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Review: Fireblood - Elly Blake

Fireblood by Elly Blake
Series: Frostblood Saga #2
My rating: {★★★☆☆}

YA Fantasy
Published September 12th 2017 by Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Source: Borrowed
All hail the Fire Queen.

Against all odds, Ruby has defeated the villainous Frost King and melted his throne of ice. But the bloodthirsty Minax that was trapped inside is now haunting her kingdom and everyone she loves. The answers to its demise may lie to the south in Sudesia, the land of the Firebloods, and a country that holds the secrets to Ruby’s powers and past…

Despite warnings from her beloved Arcus, Ruby accompanies a roguish Fireblood named Kai to Sudesia, where she must master her control of fire in a series of trials to gain the trust of the suspicious Fire Queen. Only then can she hope to access the knowledge that could defeat the rampaging Minax—which grows closer every moment. But as sparks fly in her moments alone with Kai, Ruby no longer knows whom to trust. The fates of two kingdoms are now in her hands.
I buddy read Fireblood with the always awesome Amy from A Magical World of Words. You can read her review here

What is the point of living if you can’t let yourself feel anything?

When I read Frostblood I was pretty hesitant about my rating because, although I enjoyed the book, I didn't know that it had brought anything new to the table. I had exactly the same conflict while reading Fireblood and it is just so unfortunate because the writing itself is brilliant.

Elly Blake has definitely got a way with words. The descriptions are so eloquent, the personification so expressive and the flow of the prose is captivating. The world came to life with an intensity that drew me into the book.

Tapered yews stood sentinel around the wide clearing, and beyond that, taller leafy sycamore and birch trees bowed over the evergreens like gentlemen over the hands of ladies.

The overall plot arc is one that interests me and clearly Blake has done a lot of work with this ensuring that there is a general plan and purpose to the series. Unfortunately it's the bits in between these gorgeous descriptions and carefully plotted story that I had problems with. Cliches and tropes I'd rather not have seen, overused plot devices and stilted dialogue diminished what could have been a fantastic book.

Cliches and Tropes
☑ Mandatory second book separation
For the good of Arcus, for the good of the Kingdom, Ruby needs to leave Tempesia and travel to the seat of Fireblood power. Of course she does.
☑ Introduction of a possible new love interest/Purveyor of temptations
This is much like the first book in that it wasn't really a love triangle. Plus a young girl vastly separated from her polar-opposite first-love and in unknown territory with no friends - I could see why she may have been tempted. I still wish it hadn't been something I had to read about though.
☑ Special snowflakiness that knows no bounds
Ruby was already the chosen one. Without spoilers let me just say that her specialness just grew and grew, of course.

Overused plot devices
☑ A dubious but tenacious young Fireblood goes to the seat of power of a nation with the end goal of destroying the throne.
☑ Possible love interest with a tortured hero past is there for the journey to help train said Fireblood
☑ Battles/Trials by which this young Fireblood girl must prove herself.
☑ Only the chosen one can save the world.

“You are remarkable,” he whispered. “I hope you know that. The things you’ve done. The things you’ve had to face.”

Wait, am I talking about Fireblood or Frostblood? Well, regardless, both of these books are fast paced and entertaining, and I think Blake's writing really improved here. I am invested enough to want to find out what is going to happen in book three but I have to admit I'm far less excited than I was at the end of Frostblood.