powers on her own.
POV, Genre, and Language in Frostblood
This story is told in the first-person POV and in the past tense, which is what I prefer. Again, this is a YA fantasy novel. I never read a YA fantasy story before, so I’m not a hundred percent sure how this genre is defined. However, this book was filled with magic and fantasy, there was very little cursing in it, and it wasn’t overly sexy – even though there were some steamy parts – so a young adult could read it, but an adult would appreciate it as well.
The language in this book was well written and elegantly done. Elly gives great description throughout as well, which I will get into in a little bit.
Who/What I Liked
At first my favorite character was Ruby because she’s such a strong character. She went from a tortured and frail girl to a powerful (excuse my language) badass. Her transformation is amazing, even though there were times I was yelling at her to listen and not be stubborn. However, after reading the book, my favorite character became Arcus. He goes from this mysterious individual with no past to finding out who he truly is. And his love for Ruby is just so enthralling. I’m a sucker for romance, especially in the midst of chaos, and Blake did a great job of building their relationship.
Who/What I Didn't Like
However, as you read the story, you can tell the characters are pretty credible except for their ages. This was the one (and only) thing that bothered me about this book. Ruby, Arcus, and King Rasmus are portrayed as young adults. Their ages vary from about 17 or 18 to maybe 25 years old. Now, I know there are young adults in this world who have been through a lot (sometimes too much) and are just so strong and very mature for their age. However, when reading it in a book, it didn’t flow well for me. I kept on forgetting how old they were. I kept on thinking they were in their late twenties or early thirties. Then when I remembered their “true” age, it kind of took everything away for me. Again, that is me.
Description throughout Frostblood
As I stated earlier, the language in this book is striking. For example: “Eager thump of my heart”, “For the space of a breath”, “My heart kicked against my ribs”, and “The word freedom rang in my head like the pure, clear note of a temple bell.”
How gorgeous are those phrases?!
Instead of saying my heart fluttered or he smiled or something like that, Blake twists it into an exquisite remark. And the description throughout is so visual you either feel like you’re right there or you can just envision it. For example, the detail Ruby gives of Arcus’s eyes…
“His eyes met mine and I marveled again at the myriad of colors. They were a cold winter morning and an evening on the lake, a crisp mountain stream and a blue starflower, crushed underfoot at the end of summer.”
Or Arcus' description of the relationship between heat and steel...
"He hammered the glowing orange metal, starting at the tip and working along the edge. 'See how it glows? Think of it this way. Fire is at its heart, even when it has cooled and hardened. Without heat, there would be no transformation, just an unformed piece of metal.'"
However, Blake does repeat certain words throughout like “My heart thumped in my ears” or “his lip curled up”, which kind of annoyed me, but at the same time, we all do it.
In the end, this is an incredible book that you should pick up and read. It’ll make you laugh. It’ll make your heart flutter. It’ll make you angry, but it will also make you shout for joy. It is a great book for all ages from young adult to a full grown up. I am, at the time of posting, 32-years-old and I enjoyed it. To learn more about Elly Blake and her books, please check out her website.
Policies and Disclosure
Please remember I am not getting paid to write this review. I am just a fan and fellow author helping out another great author. To learn more, please check out my Policy page. Also, I would love to hear what you think of this review and of the book, if you’ve read it. You can either comment below (please read my “Comments Policy” on the Policy page before doing so) or contact me.
The photos featured in this post are my photos. The first is my copy of Frostblood by Elly Blake. The second is my “signature photo”, me with my copy of this incredible fantasy novel.
**This post was originally published on August 9, 2019**