Title: Frostblood (Frostblood Saga #1)
Author: Elly Blake
Publisher: Little, Brown Books For Young Readers, 2017 (Jan 10)
Genre: YA Fantasy
**I received a copy of this book free from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review**
Before I go into the review, I want to talk about something that I haven’t mentioned here yet…many people on Twitter already know: I went to see Elly Blake at a book signing, along with Susan Dennard of Truthwitch/Windwitch, EK Johnston of A Thousand Nights/Spindle, and Kate Elliott of Court of Fives/Poisoned Blade.
I was in heaven.
I couldn’t afford books, but I did scrounge and bought Frostblood. Blake was so nice and I know we are going to be good friends, as she understood my situation and was so nice about it. I almost cried when I met her. I’ll be seeing her with Stephanie Garber at Schuyler’s Bookstore on Feb 13 and I can’t wait. This was my first book event and I’m hooked. And I’m excited to see Elly again.
I was going to post a pic of the signed book, but it’s put away right now, along with my Instax pics that she signed for me. I don’t have a lot of room, but I found the perfect bookshelf (yay!) and it’s $80, so I’m selling some stuff on FB to be able to buy a place to put my books. In the meantime, they are in bags in stacks, placed carefully so they don’t get ruined in the meantime.
I plan on keeping a separate shelf/section/box for my portable classroom library, which is really getting some great titles. I’m not going to include signed copies bc kids like to be a little rougher with books. But the others that I have read are fair game bc I want to spread the YA love and get more students interested in reading. No more eye rolls! 🙄
Ok, so enough gushing. Let’s talk about Frostblood!
Ruby is a Fireblood: she was born with the ability to create fire from within. She’s unskilled because Fireblood are Hunted and must hide. Ruby and her mother have been hiding together…but when Ruby is alone while her mother is out healing the sick, Ruby practices in secret. If ever the soldiers come, she wants to be ready.
And the soldiers come. They bear the white arrow on their chest: the Frost King’s emblem. Ruby is taken, turned on by the town and the boy she thought cared about her. She’s taken to jail to await her execution. Only Frostblood may live in the land of the Frost King.
One night, though, two hooded men come in and break her out…but they have conditions. They want Ruby’s Fire to kill the Frost King. She is reluctant and does not trust them. But the only other option is death.
Ruby has her own reasons for wanting the king dead, so she reluctantly agrees. They take her to train as she is very rusty. One man, Arcus, his face always mostly covered, seems to have ill Will towards Ruby. She is accustomed to the disgust from Frostbloods, but as Ruby trains, she realizes Arcus seems to make her crazy…and she starts to like it. But can Fire and Frost really get along?
Yes! I think this would be a great book for the classroom: once again you have a society where being different makes you a target. There are dynamics that can be explored. Ruby’s fears and insecurities speak to students. The derogatory names that she is called parallel to those fighting for equal rights. There is also a lot of love in the book, as well as a lot of darkness. There are some really good themes to work with and discuss. I can imagine students becoming excited when reading this. I could see them reaching for the next book…Fireblood, which comes out (I believe) this fall.
However, this book can stand on its own. And that’s the nice part about it. You can use this book without having to wait for the series or worry about reading the whole trilogy and not having time. It is also an excellent book for reluctant readers because it is fast-paced and action-packed. Boys and girls both would enjoy this read. Lots of action to keep the reader entertained.
I really thought Lexile would have this book, but apparently it does not. So I am going to suggest that you could go as young as 12 without worry: there’s nothing torrid, no swearing, and no gory or graphic scenes. I think I might see if my niece wants to read this to see what she thinks. I know it would be just as effective for MG readers as it is for YA readers. It’s rare to find a book like that, and it’s a nice change to know that you can feel comfortable letting a young advanced reader pick this up and read it.
Well, if you couldn’t tell by the tone of this post, I give Frostblood my second ★★★★★ of the year! I loved this book. I read it practically non-stop. I’ve seen some reviews that aren’t how I feel (I saw a one star from a popular blogger on Goodreads who claims it is the same story she’s read before. Others may not be as passionate about this as I am: I get that. But I do recommend it. I really do, especially if you have a young fantasy reader at home.
So here it is: