Frostblood by Elly Blake (I should have loved it but I didn’t)

FrostbloodFrostblood by Elly Blake
Series: Frostblood Saga #1
Published by: Little Brown Books for Young Readers on January 17, 2017
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 384
Source: NetGalley
Book Details
Rating: ★★½

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.

Fast-paced and compelling, Frostblood is the first in a page-turning new young adult three-book series about a world where flame and ice are mortal enemies—but together create a power that could change everything.

Objectively, Frostblood ticked so many boxes that should have made me fall in love with it. But sadly, that’s not what happened. The book missed out on that connection. I never really got invested in the characters or story.

The world building was kind of a mess

I think my biggest problem was with how the world was explained. The entire plot is built on this story about the gods. But this story was dumped on us in one sitting when the MC stumbled upon a woman telling the story to her kids (as like a bedtime story). The whole thing was just dumped in our laps.

  • I couldn’t absorb it.
  • It was too much info at once.
  • We were dealing with like four gods’ names and kings names and I just couldn’t remember any of them.

… but then they all became important later.

I think this would have been so much more effective if the history was explained more naturally and over a long period of time (rather than “let me tell you a long ass story all at once”).

And although we were dumped with too much information about the gods and that history, we weren’t really given enough information about the CURRENT stuff. It took me a long time to fully piece together what the king was all about and the CURRENT state of the kingdom. I don’t feel like the whole world building was unravelled very well. The pacing didn’t work, and we either got too much at once or not enough.

The romance.. urghh.

My second big problem was the romance. I started out totally rooting for it. You can still see my status update at 13%:

“Please fall in love.”


But then I lost my love for the MC. I decided she was too whiny and I stopped liking her.

Then I lost my love for the love interest. I was excited about him at first, but then his personality just… never developed? He was so… boring? There was just nothing about him that excited me.

The blind hatred was realistic, but tiring

Also the blind hated in this book just didn’t do it for me. I’m not necessarily blaming the book for this since this kind of stuff totally happens in real life. So yes, it was realistic. But that doesn’t mean I have to like reading about it.

Basically there are “frostbloods” who can wield ice/frost/coldness/whatevs.
Then there are “firebloods” who can wield fire/heat.

They’re both exactly the same, just different elements. They’re both potentially useful and potentially dangerous.

And yet EVERYONE in this whole damn book worships frostbloods because they are apparently awesome, but hates the MC on sight because she’s a “disgusting dangerous fireblood”. They literally call for her death because they assume she’s all evil and horrible.

I just thought it was ridiculous how you have two kinds of people who are exactly the same except for which element they can wield, and yet the entire kingdom blindly loves one of them and hates the other.

Yeah this totally exists in real life with racism, but as I said.. It just kind of made me hate everyone for being so judgemental and I think that affected my overall enjoyment.

I swear I didn’t really hate it

Writing this review out makes it look like I hated the book, but I didn’t. In the end I actually feel quite indifferent. There are things I didn’t like, yeah. But ultimately I just don’t really care strongly one way or another. It certainly wasn’t a bad book and I think a lot of people will love it.

Honestly there are interesting elements to this story in theory. Something about it just didn’t click with me and instead of enjoying all those pieces that I feel like I shouldn’t have liked, I just couldn’t bring myself to really get invested at all.

The Verdict


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I'm a 30-something California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). My three great passions are: books, coding, and fitness. more »

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  1. Ashley, glad to see I’m not the only one who doesn’t like every book she reads. And I tell the world why! Good for you for letting the rest of us know how you felt about this read.

  2. I actually really enjoyed this book till the end and gave it 4.5 stars but I can see why you didn’t like it and I respect your opinion! I do agree though that the world building wasn’t the best and the connection with the characters wasn’t really there!

    1. I’m so happy that you loved it, Anisha! I’m actually quite jealous because I was really thinking (and hoping) I’d love this one.

  3. I was super excited for this one, since the premise sounded really interesting and I’m a sucker for fantasy. Although the world building and character connection seemed to be lacking, I’m still intrigued enough to pick this one up but with much lower expectations.

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