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Thursday, April 06, 2017

*Grabby Hands* Review - Frostblood (Frostblood #1) by Elly Blake

Image and blurb from Goodreads
Title: Frostblood
(Frostblood #1)
Author: Elly Blake
Publication Date: January 10th, 2017
Age Category/Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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.

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4 “Burn me with your ice” Stars

I need to say this. Don’t hate on me. I respect every opinion from readers who rated this book one-star, but I still can’t understand those who did it because they claimed it was “just another cliché YA Fantasy”.  Again, I respect that and I agree with that assessment (I really do), but I still don’t understand it.

Frostblood follows the same formula of pretty much every other YA Fantasy out there—some teen girl with a special power lives in a world where people like her are oppressed and she’s the only one who can stop her oppressors, but she spends half of her time ogling the hot love interest instead of getting the war started.

See? If you’ve read a few YA Fantasy books published recently, you know Frostblood won’t be getting any points for originality.

My problem is: the blurb is pretty clear that’s what you’re getting. There’s no indication there that the author was going for something revolutionary or completely different. There’s nothing that makes you go “Oh, I’ll read this because it’ll be different from other titles in the same category and genre.” So, I don’t get the surprise. I really don’t. I understand not picking it up, but I don’t understand doing it and rating it low because it delivered on what it promised: another YA story with tons of romance.

Anyway… It might seem like I didn’t like this, but I did. I really, really enjoyed this. Why? Because I got exactly what I was looking for.

Frostblood held my attention from begging to end with the story of a girl who has the power to control fire (a Fireblood), but lives in a world where people have the power to control ice (Frostbloods). Ruby, the girl in question, lives with her mom in a small house away from the rest of the village because she needs to hide her abilities from the King, a mad man who’s been killing every lasting Fireblood still in his land.

When her mother is killed by the King’s men, Ruby is taken prisoner. She spends a lot of time there waiting for her execution, but ends up being saved by two Frostbloods—a hooded, mysterious, brooding (you can see I’m already digging him) boy about her age and a very powerful old man. Those two want her help taking down the King, and in order to prepare her for the war coming, they start to teach her how to control her powers.

Arcus, the mysterious Frostblood boy, does a lot less teaching and lot more arguing, but damn if the chemistry between them isn’t off the charts. I loved, loved, loved the forbidden romance from minute one. I was already shipping them from the moment Arcus opened his mouth the first time. The animosity there was loud and clear, and it was mutual. Nothing like a little hate to love to get my heart sprinting.

And I got not just a little, but a lot of that until they eventually became “friendly” and started falling in love. The angst. The freaking angst was everything I needed. The fact that they had opposing powers (ice x fire), that their touch kind of burned each other at first, that they had been raised to see each other as enemies…. ALL THE ANGST!

And then you got to see Arcus falling for her little by little, and someone hold me because I was shipping it so freaking hard.

Arcus, baby, I really liked you. He was the typical brooding hero with a big secret (that I guessed right in the beginning, but who cares?) and lots of ghosts from the past haunting him. Just my kind of guy.

Say whatever you want, but I was more than happy to spend the first half of this book focusing on that slow burn romance. Wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

But don’t worry. The book does get to the fighting part eventually. Ruby gets to face the mad King, fight the darkness lying inside her, get her hands dirty more than a few times and all that. There’s action, blood, prophecies and some magic involved. The world building worked for me, despite being quite simple and not that original, as I mentioned before. The animosity between Frostbloods and Firebloods was explained and I was satisfied with how things turned out in the end. Again, I wasn’t surprised because the big reveal in the end wasn’t much of a reveal, since I had guessed it early on, but it didn’t make me enjoy the book any less.

Overall, if you’re tired of the typical YA Fantasy being published and you like your stories a little heavier on world-building and action, I don’t think this is the book for you. But you’re into YA Fantasy with a heavy focus on romance and good writing, then I think you should check this one out. I didn’t regret it, and I’m ready to get my hands on the sequel.

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