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review 2017-02-13 11:41
Review: Frostblood
Frostblood (The Frostblood Saga) - Elly Blake

I received a copy from Netgalley.

 

Initially I went into this one not knowing much about it. It was a bit of coverlust, really. Though rereading the blurb when my Netgalley request was approved it sounded like a generic YA fantasy, also sounding a bit too much like Red Queen (which I really didn’t like) though Frostblood wound up really surprising me. I didn’t quite finish it before it came out, but before I was half way through I purchased a finished copy.

 

The main character Ruby lives in a world of ice ruled by Frostbloods who are cruel and vicious. Ruby has a special power of her own, she can create and manipulate fire – she’s a Fireblood. Firebloods are hunted down by Frostbloods and either killed or imprisoned. There’s a big dramatic history between the two factions of why things are the way they are which is revealed as the novel progresses.

 

Sounds a bit generic, but the world building is surprisingly in depth with well thought out mythology and history and works well with the plot. Ruby is captured by Frostblood soldiers after an attack on the village near her home which results in a personal tragedy for her, driving her need for revenge. Rescued by local monks Ruby is given an opportunity to help them bring down the Frostblood king.

 

Not all the monks are happy to have Ruby with them – she is unpredictable, can’t control her powers and a dangerous liability. Ruby has to train to master her ability. With the help of Arcus, who comes across as one of the monks less than pleased to have her there. He’s mysterious, and quite rude and obnoxious. He and Ruby rub each other the wrong way. It’s kind of obvious immediately where it’s going but it’s delightfully shippy, and quite fun to get into their training and snide back and forths with snarking at each other. (I did find myself wanting to shove them together and yell JUST KISS ALREADY! As they sort out their true feelings for each other).

 

Ruby has her doubts about what she’s got to do, and learns a few things that she’s unsure about. There’s of course a prophecy involved, a few twisty setbacks, and one big ass plot twist towards the end that was really good and completely unexpected when the truth of Arcus’s real identity and his intentions are revealed.

 

Despite the fact that the plot is nothing that hasn’t been done before, the novel is exceptionally well written, the characters are all interesting and well fleshed out, a mix of good guys, bad guys and one or two you’re not quite sure about. Good solid world building with an interesting history and its own belief system of gods and goddesses which work well within the plot and ties up nicely.

 

A lot of fun. I have already pre ordered the sequel, and am really looking forward to more from this series.

 

Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for approving my request to view the title.

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review 2017-01-14 18:06
Frostblood
Frostblood (The Frostblood Saga) - Elly Blake

From time to time I always enjoy looking for a new YA series to start. I received an email from Netgalley about this book and it interested me so much that I thought it would be the next YA series that I'd try. I really enjoyed this through most of the book but for me the events towards the end of the book really lessened my enjoyment. In fact the ending seemed so wrapped up to me that I don't see how or why this would continue as a series.

 

Ruby was a really good character to follow and I enjoyed reading about her. I liked that her eventual romance with Arcus did not overwhelm the plot. She was going to get her revenge and nothing was going to stop her.

 

Ruby was definitely the bright spot of this book but events towards the end just left me a bit bored. Everything just works out too easily and everything is pretty much wrapped up at the end. I will not be continuing on with this series unfortunately.

 

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the galley.

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review 2017-01-10 00:00
Frostblood (The Frostblood Saga)
Frostblood (The Frostblood Saga) - Elly Blake This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life.

I really enjoyed this book. I am actually quite surprised by how much I ended up liking it. When I decided to read this book, I wasn't really sure if it was my kind of book. I found out pretty quickly that it was in fact my kind of book. It was an incredibly exciting story set in a interesting world. I am so glad that I decided to read this book.

This book started out really strong. When we first meet Ruby, we learn that she is a Fireblood and that she has been hiding that fact from others for her entire life. Being a Fireblood is dangerous where she lives because they usually don't live for very long after discovery. Ruby has never had an opportunity to really learn how to use her gift or to even test the strength of her power.

I liked Ruby almost immediately. She starts the story out in such an impossible situation and quickly proves to be a survivor. As the story moved forward, there were times that I thought I liked her a bit less. Some of her actions while at the monastery seemed a bit immature at times but she is a seventeen year old in a horrible situation so I think it was justified. By the end of the book, I absolutely loved her. She proved to be incredibly brave and had an amazing strength to her character.

Ruby wasn't the only great character in this story. Arcus was awesome. He always seemed to have a much larger story to tell and I enjoyed his quiet strength. The Brothers at the monastery were great and there were even a few people at the king's court that seemed like they might actually want to help Ruby.

I really enjoyed the way that the story was written. My interest was captured from the very beginning. The pace of the story did slow down a bit during much of the first part of the story but that was where we learned about the world and Ruby's abilities. Once the second half of the book started, I couldn't put the book down. Everything I thought would happend didn't and I wasn't sure how things would work out in the end. I also really appreciated the fact that even though this book is the first of a new series, it came to a nice conclusion.

I would highly recommend this book to others. It is a fantastic story that is filled with excitement. I am really very excited about the fact that this is the beginning of a new series. I will definitely be reading the next book in this series just as soon as I can get my hands on a copy.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers via NetGalley.

Initial Thoughts
I really liked this book. It started out good but by the end I was completely hooked.
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review 2017-01-09 05:12
Frostblood will heat your desire for more awesome fantasy!
Frostblood (The Frostblood Saga) - Elly Blake

When Ruby is captured and sent to prison for being a Fireblood in a land ruled by Frostbloods, she is unexpectedly rescued by a group of monks who want to use her to challenge the rule of the current Frostblood king. But Ruby will first have to master her uncontrollable pyromancy if she’s to stand a chance against the might of the king.

I thought Ruby was a really cool character. I liked riding around in her head for the most part – there was a few situations near the beginning of the book and right near the end where I seriously questioned her judgement, but overall she was a hard worker and as a teenager she’s allowed to be confused about what she wants in life. I’m kind of obsessed with elemental magic so I loved the dichotomy between Firebloods and Frostbloods: their appearance, their personalities, their cultures and customs. It was bleedingly obvious from the start that Arcus would turn into a love interest (because two young people + lots of time together to get to know each other = love), but it certainly wasn’t insta-love between the two. The author really put a lot of effort into moving the relationship forward into mutual admiration, respect, like, affection and then love. I totally bought it, and I love relationships where the couple don’t get along at first.

I really didn’t expect the plot to go where it went, but I did like the build up during Ruby’s training and I knew it had to go somewhere eventually. I think the addition of the arena scenes was a flash of inspiration and I enjoyed how long Ruby took to heal from her wounds. The only issue I had was near the end when her relationship with the king started getting icky and reminiscent of Warner from Shatter Me – and yes, I do realise that heaps of female readers think Warner is hot and desirable even though he sexually assaults Juliette. I think I am firmly on Team Arcus, if the author was trying to create ‘team’s, and the whole issue with the king just really made me feel very uncomfortable. I don’t like it when girls think being assaulted is sexy.

I found the pacing to be fine thoughout the novel. Even the part that I guess you could call boring or slow, which was Ruby’s training at the abbey, was enjoyable to read because of the sexual tension between her and Arcus, and Ruby learning to call the other monks family. What I didn’t really get the point of was the sequence where Ruby escaped, healed a sick little girl, and returned to the abbey. It had no relation to the rest of the plot except to show that she’d changed her mind about being used as a weapon to murder the king, which she already wanted to do in the first place.

I thoroughly enjoyed Frostblood. It really combined a lot of elements (ba-dump-ching!) that appeal to me. Elemental magic, strong teen girls, hot warrior love interests, royal scandals, and well-written action scenes that don’t leave our characters unscarred.

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review 2017-01-06 17:32
ARC REVIEW: Frostblood by Elly Blake
Frostblood (The Frostblood Saga) - Elly Blake I am just like so many times lamenting about how to rate this... I think it's around 2.5Stars. So not quite good but way better than ok. Hence I am rounding it up. I wouldn't have wavered in the first half. But the second half sadly highlighted my problems with the book. Let's first talk about the world building. It's my favorite part of the book. I like the mythology Blake built around the Frostblood Saga. We given little bits as the story unfolds, forming an interesting background to the storyline. The reader gets thrown into the deep end at the beginning of the book, but one gets to discover a world of elemental magic, beasts of different origins, characters driven by power and idealism. While I am not completely wowed by the world building, I did like it. It is your classic high fantasy set up for sure and has loads of potential. I am a little divided when it comes to character building. I liked Ruby well enough. I get where she was coming from and in the first half of the novel I could relate to her. BUT then she felt just like the rest of the entire cast a little to formulaic. Too thought through and too scripted. The story line is where my biggest issue lies. It was completely predictable. I mean completely. I knew where this is going from the beginning. I could have told you each twist and turn a mile ahead. Despite that I rather enjoyed the first half. I found myself caught up in Ruby's struggles, in her growing friendships with the people around her. I even quite enjoyed the romance, however cliche it might be. The second part however, while there was way more action, the whole thing felt even more predictable. I knew exactly where Blake was going next. The big revelations had me yawning. Not only that I found myself rather annoyed with the weird unnecessary love-triangle. I just wondered why Blake had to go there? Couldn't she keep that cliche out? Now I feel like I should mention that I have read a lot of fantasy books in my life. I've been reading epic fantasy since I was 9 years old after all. Which means, I have a lot to compare to. But also that I have a lot of expectations. I have a feeling that readers who haven't read half as many might enjoy this more than I did. So while I like the first half and I enjoyed the action scenes, I found myself wondering if I am going to read the next novel. At the end of this one, I didn't feel the urge to read the next. Yet... for the first time since I started the series, I am not sure where Blake is going to take this next.. and it has me wondering.. Guess I'll be reading Fireblood after all.
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