ARC Review · books

Book Review: Frostblood


by Elly Blake
Rating: ★★★

Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a fireblood who must hide her powers of heat and flame from the cruel frostblood ruling class that wants to destroy all that are left of her kind. So when her mother is killed for protecting her and rebel frostbloods demand her help to kill their rampaging king, she agrees. But Ruby’s powers are unpredictable, and she’s not sure she’s willing to let the rebels and an infuriating (yet irresistible) young man called Arcus use her as their weapon.

All she wants is revenge, but before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to take part 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.

So, I finished Frostblood two weeks ago but I’ve been so incredibly lazy that I’ve managed to put it off for such a long time but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. I actually loved this book and we were attached at the hip for the day that I spent with it. I would agree with a couple other reviewers saying it isn’t exactly a new plot since the YA plot of an underdog or a single person having to train their strength/skill to take down a large system is used in so many of them but that didn’t matter to me because I loved the way it was written, the twists in the story and the characters that made it so enjoyable to read.

I would suggest this book to lovers of Throne of Glass, Red Queen or other fantasy books because it follows a young girl with hidden powers but with the potential for massive growth. She’s then forced into a situation where she has a large task appointed to her and a prophecy that speaks of great things she will do. It does sound so similar to other books but I would suggest going into it without expecting it to be a carbon copy because I thought it was incredible and unique because I wasn’t expecting to love it like I did.

The story started off tragically then became a large growing experience for Ruby in a new setting with a large goal in sight before a really action-filled second half of the book. There was also some amazing romance and it was a good mixture of romance and action but definitely expect to squeal with joy a lot when you read this book. I also enjoyed the pace of this story because there wasn’t a point where I felt that a part of it was spanning too long or not having enough importance placed on it. I think it was a fantastic book and it made me happy, excited, sad and worried all in the span of a few pages! I honestly cannot wait to see where the second book goes and I’ll be reading it as soon as I can.

Thank you to Hachette Australia for giving me this amazing book to read. Frostblood will be released on the 10th of January so do yourself a favour and get it when it comes out!

Favourite Quotes…

“Frost and fire were friends once.”

“I can’t imagine why no one has come for you sooner.”

“What are you doing?”…”Saving the books!”

“And now I wonder if I can let you go.”

“Trust is built slowly, I can be patient.”

*Spoilers Below*

Ruby Otrera is a fireblood with wonderful potential inside her but her grandmother that supported her gift died and her mother made her promise not to practice for fear that she would be caught by the frostbloods. This is, of course, a bad idea mother because she will inevitably need these powers to defend herself when she’s caught! It’s true that if she weren’t practising she wouldn’t have been spotted but because of her power being stronger than her skill it seems like she would still expose herself at some point.

I loved Ruby immediately so I also immediately hated Clay for telling the frostbloods about Ruby and I felt so bad for her because she was clearing mourning his baby brother that she couldn’t warm. Then these evil guards and the Captain of the Frost King’s guard so viciously kill her mother, her own family left, and you know she’s going to have her revenge eventually and I know she’ll probably find them and burn them for her mother.

Guys, I love Arcus! As soon as he started sassily insulting Ruby and showing his dislike for her I knew it would make a good friendship eventually but I just loved all his lines and I think he’s so loveable. But then my love for him grew three times larger when we learned that he was afraid of fire! That was just so adorable and sad to know that someone had made such a strong frostblood feel such fear for fire and it’s just too much!

Then she leaves because of Brother Lack and Arcus travels five days through that awful weather to find her and that’s when I knew I really needed them together because they’re amazing with how much they clearly care for each other already even if they’re not showing it! And after that, they’re really open up to each other by thanking each other and actually having a conversation and then he takes his hood off…

Now we finally get to know why Arcus always wears a hood and it’s so sad. He’s being greatly disfigured by burns on his face and Ruby describes it in good detail with no part of his face escaping damage. By now you can tell that Arcus has feelings for Ruby and it just makes this part even worse because he’s ashamed of his looks and doesn’t want to repulse the young woman he’s starting to love! Straight away, he takes the situation wrong and thinks she’s horrified by him but thankfully Ruby sets him straight by letting him know that she wants to see his face and she goes to kiss him and he STOPS HER!

After that, we actually get to a twist in the story with a new twist being introduced. I think it makes this story more unique because these stories of how the frostblood and firebloods received their powers clearly have truth to them because of the nature of their gifts and then it seems that Ruby is part of this prophecy as the “child of darkness” which doesn’t sound so lovely but it sounds pretty cool and know we know that Ruby has to fight the darkness and destroy it forever which honestly sounds so simple, right!? We also find out that while she was training to kill the Frost King, Brother Thistle intends for her to try and heal him instead and hopefully that’s possible since Ruby doesn’t want to be a murderer.

Finally, Arcus seems to come around to his fate as Ruby’s soulmate and an interesting talk about Sage and the past of the kingdom he says the sweetest thing about wanting to hold her, his bundle of crackling firewood! Then they say such sweet things to each other and he seems to understand a little more that Ruby isn’t afraid of his appearance. THEN THEY KISS AND IT’S SO AMAZING! That was seriously the best three pages with such a great build-up to a perfect moment between Ruby and Arcus but then they’re pulled apart!

So Ruby gets captured again but this time the Frost King has a large part in her capture with her being held much closer since she’s a larger threat. It’s strange that she ends up having to prove herself to fight in the arena by killing the King’s beast but it’s a good thing as well because it extended her life and got her out of a cell. Ruby doesn’t have the hatred to kill but when she’s forced into the arena against a frostblood a darkness comes to her that seems to take over and help her deliver the final blow.

Marella seems like such an interesting character. I think part of her charm is that she looks so innocent as an attractive woman that follows the King but she could easily reveal herself and crush someone that was a threat to her. She’s a huge help to Ruby while she’s under the King’s control and it was interesting to learn about her past and her failed arranged marriage to the Frost King’s fallen older brother.

The Frost King seems to be pure evil and he also seems to have the same darkness inside him that Ruby does but the difference is that he craves more of it. Because they both share this darkness he tells her they’re destined to be together and rule as gods on the throne that is the power source of this darkness. Then he kisses her and she enjoys it and she enjoyed the killing but it’s not her, it’s the Minax with its darkness twisting her and changing her from the inside.

The next time she’s in the arena she actually calls upon the darkness to kill her opponent and he’s horrified because it’s Arcus in disguise! He was trying to get close to her to save her but now she thinks they’re just stuck in the arena until one of them is killed until he reveals himself as Arelius Arkanus, the older brother of the Frost King and the rightful heir to the throne of Fors! Seriously, Arcus, what a plot twist! That makes me happy because it explains a lot about his background but it also means we have a great relationship blooming between a frostblood and fireblood and if he were to rule they would be a successful dual-power ruling!

The final climax of the story finds Ruby giving in to the darkness and choosing Rasmus over Arcus which breaks my heart but thankfully she realises it’s wrong when she doesn’t want him to die. Then she just totally breaks it by turning around and melting the throne. You think it’s a good ending because the throne is gone and the Minax has lost it’s home but then it’s happy because it can travel to any vessel until she gives into the darkness again and becomes the true vessel. Hopefully, that won’t happen but it seems like the darkness really calls to her and she might have to take it to destroy it for good in future books but I’m hoping she’ll defeat it with Arcus by her side.

Click here to add this book to Goodreads.

– Kirra

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