frostblood, a young adult fantasy by elly blake. ruby otrera is a young fireblood, who lives with her healer mother and hides in plain sight until she is captured by the malevolent frost king's army. rescued from prison by the mysterious arcus and kindly brother titus, ruby learns to harness her firepowers in a desperate bid to destroy the frost king's throne and stop the evil that is taking over the realm.
some might feel like this story is too similar to victoria aveyard's red queen, but i think ruby is a more compelling character than mare barrow. she's a better person than mare and her struggles feel more heartfelt and genuine. there is a bit of a twisted love triangle between ruby, arcus, and rasmus, the frost king, but the truth of where anyone's feelings lies is never really in question, so it didn't drag down the narrative like so many other ya love triangles do.
and arcus was just such an interesting character, full of mystery and challenge, but charismatic too. you understand why ruby is fascinated by him. why even when he does his best to repel her, she can't stay away. you don't want her to stay away. the remaining supporting characters are well-drawn even the villians are given enough backstory so as to make their comeuppance something bittersweet. the novel closes out strongly. this is no cliffhanger ending, which i appreciate. instead the end leaves us at a new beginning, and where the saga may go, who's to say? i can't wait to find out. even though i'll probably have a long wait ahead.
**frostblood is scheduled to publish on january 17, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/little, brown books for young readers in exchange for my honest review.