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Review: Frostblood - Elly Blake


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Frostblood by Elly Blake

My Rating : {★★★★☆}

Young Adult Fantasy Fiction
Expected publication: January 12th 2017 by Hodder & Stoughton

Source: Hachette Australia via NetGalley
The first in a page-turning young adult fantasy series perfect for fans of Victoria Aveyard's Red Queen and Sarah J. Maas's Throne of Glass series.

In a land governed by the cruel Frostblood ruling class, seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has spent most of her life hiding her ability to manipulate heat and light - until the day the soldiers come to raid her village and kill her mother. Ruby vows revenge on the tyrannous Frost King responsible for the massacre of her people.

But Ruby's powers are unpredictable...and so are the feelings she has for Arcus, the scarred, mysterious Frostblood warrior who shares her goal to kill the Frost King, albeit for his own reasons. When Ruby is captured by the Frost King's men, she's taken right into the heart of the enemy. Now she only has one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who took everything from her - and in doing so, she must unleash the powers she's spent her whole life withholding.

Frostblood is set in world where flame and ice are mortal enemies - but together create a power that could change everything.

For starters, the ARC copy that I received is visually stunning. Firstly there is the cover that I love, and then there is the graphic artwork contained on the main pages of the book. Look at this!


It's gorgeous, right?

The writing is not bad, the plot is not bad, but there's just no excitement; there is nothing new here. There are a number of YA tropes being used, the characters are a little flat, the romance is predictable and there's just too many instances of 'I've seen this before'.

☑ Young female protagonist with unbelievable power running through her veins (aka The Chosen One) who by the way loves to read
☑ Slightly broken male protagonist/love interest (aka The Tortured Hero)
☑ Main character suffered a tragic loss and is now bent on REVENGE
☑ A war that caused the breakup of their society and our Chosen One now needs to save the world
☑ A love triangle (although admittedly this was very half-hearted but still unnecessary) After re-thinking this one I'm taking it out - there wasn't a love triangle exactly - it was more like complications

I wanted something fresher, something to keep those fires burning and yet in some ways these very things that I am complaining about actually helped me to enjoy this book more, so I feel a bit hypocritical here!

When I first started reading I found it a little difficult to find my footing and somehow the familiar tropes and cliches helped me and gave me something recognisable to hold on to while I figured out where things stood: I was thrown into a new world with everything happening around me quite quickly, everything seemingly chaotic and too abrupt. There was no deft world building, no carefully crafted visions. Yet despite myself I was intrigued and compelled to continue reading.

Keeping in mind that this is Blake's debut perhaps the series will mature and develop into something better. There were obviously glimmers of something that kept me curious and eager to know more: I will definitely read more when the next book comes out. It was fast paced and entertaining but unfortunately there just wasn't enough ooomph to carry the book through and had the climax carried some more punch I may have lifted my rating.

I really struggled to rate this one and had originally only given it 3 stars, but after a few more days of reading other books and this one still playing on my mind I have to raise it to 4 stars! There's nothing really wrong with it - there's just something lacking that I hope falls into place with book two. There's a lot of potential here and even with the cliches and tropes I enjoyed the world and I'm interested to see where Blake will take this.