Written by Elly Blake
Published by Little Brown, January 10, 2017
My star rating: 4 stars
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. (Goodreads)
I’m going to be reviewing this one in a strange way. This book is separated into two parts, and for me, these parts almost felt like different books. Let me explain: The beginning of the book (part one) was very fast paced. While I loved the pace of it, I felt at times like it was missing something. The content focused a lot on who Ruby was, what she was, what was happening to her, and where she was going. The pace was enough to keep me going while at the same time I felt like it was almost lacking something. Like a special finesse or more substance to the story. I would have loved to have a little more world or scene building – I just felt like I couldn’t really ‘feel’ like I was there or picture what it looked like.
Those opinions aside, there were quite a few aspects that I really did love! The relationships that Ruby formed (especially with the monks) was really striking. She had gone through so much and didn’t immediately trust or form relationships with these people. Trust was built and walls slowly fell down as information was exchanged and actions proved their personalities. But my absolute FAVOURITE part of this was the folklore! Elly did an incredible job incorporating the origins of the Firebloods, Frostbloods, darkness, and light, as if she was telling an old fairytale. It felt so relatable as if your own grandmother was telling you these stories and adding to them the facts that actually made up her heritage. I loved this aspect so much I could have read so much more! But as the series goes on I think more will be explained and revealed.
Now part two was almost like a switch was thrown, and every tiny detail I felt was missing came rushing out in spades. There was beautiful descriptions of Ruby’s surroundings and I really felt like I could envision where she was standing. Ruby must fight for her life and those fighting scenes were just so well written! Every movement was invigorating and carried the scenes in fluid detail. This is also where my other favourite aspect was introduced – the creatures. They don’t play a big part at all and this isn’t a spoiler to the story in any way, but I loved that there were frost and fire creatures as well as people. I’m not sure why I liked this so much, but I could honestly have read a book just about these creatures! I don’t think that I’ve ever read a book where people had powers and animals to match those powers. I’ve read about familiars, but this was slightly different.
As I said, this was a VERY fast paced book so I’m afraid to mention details of Ruby for fear of spoiling the story. The first part of this book was slow, but as soon as I got to the second part I read it SO quickly. Elly’s writing style was just beautiful and flowed so easily. Her writing style very closely matched my inner monologue so everything felt so comfortable. I was petrified when I started this book that I wouldn’t like it! She’s just such a beautiful person – admitted book nerd and just so happy! Not to mention she lives less than an hour away from me so if she read a bad review she would easily find me! LOL! I can not wait for book two!! The ending of this book made me want so much more!!!!!!
Until next time, happy reading!