Elly Blake: Frostblood

frostblood-cover

I received a free physical copy of this book, unsolicited, from the publishers.

Ruby is a seventeen-year-old Fireblood who must hide her powers of heat and flame from the cruel Frostblood ruling class who want to destroy all that are left of her kind. But when her secret is discovered and her mother is killed by soldiers, Ruby is thrown into prison, only to be rescued by rebel Frostbloods who want her to help them kill the rampaging king.

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 their plans can come to fruition, Ruby is captured and forced to take part in the king’s tournaments that pit Fireblood prisoners against Frostblood champsions. Now she may have only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her and the icy young man she has fallen in love with.

Frostblood is the first in a new fantasy, young adult series by Canadian writer Elly Blake. It is a series that follows two factions, the Frostbloods and the Firebloods who, as long as the current generation can remember, can never get along. Ruby is the last of her kind, hiding amongst unsuspecting villagers as she practices her powers she cannot resist. But, one day everything goes downhill and she becomes embroiled in a plan to kill the king and set everything to rights within the world.

I have to start off with Elly Blake’s ability to write such vivid pictures with so few words. Blake doesn’t draw out the scenes that she uses, or add any unnecessary words into the narrative to make the story more interesting and flowery. Blake just uses the words that she needs, and the scenes that are required to build the relationships, the world, and progress the story forward. It was refreshing to read a young adult, fantasy in this way with many novels embellishing to add more mystical and fantastical elements to their stories. Blake’s writing is so simple, yet beautifully written that I found it easy to submerge myself back into the story after every break from the narrative. I even went a whole day without reading the novel and found myself drawn in within seconds of picking the book back up.

Not only is her ability to write outstanding, but Blake knows how to bring characters that you can relate to even given their fantastical lifestyle. These characters develop continuously throughout the narrative, building upon their fears and desires to become better people and understand their path in this world. They understand their differences and how they can be used together, or against each other. Ruby and Arcus are our two main characters – and they work well together. Ruby is stubborn and hot-headed, but is fearful of using her power resulting in a lack of control. She is scared to hurt those around her and to give in to the strength that is sitting within her. A lot of her narrative surrounds her giving in to this power and understanding how her emotions can help her to control the fire. Arcus, similarly, is also rather stubborn. The frost within him makes him seem an impenetrable emotional barrier, rarely letting his feelings rise to the surface. However, when these two are together, everything about them changes. They give in to their feelings and emotions and become stronger as people, and with their powers. I really did ship this relationship!

The overall plot of Frostblood was interesting and different to what I have read recently. I loved the different aspects of the myths, legends, and folklore that Blake used to help with the progression of the narrative and understanding why events were taking place. Blake is able to wield all of this information seamlessly with no glitches in the system; everything makes sense and fits together and runs true. I am looking forward to seeing where this narrative goes and thoroughly enjoyed the way the narrative is left open by relevant events.

I would call Frostblood a must-read for fans of young adult and fantasy novels with strong, empowering characters that develop from their experiences, using past and present events to help them build upon themselves as people. For those that love novels about differences and how people are put down by those differences but are able to overcome these issues with the help of those that understand how those differences can be beneficial and can work together.

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