Author: Elly Blake
Publisher: Little Brown BFYR
Release Date: January 10, 2017
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.
So, I'm going to format this review a little differently. Because reasons. I actually really liked the book, but I have some ranting I need to do. So I want to end on a positive note. This means I want to rant first. I hate starting with the negative, but I really want to end on a positive, because I really did like the book.
I've seen people say that this is generic fantasy, and I don't particularly agree. It really has the potential to be something different and very special. The plot is pretty awesome, and the powers are different from a lot of things I've seen. The problem comes down to worldbuilding.
Don't get me wrong. I think the book was beautifully written. I think the main problem lies in the editing, i.e. lots of worldbuilding was edited out. There are some small things that could have been done or changed that would have helped give the world more depth, but mostly I noticed that we would get lots of worldbuilding and history told through stories. And then it would just stop, kind of cut off. I'm not sure if a lot of the information was cut due to wordcount or what, but I don't think another ten pages would have been a huge problem. And that certainly would have helped me visualize the world, the different gods, and the struggle between the people better. And again, I think this problem really wasn't with the writing, but it was with the editing instead.
Now that my rant is over (I kept it short, right?), I can talk about everything I loved.
So first, the characters. I absolutely loved so many of the characters. Arcus was great as an icy love interest, and Ruby was a great main character. I loved that she wasn't the traditional strong heroine with lots of physical badassery, but she was still very strong. The relationship between the two of them was a really sweet slow burn, and I can't wait to see more of it.
Also Brother Thistle and Brother Gamut. I loved their relationships with both Arcus and Ruby. The plot was really interesting, if maybe a bit predictable. For instance, there was one thing about Arcus that you don't learn until near the end of the book. And I had guessed it very early on.
I found it very enjoyable, and I hope there is more worldbuilding in the second book, because I really enjoyed this one. If you require heavy worldbuilding, it might frustrate you, otherwise, it's a quick and fun read.
Characters: 5 stars
Plot: 4 stars
Writing: 5 stars
World: 2 stars
Feels: 4 stars
Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, and that in no way sways my opinion of this book.