Enjoyable with a few refreshing twists

Summary:

Ruby Otrera (17) is a Fireblood, gifted with the ability to control fire. She lives with her mother in a village in Tempesia. Because the ruling Frostbloods are highly discriminatory toward Firebloods, Ruby and her mother hide who they really are. Until now.

When the Frost King's soldiers kill her mother and destroy her village, Ruby is taken to prison. Eventually, she is rescued by the mysterious yet alluring Arcus, who takes her to an abbey where she learns to control her gift of fire in hopes that she can bring peace to Tempesia. Her journey takes her across Tempesia to the Frost King's court, where she is forced to participate in a series of kill-or-be-killed tournaments so survive and prevail.


Teen Student Reviewer (19):
I liked the book. It is an interesting take on a fantasy formula that has been played out many times. The action scenes are fairly compelling and the plot twist at the end, while predictable, is definitely the book's pièce de rèsistance.

Ruby is more likable than your average fantasy heroine. It is refreshing that she is super in touch with her feelings, but ultimately she isn't supremely different from other fantasy heroines. Arcus, the love interest, is the best part of the book by far. He is definitely the most 3-dimensional character, and ultimately the only one who really stood out. His banter with Ruby is funny and entertaining; definitely another shining light in the novel. I think these two aspects are really the only factors that give this novel a sense of uniqueness.

What I didn't like is how similar Frostblood is to Red Queen, a novel that predates this one. That there is only one other relevant female character (introduced in the second half of the book) was very frustrating. The love triangle is annoying and just doesn't feel quite right. There are few female characters but there is space for two love interests.

Overall, this book was pretty good for a novel that is formulaic and doesn't contribute anything new to the genre.


Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Fans of Red Queen will see similarities - and uniqueness - in this young adult fantasy. Beware. Arcus steals the stage from the main character!

Content Awareness Factors:

There is definitely a lot of gore and violence, as well as some sexual situations. There is nothing that isn't age appropriate according to our teen reviewer.


Type of Book:
This is a young adult fantasy with a girl as the hero.
Educational Themes:

One explicit theme was definitely how prejudices about groups can have deeply personal effects. This is an interesting theme in light of current affairs and how prejudices and biases against marginalized communities aren't reflective of the individual members of these communities. While the distinction between two groups is typical in young adult fantasy novels, this particular angle of observation isn't ever touched upon, and that was fairly refreshing.

Reading Level:
5.5
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
15 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
15 and Up
Age of child:
Teen student volunteer. Reviewer age: 19
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow. This book is definitely worth a read, but is ultimately forgettable. It's worth noting that I've heard a ton of good things about the two novels that follow this one, and that they are a lot better and much less formulaic!

Title Frostblood
About

The Frostblood Saga, Book 1

Author Elly Blake
Publisher Little, Brown Books for Young Readers © 2017
ISBN 9780316273251
Material Digital | E-Book
Cost $17.99
Genres Fantasy, Social Issues

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