I won a proof copy of this from Fairyloot at YALC.
Frostblood was one of my top three YALC reads last year, along with A Torch Against The Night and Goldenhand. In a month where I read many frosty books last year, it was the clear winner, and the only one where I was actively looking forward to the sequel. So I was delighted when it was one of the proofs that I picked up at YALC, as it doesn’t publish until September 7th.
In this action-packed sequel to Frostblood, the future of Ruby’s world and a court ruled by the love of her life depends on the uncovered secrets of her past. Perfect for fans of Red Queen and Throne of Glass.
‘With a fierce and vibrant world, richly-drawn characters, a steamy romance, and page-turning twists, Frostblood has all the elements of a great fantasy.’ – Morgan Rhodes, New York Times bestselling author of the Fallen Kingdom series
Against all odds, Ruby has defeated the villainous Frost King and melted his throne of ice. But the bloodthirsty Minax that was trapped inside is now haunting her kingdom and everyone she loves. The answers to its demise may lie to the south in Sudesia, the land of the Firebloods, and a country that holds the secrets to Ruby’s powers and past….
Despite warnings from her beloved Arcus, Ruby accompanies a roguish Fireblood named Kai to Sudesia, where she must master her control of fire in a series of trials to gain the trust of the suspicious Fireblood queen. Only then can she hope to access the knowledge that could defeat the rampaging Minax – which grows closer every moment. But as sparks fly in her moments alone with Kai, how can Ruby decide whom to trust? The fate of both kingdoms is now in her hands.
I very much enjoyed Frostblood, and was looking forward to Fireblood a lot. And when I started reading, I was delighted to find that I wasn’t disappointed at all. Although the book does have some major YA tropes, such as ~true identities~ and ~love triangles~, there were enough twists and turns and adventures in this book for me to enjoy the entire story without rolling my eyes more than a tiny bit.
Ruby is still hot-headed and impulsive, emotional and often unwise, but that makes her quite the relatable protagonist, as I’m something of a hothead myself. Her adventures in Sudesia, the land from which her mother hailed, are far more and far less than she expected, and she meets a host of new characters as she learns to control and master her Fireblood gift.
Thematically, this second book in the trilogy felt a lot like Magic Study, the second book in the Poison Study series, as the main character travels to her homeland to learn about her culture, her people, and master her magical gift. That’s not a negative comparison, by the way. I very much enjoyed Magic Study, especially the suspicion with which the new arrival was treated
New character Kai is warm, emotional, and in most ways the exact opposite of Arcus, the icy, reserved love interest of the first book, so he adds new dimensions to the comparison between the two. Ruby chafes against the constricting society of the Frostblood court, so the chance to escape to Sudesia, the Fireblood homeworld, is a welcome relief for her – but it doesn’t turn out to be everything she hoped it would be.
Fireblood added new dimensions to the story started in Frostblood, and amped up the tension as we saw the other side of the Fireblood massacres in the Frostblood homeworld. Some interesting points about nationality were raised, which I hope will be expanded on in the third installment. As well as that, there was huge developments in the overarching magical story, of the twin Minaxes, and what their release into the world means. Prince Eiko, the prince consort of Sudesia, was one of my favourite new characters, and the end of Fireblood left his fate very much up in the air.
Frankly, I’m furious that I have to wait until June of next year to get the third installment of this trilogy, as I’ve thoroughly enjoyed both Frostblood and Fireblood, and the ten-month wait for Nightblood may well be the death of me.
Final note: the cover art for Frostblood was spectacular. The cover art for Fireblood is incredible. The cover art for Nightblood is also stunning. Huge commendations to the cover artist at Chapter 5, because they are doing absolutely stellar work here.
Four Stars, and an impatient huff at having to wait for the final installment. Judging by the cover art, it’s going to be darker and every bit as awesome!