My first Elly Blake novel, but for sure not my last. Though I am not sure which edition I like the most, they all look wonderful in their very own way. But reading the novel was a pleasure and I am now looking forward to the next book. I don´t know how many times I was holding this book at the library in my hands only to put it back on the shelf after a few seconds. The cover fascinated me somehow but reading it was another thing.  

by Elly Blake
Frostblood Saga #1
Publisher Hodder Paperbacks on May 4, 2017
Genre Fantasy
Pages 384
Format Paperback
Source Library

Ruby is a Fireblood. In a land ruled by frost, her very existence is a crime. She´s spent her whole life in hiding. Until the day Frostblood soldiers raid her village and kill her mother. The day she swears to avenge her people. She must travel deep into the heart of the enemy, to the court of the Frost King, with only the mysterious warrior Arcus – a Frostblood rebel – by her side. But with alliances between flame and ice strictly forbidden, is Arcus friend of foe? Ruby will only have one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who took everything from her. But she has no idea just how hot her fire will burn …
Ruby is a Fireblood. And her ability to control fire is dangerous for her. The king´s soldiers are hunting every Fireblood in the kingdom and none of them ever came back. So, it is very normal for Ruby to deny her ability. But without any control, she is a threat to herself and others. Can Arcus or the monk help her, gain control over the fire and use it to destroy the king?

I like the soft, easy to read style the author has, a lot. The book contains some very brutal and bloody scenes but always told in a very readable manner. My head-cinema was turned on immediately when I was with Ruby in her small hat, later in the cold prison or at the abbey where she got taught by the elder monk. Is it only me, or was there a message behind the entire novel? Not sure about it, but while reading I always had the feeling that Elly Blake was trying to tell her character Ruby and me as well, something that was not only important for the novel, but also for me to understand her characters. Not only because there were so opposite to each other, but also to nature itself. The rough mountains, the dry desert, or the green woods. And that Ruby discovers in the end who the real reason behind all the despair and cruelty was. Which I somehow had known all along, but to read my thoughts then black on white, that was one of the wow-moments I had while reading.

As much as I liked reading about Ruby and how she made her way from that small hut to the icy castle, I wasn´t happy with the way how she acted. It seemed that whenever she came into a critical situation and her power was needed, she was completely incapable of using her ability. Like she was frozen inside and under the whim and will of someone else. And no matter how hard she tried to gain control of the fire or a situation, she couldn´t manage it. As if she was her worst enemy. The one person that denied her access to her own ability. I am still not sure if I pity her or if I am still annoyed by the fact that Ruby has something deep inside her, that makes her as helpless as a baby when she needs her power the most. What fascinated me was the comparison between the different figures. Ruby is not able to concentrate enough or long enough to gain control over her fire. At some point, she literally gives up and I am damn sure that is the result of her mothers´ way to raise her. 

On the other side is Arcus. The man who not only seems to be made of stone but also has a self-control – holy smokes. He is, with all means, ice. There is nothing he seems to desire, but his love for the monk, his will to control himself and everything around him made me curious to the moment where I was able to look behind his façade. 

An action-filled and diversified novel with beautiful scenes (as awkward as it might sound) and some great dialogues. I enjoyed almost every minute while reading and had some sort of fun watching how the figures were acting with each other. Yes, this book is a good recommendation. 

Happy reading

*I read the German edition new release by Ravensburger on February 18, 2018 

Elly Blake
Elly Blake ©Heike Delmore

Elly Blake loves fairy tales, old houses, and owls. After earning a BA in English literature, she held a series of random jobs before finding her ideal job as a writer and part-time library assistant. She lives in Southwestern Ontario with her husband, kids, and a lively Siberian Husky mix with definite Frostblood tendencies.


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