Hello everyone!

 I am back with another book review, today it is Frostblood by Elly Blake. Thank you so much to Hachette Canada for sending me an ARC of this book for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.

It has been a while since I just generally enjoyed a book so much. I got about 7 pages in and was so in love with the writing style, I knew I would fly through this book.

The story follows a girl named Ruby, in a world of Firebloods and Frostbloods. The concept is pretty self-explanatory, the Firebloods have fire in them and can control it. The Frostbloods, alternatively, can wield cold. The two groups once lived peacefully together, but after the death of a Fireblood queen a few generations ago, the Firebloods have been hunted and eradicated. In case you couldn't guess, Ruby is a Fireblood. The Frostblood king's soldiers are hunting for her, and end up capturing her, killing her mother in the process. She is then brought to a prison where she spends about 6 months being tormented by the guards. Eventually, she is rescued by an order of Frostblood monks who believe she may be able to kill the king and the darkness that drives him mad. Within the monks, there is a refugee named Arcus, a Frostblood about Ruby's age who has a badly scarred face and a temper. Together they create a plan to kill the king. However, before anything can be accomplished, Ruby is captured and forced to fight in the arena as a king's champion.

I'll leave things at that, I don't want to say too much more.

First off, I want to talk about Ruby, because she was such a great character. After her mother was killed, all she wanted was to avenge her death. No matter what happened, she didn't lose sight of that goal. She was headstrong and fierce, but not in the stereotypical strong female lead way. She broke down, she sobbed for those she unwillingly killed - even those she killed on purpose affected her. She was weak and strong all at the same time, and I think that made her a relatable and likable narrator.

I also really loved Blake's writing style, I don't know exactly what it was about it that struck me, but I really enjoyed it. She was able to portray the span of time very well, sometimes stories that are meant to take place over months or weeks feel as though they happen in just days - but Blake was able to create the feeling of time passing, while still keeping the story interesting.

I really enjoyed the interactions between Arcus and Ruby. I think the way their relationship formed was very well done and well paced - not really insta-love. As they come to know each other, they begin to become friends and then something more. But it was never an, "I've known you a week, I love you, and I will die for you," situation.

Also, even though I predicted the whole thing with Arcus, I was still appreciative of how Blake wrote that element in, leaving vague clues and questions. Even though I saw it coming, the whole arena thing was crazy!

I'm still not 100% sure about the extent of the abilities of Firebloods and Frostbloods, I think that element could have been a little better explained. I understand on a fundamental level how they got their powers, etc. but I think Blake could have developed what kind of powers they had, or a little bit more on their abilities - some are more powerful than others, but there isn't a lot of clarification as to why. There was a lot emphasis on other things and, for better or for worse, such explanation kind of took a back seat.

Finally, I just want to touch on the similarities/comparison of this book to Red Queen. Both have the element of two different types of blood, a tyrant, etc. I think there are a lot of similarities, yes, but this book has a different feel. It is more about doing what is right, and less about the politics. Ruby doesn't really work with the king, she is just a pawn. I think also because Ruby is one of the last Firebloods, she's not just one that chose to fight. She is one of the strongest of her kind and is kind of forced to fight. I also think the writing styles are vastly different, so it doesn't feel the same.

Overall, I really loved this book and cannot wait for the next one!