Monday, April 3, 2017

Frostblood by Elly Blake, or, The One with Cold, Hot Men

Frostblood by Elly Blake
Pages: 376
Publisher: Little, Brown
Publication Date: January 10th, 2017
Cover Comments: I love love love this cover. It perfectly reflects the story within, it's got great font, and the shiny ice-like iridescence is beautiful.
First Lines: "I offered my hand to the fire."

The frost king will burn.

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.

"Face them all like a warrior, whether you are one or not."

I really don't know where I land on Frostblood. This was a novel with a really promising beginning, a lackluster middle section, and a fascinating and exciting end. The romantic relationship in the novel has a lot of great potential that sort of went unfulfilled, but the worldbuilding and mythology were entrancing, and there were some wonderful side characters. Let us begin a list, because I <3 lists.

1. Pacing. 

Pacing has been all off in all the novels I've read recently. I don't know if I'm being too picky, or my interest is harder to hold than it used to be, but disclaimer: this has been a problem with me as of late, so Frostblood might not bother you in that way as it did me. When I began this book, I was enthralled. The beginning set up a great journey for Ruby (haha, ruby like red like fire -_-), and I was looking forward to some cool training scenes, tension building between Ruby and the hot (but cold) Frostblood Arcus, and general Yoda type philosophies from the brothers at the abbey Ruby takes shelter in. Instead, I got a lot of whining from Ruby about not being able to control her powers, awkward and cold scenes between Ruby and Arcus, and, well actually I did get some nice Yoda stuff from Brother Thistle and co., so that was nice. After the slow middle though, a scenery change made the book pick up speed x100 for me, and I was enthralled from then until the end.

2. Instalove. 

As I hinted at above, I wasn't terribly impressed by the romance in Frostblood. It had the great love/hate dynamic going on in the beginning, but there was never really anything that changed that dynamic. It was like Beauty falling in love with the Beast without the middle part, the "Something There" number. Ruby hated Arcus and then all of a sudden decides she likes him, despite nothing having changed whatsoever to deepen their relationship. There was something there that wasn't there before, but we the reader get left out of whatever that something is. I was actually more into another, darker, romance that occurred near the end than with Arcus and Ruby, surprisingly.

3. Monks. 

I'm not sure what it is about abbeys and convents and the like, but I love this setting! Maybe it was all the Redwall I read when I was younger. It's so serene and full of kindness and wisdom (certain characters excepting), and I feel like they make really good bread and cheese and maybe burst into song and dance sometimes.

4. Good or Evil?

Another reason that I love the end and will probably read the rest of the series, is that there was a great plot shift where you don't really know who the villain is, and who the hero is. It's a very complex, philosophical type of thing, and not black and white at all. I loved that, and it's set up intriguing possibilities for the rest of the series.

Verdict: I enjoyed Frostblood for the most part, especially the very beginning and end. The middle was a bit slow for me, and I'm not a huge fan of the romance, but the monks and fire made up for it in the end.



  1. This does have a nice cover, I agree. The instalove is problematic since I generally hate that lol, but the abbey stuff sounds good. And yes abbeys and bread and cheese ha ha are always good! There's something cozy and calming about a good fantasy abbey. :)

    I also like the sound of the twist and the not-sure-who-the-villain is angle. On balance this sounds pretty good!

    1. Yeah, looking back on my review it seems kind of negative, but 4 stars is a really good rating from me, especially in the fantasy genre. I thought the magic system was really interesting, and it was really well-written!

      I'm glad I'm not the only one with an abbey obsession!

      Thanks for stopping by :)