Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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Frostblood is a fast-paced fantasy that plays on a lot of common themes we see throughout YA fantasy but is still thoroughly engaging and a lot of fun.
I thought the world-building in Frostblood was really strong. The story has been likened to Red Queen, and can probably be compared to other YA fantasies with similar components too, but the world in Frostblood still feels brand new. I was captivated from the beginning with the contrasts between hot and cold and loved how descriptive Blake is in her writing. For a story that plays on a lot of the typical YA fantasy tropes, it would have been easy for this world to feel “samey” or like we’ve been there before but I don't think it suffers from that problem.
Our main character Ruby is a Fireblood in a world that is dominated by Frostblood and she has to hide her powers. When soldiers infiltrate her small village to capture her, killing her mother in the process, she is imprisoned and left to await execution. She is rescued by two Frostbloods and taken to a monastery where she is trained by the dark and mysterious Arcus to control and develop her powers for one goal: take revenge on the Frost King and destroy the throne.
I enjoyed the characterisation of both Ruby and Arcus. Ruby is fiery and impatient whilst Arcus comes across as cold and distant. I liked that these qualities suited their Frostblood or Fireblood heritage respectively. The mystery with Arcus slowly unfolds as the book progresses, and there does come a point where you can guess, but I did enjoy the revelation. The romance is also very much a slow-burn and there is an element of love/hate going on which I'm a sucker for. The romance propelled me through the pages a lot quicker than I might have done otherwise.
Overall, I really enjoyed the pace and world-building of Frostblood as well as Blake’s take on some of the common tropes we find in YA fantasy.