Absolutely beautiful writing and a story about a family of strong women

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is one of the most beautiful stories I have ever read. It is perhaps one of the most unusual but wonderfully crafted tales that will remain with me for some time to come. It is perhaps one of the easiest 5-star ratings I have given in some time and will absolutely be one of the books I recommend to people moving forward.

This book reminded me of watching movies like Big Fish and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, tales that may contain strange and fascinating characters who live outwith the norms of society but who at heart are just normal people with wonderful stories to share. This book is the story of young Ava Lavender, a girl who was born with wings. Through her life, people are scared, awed and fascinated by her. Is she girl, bird or angel? Either way, this is Ava’s story and not just her story but the story of all the women in her family from her great-grandmother who leaves France in 1914 to live in Manhattan with her husband through to her grandmother and her strange collection of siblings to Viviane the mother of Ava and her love affair with the boy in her town that will give her the strange children who will change her life.

This book just sucked me in whole. The writing is so beautiful, it is clear that the world is not quite as we know it. There are strands of reality mixed with the magical and fantastical. The way that all of the characters from the Roux family continue to pop in and out of the narrative until we fall in love with them all so much it feels a real wrench when you finish this book.

I could see this book so clearly in my mind. The writing just evoked the whole town where Ava and her family live so well. The strange and unusual people who live in the small town are all so unique and as the story moves along they become so intrinsically a part of this story that the community forms such a heartwarming place for our story to unfold. The way they all pull together when Ava and her family need them and help them heal is just wonderful.

This book has to be made into a movie, that this story should not be made available to the wider world would be a crime. I can see this clearly on the big screen and it is a story that needs to be told. Absolutely this is the one book I badly want to see adapted.

Definitely one of my top reads of this year and a new favourite book for me.

V.E. Schwab introduces a wonderful first book in her Trilogy based in a world of magic and mystery

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Whenever I hear people talk about the books by Victoria Schwab or V.E. Schwab as she sometimes uses they always have really great things to say. Whilst I am intending on reading many more of her series the one that piqued my attention the most is her Shades of Magic trilogy and this is why I chose to make my first V.E. Schwab novel A Darker Shade of Magic.

Having heard other people talk about this book I’d managed to gather that it was a story of different versions of London, each with different levels of magic within them. Our lead character Kell comes from Red London, where magic exists and is utilised for good. We also have Grey London, effectively the London we all know where magic has disappeared and is mostly unknown. Also, there exists White London where magic is king and it is dark and threatening and used to control. We also learn there once existed Black London where magic became so powerful it destroyed the city and led to it being shut off from the other London’s and to the other London’s becoming shut off from each other. Before the closing of the doors people could move freely between the different London’s but now only special people known as Antari can do so and our main character Kell is one such Antari who carries messages from the different rulers of each London to ensure that things remain peaceful.

The first thing I loved about this book is the journey we go on in this book learning about each of the different variations of world that exist, each defined by the level of magic within it and how that magic has shaped the politics, wealth and customs surrounding it. Through Kell’s eyes we delve into the different rulers and their agendas from the Mad King George III in Grey London to the sinister and evil twins who rule over White London with their controlling magic. Each of the different variations reflects its colour and it makes it an exciting journey for us a readers to experience the worlds as they unfold and how they connect to one another.

The second thing about this novel is the wonderful characters we meet along our journey. Kell, the magic Antari of Red London who travels on behalf of his King and Queen to the other realms delivering their political messages is a wonderful master of ceremonies and clearly is a believer in using his magic gifts for good. He is, however, an avid collector of objects from the different worlds he visits and although he knows he is not supposed to carry objects between the realms he does so and this leads to the grand adventure Schwab takes us on in this novel.

I loved Lila, the ragamuffin orphan Kell meets in Grey London who joins him on his adventure across the realms. Her wonderful carefree personality and search for adventure make her a great sidekick to Kell and I have a feeling there is much more of her story we have yet to learn as the following 2 books progress.

I have heard that this book is very much a world builder, it sets the scene for the following two books that then blow the whole cross realms world wide open. I am therefore delighted to think what joys await me as I move into books 2 and 3. I loved Red London best and I cannot wait to return and find out what new adventures await Kell and Lila in the rest of this series.

 

A beautiful story about family and loss from Patrick Ness

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had heard wonderful things about Patrick Ness’ novel A Monster Calls and in the past had opened it and flicked through the first few pages but, for some reason, I put it down and hadn’t picked it back up again. However, this is one of those books that refuses to go away, no matter where you turn people cannot wait to tell you how incredible this story is and how much it moved them emotionally and so I went back and gave it another try and I am absolutely not disappointed that I did. In fact, from this point on I think I’m going to join those legions of people shouting about just how wonderful this beautiful book was.

It’s an unusual story, full of imagery and subtle themes that link it all together. It is the story of Connor, a young boy who is struggling to help his mother cope with her cancer and the debilitating effect the treatment of her disease has upon their lives. Living alone together he is her carer and from the outset of this book he talks about the nightmares that haunt him as he tries to manage to care for his mum, school and his feelings that nobody treats him normally anymore.

One night a monster, in the form of a tree, from the graveyard across from his back garden comes calling and tells Connor it is there because Connor called him. An ancient soul this monster says it will tell Connor three stories but in return, he must share the content of his nightmare which haunts him.

Dealing with difficult themes this book is not for younger readers but it is wonderful for young adults looking to explore a book rich with beautiful imagery and there is a gorgeous illustrated edition of this novel available which helps to bring the story to life. Also adapted into a movie starring Felicity Jones and with the voice of Liam Neeson, it also makes the story accessible to those who aren’t lovers of books. It is absolutely going on my to watch list within the next few weeks. It isn’t overly long, weighing in at just over 200 pages. I read this so quickly picking it up and finishing it in one afternoon because once I had picked it up I really really did not want to put it down.

The core theme of the novel is one of coping with those things that are outwith our control and the fear of having to let go of someone you love. It addresses all of the emotions that accompany that from helplessness to anger to fear and grief. The way in which the monster and the stories it tells reflect the feelings Connor is experiencing in his own life make it very powerful to read and mean that you really lose yourself in the emotion of this story.

This is easily the easiest 5-star rating I’ve given in a while, it was a beautiful book very powerfully written and with a story that is timeless and will span generations because of its core story of family and love.

A bit of a thriller twist on The Breakfast Club from Karen M. McManus

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Having spent quite a bit of time recently reading Fantasy novels I decided to try and take a different turn and squeeze in a little Young Adult Thriller between my Fantasy novels of choice that I have on my To Be Read shelf. Being a child of the 70’s I have seen and loved the brat pack movie The Breakfast Club and as I’d heard that One of Us Is Lying by Karen M McManus had somewhat of a vibe of that movie about it as well as a mystery aspect I decided I would give it a try.

This is the story of 5 teens who are sent to after-school detention together. Bronwyn, the high achieving student with an Ivy League future ahead of her. Cooper, the school’s baseball star, who is being scouted for the minors and offered lucrative scholarships for when he leaves school. There’s Addy, the popular prom princess who has a long-standing relationship with the most popular boy in school. Nate is the delinquent, serving probation for drug charges he’s a misfit from a difficult home life who’s reputation proceeds him. Finally, there is Simon, the guy who runs the school gossip mill on an online app where he posts rumours about things from pregnancies to who’s cheating on who and the scary thing is how accurate these rumours prove to be.

During their time in detention, Simon collapses after a drink of water and dies shortly thereafter after an allergic reaction. Suddenly the police are questioning whether it was an accident, after all the following day’s online post Simon was due to release contained damning stories about all of the people who were in the room with Simon at the time. For Addy, Bronwyn, Cooper, and Nate their worlds are thrown into chaos as their secrets are spilled and people begin to question which one of them is responsible for Simon’s death.

The premise of this book sounded excellent. It contained enough mystery on the blurb of the book to really grab my attention and so I delved in expecting to be hooked by the story pretty quickly. The story got moving really quickly as we join the story immediately as the said detention begins and we are treated to different character perspectives from the 4 suspects throughout the book as we get narration from them all individually. It doesn’t give a long lead into the events of Simon’s death and therefore most of the book is focused on the events following the incident as opposed to what happened in the room during Simon’s death.

I didn’t find myself as hooked in the story as I had anticipated with this book. I liked the characters and found that whilst their relationships with each other were wonderful to read about I truly did not care enough about finding out who had killed Simon to really engage with the story. This is because Simon was a horrible person, truly not a nice guy at all. We find out information about him throughout and read about the effects of his gossip mongering on the people he left behind and it is very difficult to find empathy with him. Had I really cared who did it I think I would have found this more suspenseful but instead I just wanted to shake the hand of the person who put an end to his ongoing destruction of people’s lives.

I also didn’t find the book built the suspense well at all. It read less as a mystery novel and instead focused more on the teen angst of the 4 suspects and their lives and the dirt that Simon had on them all at the time of his death. It isn’t done in a way that leads us to suspect anyone more than another but instead leaves you thinking that these are decent kinds with nothing to hide and you root for them. You don’t want to suspect anyone as they are all good at heart and have made mistakes but don’t deserve the wrath brought upon them as a result. As the book progressed I began to have an inkling about what had actually happened and therefore the ending did not come as a big shock for me. It kind of made sense in context of the characterisation throughout the book and meant all the loose ends were tied up a little too neatly.

I couldn’t say I loved One of Us Is Lying, it was an okay read. I could only give it 3 out of 5 stars though as it lacked a little bit of the real tension that I like in a thriller.

Maas continues to expand Celeana’s world in the third instalment of Throne of Glass

Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3)by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am still aiming to work through this series by the end of this year and so although it is not that long since I finished Crown of Midnight I delved immediately straight back in and read Heir of Fire. This may be driven in part by the fact that Tower of Dawn was sitting in my library the other day and I picked it up and so now I need to get through the rest of the series so I can read that before someone else requests it and I need to give it back. No pressure then!

The first thing I noticed about Heir of Fire is that from the outset we are very clearly not in Adarlan anymore, no Celeana has flown over the proverbial rainbow and is now in Wendelyn where she has been tasked with killing the King and his heir so that the evil King of Adarlan can continue his domination of the world. When we find her in Wendelyn though it is clear things are not going according to plan because firstly the Prince seems to be a thoroughly good guy and she really doesn’t want to kill him or his father and secondly because she is trying to be incognito and is trying to survive by gambling and is now generally drinking herself into a daily stupor.

From the moment the mysterious Rowan enters the picture though it is clear that this book is going to explore a great deal about Celeana’s Fae ancestry, her powers that she must learn to use and what happened to her parents and how she did become the deadly assassin that allowed her to be King’s Champion. Rowan is a great new character. Related by blood to Celeana through her Fae mothers side he is sworn to serve her aunt Maeve and is charged with helping Celeana to learn to harness her gifts and to prove she is worthy of her aunt sharing with her the way to destroy the mysterious Wyrdkeys and therefore destroy the central source of the King of Adarlan’s powers.

Whilst we have lots of flashback episodes to life in Adarlan and we keep learning about what Chaol and Dorian are up to whilst Celeana is away much of this book takes place in the home of the demi-Fae, Mistborn. There is a whole new cast of wonderful characters to meet and who will help Celeana to learn about her history and to go on that voyage of self-discovery that she needs to in order to learn to use her Fae gifts. In much the way that Throne of Glass was a worldbuilding introduction to the series, I get the feeling that this book is again about building the expansion of the world and placing our players onto the chess board for what is to come in the books ahead.

Therefore much of the book is focused upon Mistborn with Celeana, Adarlan with Chaol and Dorian and finally the view from the Blackwitch, Manon, who tells of how they have been recruited to lead the King of Adarlan’s aerial forces and the journey they go on to find their mounts and settle the hierarchy of which clan of witches will lead the charge. Manon is another great addition to the story and she is clearly loyal to her Blackwitch clan but she is independent and good at seeing the wider picture and I am confident she could be a strong player as the story moves forward.

There are so many unanswered questions at the end of this book. We have Rowan and Celeana’s relationship, they clearly have a strong bond as Fae but we have had the mating bond mentioned in this story and it could hint that this bond is there but just yet to snap into place. I know many people who really champion this romance and I can understand why but there is still a little bit of me waiting to see how things progress in the next book. The way we left Chaol and Dorian is also really exciting as they are both at a point where there stories are ready to take an entierly new turn in the next book.

When I look back at Book 1 it’s clear that we started out with only a glimpse of the eventual story Maas wants to tell. Each and every book expands her world and gives it more texture and more layers that we can delve into. In much the way as the Court of Thorns & Roses series did we are finding new characters to fall in love with and visitng new places and this makes it an ongoing exciting series to read as you never feel you’ve quite glimpsed the edges of Maas huge imagination, there is always more to see and that’s why I find her such an exciting author to read.

Only a 4 out of 5 stars for this one purely because the world building did at times mean plot development could slow for a chapter or so but this was compensated for in part by the historic information we gained about the world before Throne of Glass and Celeana’s parents world.

A contemporary novel about family, loss and growing up

The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve been reading quite extensively this month and mostly fantasy novels which had culminated in a wonderful book that I’d become pretty invested in and so when I finished it I had to find something that would cure my book hangover without immediately plunging me into another lengthy fantasy. I needed something light, quick and contemporary and I’d heard nothing but good things about Emery Lord’s The Names They Gave Us.

I’ve not read any books by this author before and I, therefore, was going on the recommendations of other book reviews and bloggers but the story in itself on the back cover synopsis was enough to pique my interest. The story of Lucy Hanson, a girl about to enter her final year of high school when her mother announces that her breast cancer has returned and she will need further treatment. Lucy’s family have a strong faith, her father being a pastor, yet Lucy struggles with this turn of events and how it impacts her belief. Things are made more difficult when her mother suggests that she not help at the family church camp that year but instead work nearby at a summer camp for troubled kids where there is a role as a counsellor. Lucy is thrown entirely out of her comfort zone into a world she’s unsure of and people she doesn’t know when all she wants to do is be near her parents.

The first thing about this book is that the faith of the central character and all the surrounding people she engages with form a pretty strong theme in this book. At times Lucy almost measures people by their faith and how they live their lives according to their faith. She is a character who has led a relatively sheltered life and so when she engages with the kids and teens at the new summer camp it is an eye-opening experience. Whilst I didn’t find Lucy to be an annoying character to read about there is definitely an innocence about her views and how she views the people around her. At the start of the book she has a pretty clear black and white view of the world, you are either good or you are not and she finds it hard to see the shades of grey. This could be a little off-putting to some readers I found it was one of the most enjoyable parts of the book to go on the journey with Lucy as she learned to be more adaptable in her views and choices.

The surrounding characters in this book are wonderful. The people Lucy meets at camp and the way their friendships grow throughout make it a really heart-warming story. Many of the people she works with have been working in the camp for more than one summer and so bring their maturity and experiences to the table and allow Lucy to learn from them. The bond they form as the book progresses is lovely to read about and you cannot help but be glad as Lucy moves away from the safety of the friends and acquaintances she’s known to understand that friends aren’t necessarily those you’ve known longest but those who are there for you when things get tough.

This was a quick read for me, completing it in around a day. I really enjoyed the story, the twists and turns about Lucy’s relationship with her parents, the things she discovers about them over the summer and how she copes with her mother’s increasingly severe illness. I had to knock off one star from the rating though because I wanted a little more time at the end to pull all the threads together. I felt we exited the story just a tiny bit early. I needed closure on Lucy’s story and I didn’t feel this was quite given the exploration it needed. A strong 4 out of 5 stars though and a good contemporary read about faith and family.

The most beautifully poetic book I’ve ever read, a triumph from Laini Taylor


Strange the Dreamer
 (Strange The Dreamer #1) by Laini Taylor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh my goodness, oh my goodness, oh my goodness. I am truly awe inspired by this wonderful book that I’ve just read. I had heard wonderful things about Laini Taylor’s Strange The Dreamer but they hadn’t quite prepared me for what I was about to read. From the opening chapters, it was clear that this was going to be something very special.

Firstly, there is the beautiful writing. This book is sizeable at nearly 500 pages and it’s not just that but the fact that you don’t want to rush reading this book. The whimsical writing is so descriptive and colourful and beautiful that you want to take every last bit in. From the opening chapters we become swept away in the world of Lazlo Strange, the young foundling who leaves his monastery life to become a librarian in the city of Zosma. Destined to forever be a lowly librarian, helper of the scholars he hides a mind that is special because Lazlo is a dreamer and from his very early years he has been fascinated by the magical city known only as Weep. It did have a different name but years ago the name just disappeared from everyone’s minds and now no one knows what it used to be called or why no one remembers it. Lazlo believes in Weep though and is desperate to know what happened, it’s his dream to go and to understand more about the city.

One day a delegation of warriors from the lost city arrive in Zosma and offer the chance for a select few to travel with them to Weep to see for themselves what has gone wrong with the city and to help them put it right. Lazlo volunteers to go and suddenly he goes from being just a lowly librarian to someone with an expert knowledge in the city they are going to study and his opinions are valued, he’s no longer a lowly orphan but a scholar in his own right.

As we reach Weep we begin to understand a little of what has happened there. Our characters expand and we meet Sarai, a young girl trapped in a palace above the city of Weep. We learn about why she is there and why she cannot leave and the people whom she lives with. Over the course of the book her world will collide with that of our dreamer Lazlo with some beautiful results that may just save the people of Weep, but at what cost.

This book was absolutely beautiful, I loved Lazlo so much. He was such a wonderful character to read, he was noble and good and his imagination flew off the page and into your mind as a reader and it was a joy to share his story. The world Taylor builds of Weep and its inhabitants is both rich and exciting and is unwound so well throughout the story when we begin to understand the story in full we still have delicious mysterious to unfold and an ending which is both awe-inspiring and heartbreaking at the same time. The link at the end of the book back to the start took my breath away, it left me in pieces, it has been a long time since a book had quite that same effect on me.

I’d say I took about 5 days to read this book, I just couldn’t rush it. I wanted to savour every bit in case I missed something. I swapped between the audio and physical books and found the audiobook just as enjoyable and it was narrated really well and so I could highly recommend this to those who prefer this format. Although I knew I had a huge TBR pile and had lots I wanted to read I still felt bereft when I finished this book, I wanted more of this world and its characters. I cannot wait for book 2 in this duology to be released as if it promises anything like as much pleasure as I gained from this book I’ll be one happy reader.

A strong second book in Kendare Blake’s story of sisters forced to fight for the crown


One Dark Throne
 (Three Dark Crowns #2) by Kendare Blake
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved the first book in this trilogy, Three Dark Crowns, and this meant I knew I wouldn’t be able to wait long before diving into One Dark Throne, the second book in the series and the continuing story of the three triplet sisters fighting to decide who should sit upon the throne and reign as Queen having killed her two sisters.

Three Dark Crowns had ended with several shock revelations, one particularly which impacted the future power balance between the sisters. We find poisoner Kat returned very changed from an awful betrayal suffered when the sisters began their ascension year. She is a different character entirely from that in Three Dark Crowns, in this book she’s definitely darker and more fierce and this whilst making her a more interesting character to read also gives us a villain of the three to dislike.

With Arisone leading the forefront in this book we find much of it is focused on her, Jules and Joseph, as she begins to learn more about her gift and Jules, struggles with her own discoveries about her abilities. I loved the parts set within their naturalist village and the ongoing support she draws from the people around her and she remains my favourite of the three sisters and is the one who seems to be continually fighting hardest to find any way to not have to slaughter her two siblings.

This second book has more action packed into it, probably because we don’t need to do as much world building in it. There’s more darkness and we find the sisters really coming up against one another in a way they didn’t in Three Dark Crowns. The threat level is heightened and it makes for really engaging reading.

If I had one reservation about this book though it would be that I almost wanted a little more world building. At one point of the book, Arisone meets the midwife who raised her and her sisters until they were separated and taken to develop their gifts with different foster families. I felt this would have been an ideal time for some background, some flashbacks about the sisters and their mother. It is touched on but not explored as much as I would have liked. In fact throughout these books we touch on the Queens of the past but we never spend long understanding the history of the world in any great detail and I feel this would add context and richness. I could happily have spent another hundred or so pages in this kind of expansion.

I enjoyed this book very much and it’s clear we have some work to do before we reach the end of the sisters’ story and this is set to come in Book 3, The Queens of Fennbrin set for release next year I believe. I will be anticipating the release of this book and be delving in shortly after its release as I’m keen to find out how this story will conclude and whether just one Queen will sit upon the throne or in fact if any will.

A good sequel to book one, perhaps not as strong but still immensely enjoyable.

A strong plot driven third instalment in Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have been working my way slowly through this series, I am determined to get there by the end of 2017 and so although I was a little hesitant I decided to press on and read Cress, the third instalment of The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer.

This fairytale telling series has been hugely popular since its release but I have struggled a little with the first two books. Although containing elements of the different fairytales upon which they are based, Cinderella, Red Riding Hood and in the case of Cress – Rapunzel, the setting has really stretched the boundaries in this series with it being set in a futuristic world where humans are battling against a deadly plague and the ongoing threat from a race known as Lunar’s who live on another planet.

The series continues in book 3 with our ongoing heroine Cinder still on the run from the authorities, along the way she has gathered a band of misfits who are helping her to come to terms with the fact she is, in fact, Lunar and to help her to stop the evil Queen Levana from carrying out her plan to marry the emperor Prince Kai and then have him killed. This time around she meets Cress, a prisoner on board a satellite floating through space. With no contact with anyone, her job is to monitor the activities of the rulers on earth and to feed their actions back to the Lunar Queen.

Cress, fulfilling the Rapunzel role, is an interesting addition to the cast of Lunar Chronicles characters. Naive and a little immature at the outset of the book she grows throughout this novel as her story loosely follows the Rapunzel tale. She is likeable and the burgeoning romance between her and Captain Thorne is really wonderful, this brash and cocky captain is not always subtle or romantic but he is so very kind to Cress and her adoration of him is sweet to read about.

This instalment of the series is the longest so far, coming in at over 500 pages Meyer is really packing in a lot of plot to this book. I think with Scarlett that had been one of my reservations, that the story didn’t seem to move forward as far as I’d hoped. This time around the plot is more developed. We see more of life on Lunar and learn more about the Royal family there which sets us up for the next book in the series.

I enjoyed this book more than I anticipated I would. Sometimes I find all the spaceships and cyborgs and tech a little bit of a distraction to the parts of the book I enjoy, the real fairy tale retelling parts and at times this has caused me frustration but this time around I managed to put that aside a little more and enjoy the story behind the setting. I am glad I’m persevering with the series but am now keen to read the final instalment and conclude everyone’s stories as it now feels about time all the threads started to come together towards its natural conclusion.

A strong start to a new fantasy series by author Elly Blake

Frostblood (Frostblood Saga #1) by Elly Blake
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fantasy is quickly becoming my favourite genre to read and I’ve had the opportunity to read some really amazing books this year in this genre. As soon as I saw the cover for Frostblood I was intrigued, the UK cover of the frozen rose is beautiful and drew me in immediately.

This book kicks off with an emotional chapter where we meet Ruby, a fireblood. Ruby can control heat and fire, she can make and manipulate fire. Ruby, however, lives in a world where she is an outlaw, in the kingdom where she resides Frostbloods rule and the most dangerous of all sits on the throne. In this opening chapter, Ruby’s village is ambushed by the king’s soldiers who are searching for her and her mother is killed by them whilst trying to protect her daughter. Ruby is captured and taken to prison where she is taunted and abused by the guards.

Ruby is helped to break out of prison by an unusual monk called Brother Thistle and a mysterious man named Arcus, who agree to help her in return for her help in killing the Frost King and destroying his throne. Ruby, who is still seeking revenge for the death of her mother agrees to help them and so begins her journey to learn more about how to use her Fireblood powers in preparation for her task to kill the king. Along the way she makes friends and finds a place she can feel safe and call home.

This book was all about the characters for me, I really liked Ruby but the people she meets along the way were brilliant. Brother Thistle and Brother Gamut and Sister Pastel were amazing. The way they cared for Ruby and helped her to find peace after the death of her mother was great. Arcus was wonderfully mysterious throughout the book and although my suspicions were proven correct in the big reveal later in the book he was strong and supportive to Ruby and a wonderful hero.

The book is split into two sections, the first is based fully on Ruby’s preparation for her task to kill the Frost King whereas the second takes place in the court of the King where she must fight to the death to gain the respect and admiration of the ruler in order to get close enough to him to carry out her task to destroy his ice throne and remove the darkness which hangs over the kingdom.

I have heard some criticisms of this series that is offers nothing new in contrast to other books in this genre, however, this wasn’t something I had an issue with. I liked the premise of the frostblood versus firebloods, it had a little reminiscence of Frozen with the Frostbloods having similar skills to Elsa. The really outstanding thing for me about this book is the warmth of the characters and the interactions of them together.

I really enjoyed Frostblood, the first part of a trilogy it has set up the storyline for the second book nicely and has left us characters we want to spend more time with. I gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars.