Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a fireblood who must hide her powers of heat and flame from the cruel frostblood ruling class that wants to destroy all that are left of her kind. So when her mother is killed for protecting her and rebel frostbloods demand her help to kill their rampaging king, she agrees. But Ruby’s powers are unpredictable, and she’s not sure she’s willing to let the rebels and an infuriating (yet irresistible) young man called Arcus use her as their weapon.
All she wants is revenge, but before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to take part 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.
This book kind of felt like coming home.
If coming home involves a typical love story between the woman with a secretly powerful ability and a quick wit and sarcastic nature who is forced to spend time with a caustic and aloof man who also has a powerful ability and a secret past. But think about it, for those of us who have been reading young adult for years will recognize this trope and the stereotypical nature of it. Of course there is a girl who has a power like no other, and of course there is a guy who is her polar opposite (in the case of Frostblood, literally), but they have an undeniable connection. I will say, I do love a good love story where the love interests start off hating one another and growing to love one another. That slow burn gets me every time.
So, all of the above did not mean that this book was bad. Yes, it followed a lot of clichés and the story at its bare bones is not wholly original, BUT I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump and have been distracting myself with television, but sitting down and starting this…I read it all in one sitting. It was fast-paced, which left little to be desired in the way of true character development, but the action was decent! The world building needed a bit more expansion, in my opinion, mostly because there was just information on superstition and their religion, rather than anything serious.
I think the thing that did stick out to me was the amount of familial relationships that were explored in this novel. Not just with Ruby and her mother, but with Arcus and Brother Thistle, the monks as a whole, Arcus and his brother, even the very secondary character of the small girl and her family of refugees traveling the countryside; that was my favorite part of this narrative.
The basics of the narrative kind of reflects a bit of a Marxist dichotomy between the bourgeois (the Frostbloods) and the proletariat (the Firebloods), except with even more murder and prejudice.
Overall, I found Frostblood to be a pretty average read. I didn’t absolutely adore it but I liked it just fine. It’s definitely a story I think I’d actually keep up with, though.