Format: Paperback ARC, 408 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown
Pub. Date: September 12th, 2017
In this action-packed sequel to the New York Times bestselling Frostblood, Ruby must choose between her fiery homeland and the icy king who loves her.Against all odds, Ruby has defeated the villainous Frost King and melted his powerful throne. But the bloodthirsty Minax that was trapped inside is now haunting her kingdom and everyone she loves. The answers to its demise may lie to the south in Sudesia, the land of the Firebloods, and a country that holds the secrets to Ruby's powers and past....Despite warnings from her beloved Arcus, Ruby accompanies a roguish Fireblood named Kai to Sudesia, where she must master her control of fire in a series of trials to gain the trust of the suspicious Fireblood queen. Only then can she hope to access the knowledge that could defeat the rampaging Minax—which grows closer every moment. But as sparks fly in her moments alone with Kai, how can Ruby decide whom to trust? The fate of both kingdoms is now in her hands.
Reading Fireblood pretty much tested my sanity. My emotions were all over the place, and my heart could barely handle all of the constant twists, challenges, and heartaches in this book. I had so much energy and adrenaline while reading that I couldn't sit still. I had to pace, jump, and yell—all while psychotically flying through the pages of this glorious sequel.
I have to say, I am absolutely thrilled to see how much Elly Blake has grown as a writer. While she gave us an intriguing and icy world in Frostblood, we now have Sudesia—the home of all the Firebloods—and the contrast of settings is fantastic. Also, there are lots of new characters introduced, and I adore them all! So yes, this book was HOT . . . in more ways than one.
This book was so good, guys. Even now, I'm struggling to write this review because since I love this book so much, it's hard to put my feels into coherent sentences. Also, though I originally had my worries regarding the love-triangle that is mentioned in the synopsis, I was ultimately beyond happy with how the story progressed. In fact, whenever I currently have a spare second, I'm sneakily petting the book and rereading my favorite sections.
Click the button to read some spoilers about the love triangle mentioned in the synopsis. :)
Is there a love-triangle in this book? Yes. Was it terrible? No. Though to be honest, love-triangles don't bother me too much—as long as they are well-executed. This actually reminded me a lot of Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo with the introduction of Sturmhond. If that didn't bother you, then this probably won't either. For those of who you haven't read The Grisha Trilogy (and AHEM, shame on you!), let's put it this way: Ruby doesn't declare undying love for both Arcus and Kai and then go back and forth while deciding who to "pick" to be with. It's more like . . . she's struggling with her place in the world, and Arcus and Kai both represent the two opposing paths that she could take. Basically, it's less about the romance, and more about what is happening plot-wise in Ruby's journey, and her own personal growth.
So please, do not feel deterred by the love-triangle mention in the synopsis. This book is absolutely marvelous. All in all, Fireblood is definitely one of my favorite reads of the year so far, so I hope you will love it as much as I do! :)
1) Fireblood's plot made me freak out multiple times. I couldn't sit still while reading this book because every other page was making me jump around with panic.
I went from this . . .
To this . . .
I was overwhelmed, shaking, and I couldn't tear through the pages fast enough. My heart was pounding, adrenaline was coursing through my veins, and I just couldn't believe how many twists there were to this book. To say that Elly Blake keeps you on your toes is putting it lightly.
2) I have to give Blake props for how much she's grown as a writer. I love Frostblood, but there is an obvious improvement in the writing and the plotting from that book to this one. There is a whole new depth to the characters in this story, and there is a new, enchanting setting to explore that utterly captivated all of my senses. It was as if the world and characters were coming right off the pages, and the book suddenly flowed like a movie in my mind. There was this wonderful balance of action and repose, and at the same time, there was never a dull moment.
3) It was obvious that everything wasn't going to be all puppies and rainbows for Arcus and Ruby, and I really enjoyed watching their struggle. I know, I'm horrible. I just love to watch my favorite characters suffer haha. It was fascinating to watch them, as well as their relationship, evolve, especially with Arcus now on the throne of Fors, and Ruby not being the only Fireblood around anymore. Watching their struggles just made me ship them even harder than I did before. Like with the first book, these two are on even ground—both leaning on each other for strength and love. I just. I love them so much.
4) There is a lot of new magic introduced in Fireblood! Honestly, some of the fantasy books I've been reading recently have been a bit lackluster in this department (with a couple exceptions, of course) but I loved the new displays of sorcery in this book. Elly Blake explores more of each character's powers and we see them develop in new ways. It's truly exhilarating!
5) Kai. Oh, he was so delightful. Honestly, I originally didn't want him in the book at all because I was afraid he'd threaten my ship, but he just oozes with charm and makes it impossible to resist him. He also has a wonderfully compelling backstory, and I love his dynamic with Ruby.
1) The wait for the conclusion to this trilogy might actually kill me . . .
"I told him this helps me think."
"And does it?"
"Yes. It helps me think of you."
"I always fancy I smell singed meat when the Fireblood girl is near," she said in a booming whisper.
The lovely Marella, who sat on the other side of the table, caught my eye and tilted her head to indicate Lady Blanding. "I always fancy I smell mothballs when the old crow dines with us."
"Will you stop talking nonsense and help me back into bed?"
He raised his brows in mock surprise. "I hardly know which statement to address, the accusation that my compliments are nonsense, or the invitation into your bed."