Ruby has spent her life hiding her power. She is a Fireblood, gifted with the ability to manipulate heat and flame, well she would if she had a chance to practice. But in her eagerness to learn, she draws the Frost King’s soldiers to her village. In a land ruled by ice, Ruby’s very existence is outlawed. After she is captured, a mysterious warrior gives her a choice, rot away in prison or help them seek vengeance against the king.
You know when you’re reading a book and so much about it seems incredibly familiar? That’s kind of what I got from Frostblood, which is a wannabe Throne of Glass but doesn’t quite get there. I mean, it was enjoyable enough but I don’t like feeling as if a book is trying to be something else.
The story is in two halves, the first focusing more on the romance, and the second where things get exciting and more of the worldbuilding is done. It starts off strongly, with Ruby witnessing the unjust death of her mother, and her village punished just because of her heritage.
I suddenly wished I had never learned to care, that I was free from feeling, as I had been in the prison where all I had was hate.
I liked the monks. In a world of prejudice, they take in those unfairly persecuted, even Firebloods. Ruby learns some of the folklore and history, including the reasons so many hate her kind. I liked the origins story about the gods of the South and North, East and West, how they create creatures of fire and ice as well as the children of light and dark.
I didn’t emotionally connect to Ruby and Arcus’ relationship. They start out not liking each other but it is clearly setting it up for something to happen. Then next thing you know, bam they are in love and there is no showing of that gradual change from animosity to passion.
If we all had names to suit us, you’d be called Thorn in My Backside. Or Plague of the Gods.
The Frost King is a cruel leader, as those before him have also been. There is something about the throne which manipulates them and Ruby’s goal is to destroy it. In the meantime, the King sits through gladiator style battles, fights to the death in his arena. I was a bit sad about all the glorious creatures that were callously murdered in this part.
I’m not surprised most of the Firebloods have been wiped out. Throwing a bucket of cold water on them dampens their powers. On multiple occasions Ruby is neutralised by some cold water, yet the Frostbloods barely flinch at her fire.
Frostblood is published by Hodder and is available now in paperback and ebook editions. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review.
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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement. My reviews are my honest opinion and are not biased for the purpose of personal gain.
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