Review: Frostblood by Elly Blake

Monday, March 27, 2017

Frostblood by Elly Blake
Frostblood Saga #1
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: January 10th, 2017
Rating: 4 Stars
Source: Audible
Format: Audiobook
Pages: 376

Summary (from Goodreads):

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.

What I liked:

First of all, I quite liked our main character, Ruby, who is a Fireblood. She had been living a life of relative peace in a little village with her mother, who was a healer, when the Frost King's army came and killed her mother and threw her in a cell. Then after having been in there for months, she is rescued by two Frostbloods who need her help to take care of the Frost King.

I like how when Ruby finds herself in this situation, she has what I felt was a relatively realistic war going on in her head over what to do. She doesn't necessarily just accept her mission as what she has to do. She wants to avenge her mother, but this mission could go wrong and she doesn't have any allegiances to anyone anymore.

I like how Ruby, being a Fireblood, is described as being more open with her feelings. Her feelings run hotter or something like that. And Frostbloods are more cold, they hold their feelings in, they aren't as free with them.

I liked Arcus, the mysterious, hooded love interest. He is kinda frosty with Ruby at first and they don't seem to like each other, but eventually they grow on each other and he begins to wish that they could find some other way to accomplish their goal without having to risk Ruby's life. I liked how he was kind of.... vulnerable? I don't know if that's the word I want, but he wears his hood for a reason and he's not just all macho and nothing-bothers-me-because-I'm-a-Tough-Guy.

The monks were a really fun group. After being rescued from the prison, Ruby is taken to an abbey full of monks to recover, train, and learn to control her powers. The main two monks you meet are Brother Thistle and Brother Gamut (sorry if those are spelled wrong, I don't know how to spell them for sure!). Brother Gamut is the abbey's healer. He's always so kind to Ruby.

Brother Thistle is the main one in charge of Ruby's training. I like that he doesn't approach it as 'oh, she's so wonderful, she can do no wrong.' He gets irritated with her for the dumb stuff she does and doesn't just blow it off. I liked that about him.

I also really liked the romance. Ruby and Arcus are complete opposites, just like their fire and ice powers. Ruby is a lot more passionate, Arcus is a lot more closed off. I felt like it was kind of a hate-to-love romance. They really don't get along right away and kind of have to grow on each other. And I love how when Ruby started to realize she was developing feelings for Arcus, she got kind of bold and flirty.

What I didn't like:

I understand that this book is about elemental magic. It's kind of an important part of the book, obviously. But I started to get sick of the near constant mentions of things being hot and cold. Not only when they're talking about their powers either. It wasn't something that bothered me a whole lot, but towards the end I just wanted to shout, "I GET IT ALREADY!"

Another thing that bugged me was the fact that Ruby kept admiring the Frost King's looks. She basically said he's pretty, too bad he's a bad dude. Along with the fact that the Frost King seems like he kind of has eyes for her, it made me think that the romance was gonna be triangular in shape for awhile. But no worries, it's not. But for real, don't romanticize the guy that's exterminating your people, Ruby!!

The final thing that bothered me was the obscene amount of page time spent describing Arcus's eyes. How they were so many different blues and how much Ruby loved seeing them. And how it made her sad when he wore his hood and she couldn't see them. I didn't know that there were so many different ways that you could describe ONE SET OF EYES!

Overall, I really enjoyed Frostblood and I'm excited for Fireblood to come out next year! I really want more of Ruby and Arcus!

Have you read Frostblood? What did you think of it?


  1. I read this one near its release and like you I enjoyed some pieces while others left me frustrated. Overall I feel like the writing and editing could have been tighter to strengthen the interesting world building and make the plot pacing better (the eye thing was really too much like you said). I also feel like the pacing was just off with some really obvious things happening repeatedly and leaving Ruby completely shocked. For me this is a book I'll be happy to recommend but not a series I need to finish.

    1. I am curious to see what happens next, so I will definitely be reading Fireblood! But to be honest, I don't know if I'll be able to get through it if we have to hear about the guy's eyes in such great detail, repeatedly, again. There's only so much a person can take!


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