Relevant posts: Frostblood
I received a free digital copy of this book from the publishers via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Ice and fire are still at war.
Ruby has defeated the tyrannous Frost King, and Arcus, the exiled warrior who captured her heart, has taken his rightful place as ruler of the Frostblood kingdom.
But Ruby is the only Fireblood in a castle of frost and ice, and the courtiers will not accept her. Even worse, the dark threat released from the Frost King’s melted throne is stalking the land, bent on destruction – and as the one who set it free, only Ruby can stop it.
To find the knowledge she needs, she must leave Arcus and journey south to the land of the Firebloods. But the homeland Ruby’s never seen is treacherous, and friend and enemy wear the same face.
If she’s to save both kingdoms, Ruby must figure out who she can trust – and unleash a fire powerful enough to do battle with darkness .
The second in the Frostblood Saga, Fireblood sees Ruby having defeated the Frost King whilst Arcus has taken his rightful place as the ruler of his kingdom. However, Ruby is plagued by fears that the Minax she released is never far away – but that isn’t all she must worry about. Regardless of her heroic endeavours in saving the kingdom, the royal Frostbloods of Arcus’s court still do not hold her in high regard so, when the opportunity arises to go to her homeland and understand who she is and where she came from, Ruby jumps at the chance not realising what lies she has been told or what sacrifices she must make.
I have been eagerly anticipating this novel since I finished Frostblood last year. I had no clue in what direction Blake was going to take this narrative, only understanding that Ruby would face more challenges and inevitably come face-to-face with the Minax once again. Blake did not disappoint in this second novel! Ruby travels to her homeland of Sudesia where, similar to Forsia, Firebloods are revered and all Frostbloods are put into servitude or else killed. Ruby can see that the Queen must in some way be controlled by another Minax locked away in the Sudesian throne but cannot find any proof and so must gain the Queen, and those around her’s, trust in order to find out all the information she can. And, in amongst that, she must master the skills needed to become a Fireblood master – involving a series of trials that will test skills such as obediance and control of emotions; something we all know she has trouble with.
As with the first novel, Ruby develops yet again thanks to these trials and the people that she meets in Sudesia. It becomes apparent that, at times, she can be too trusting when it comes to what she wants as she soon realises when she arrives in Sudesia and finds out the true reason Kai came to find her. However, were it not for this journey and the trials she must face to become a powerful Fireblood master, Ruby would not be able to develop as she does and push herself further than she ever has before. Not only does Ruby develop, but her relationship with Arcus does as well. We don’t see a lot of Arcus in this novel, being presented with another potential interest in the form of Prince Kai who is a constant source of flirtation, annoyance, and stubbornness for Ruby in Sudesia. Arcus and Ruby have always had trouble explaining their emotions, both of them holding them back for fear of what they might do. However, in the Fireblood novel, we finally begin to understand how deep their emotions run for each other as they face difficult challenges, separation, jealousy, and so much more.
There was never a dull moment within Fireblood. Any slow scenes almost always involved Ruby communicating with Kai who, as mentioned, provided endless entertainment through flirtatious actions and dialogue suggesting a potential love interest between the two and thus creating more issues for Ruby, and Arcus. As Arcus brings out the good in Ruby, so does Kai. His lightheartedness (when not handling fire and trying to train Ruby to become a master) brings joy at a time when she is unsure who she is or what she hopes to achieve and the connection between them, as it develops, really draws you into the story.
The way that the narrative progressed within Fireblood was definitely not one I was expecting. I was hoping that she would go to Sudesia eventually, but I wasn’t expecting it so soon. But, not only was I pleasantly surprised by the plot, but I was surprised by the simple twists and turns that appeared, seemingly, out of nowhere. Fireblood was a novel full of surprises that both hindered and helped Ruby in her journey, and her task. Though we are given subtle hints as to how these have come about or what is about to come, it still almost comes as a shock when it does happen as you do not wish for it to be true.
I absolutely adored Fireblood and it was a perfect follow-up to Frostblood. Blake’s writing is seamless and provides a beauty to her description that does not require flowery, poetic writing. It is simple and gets to the point without embellishing – especially in the more crucial scenes where you know full well you want to get to the juicy bits! Bring on Nightblood!