I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Fireblood by Elly Blake
on September 12th 2017
Series: Frostblood Saga #2
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Against all odds, Ruby has defeated the villainous Frost King and melted his throne of ice. 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.
After reading Frostblood last year and loving it, I’ve been eagerly awaiting Fireblood. Luckily, it was worth the wait. Fireblood avoids second book syndrome while setting up the third book in the series beautifully. I loved how this book focused on Ruby exploring her heritage and figuring out for herself where she belongs in this newly changed world.
After the events at the end of Frostblood, Ruby finds herself in an unstable and treacherous position. She’s stuck in the Tempesian court, avoiding the courtiers who would prefer the king choose a Frostblood and stealing only the occasional tender moment with King Arcus. Additionally, the Minax is now free and haunting the countryside, spreading terror and destruction everywhere it goes. After an assassin makes an attempt on her life, Ruby sets off on a quest to Sudesia with Kai, her attractive Fireblood savior, in order to find answers.
One of my favorite things about this series is Ruby. She is still feisty and sassy with an iron will. I absolutely loved her character arc in this book, it was wonderful to see her grow into her power and make a place for herself in the world. I loved how she refused to settle into the role Arcus put her in, instead seeking one that she wanted. It was wonderful to see her willing to walk away from the relationship in order to make sure that she didn’t lose herself. I really can’t wait to see how Ruby develops in book three, particularly given what happened in the ending of this book.
Through Ruby’s experiences in Tempesia, the Frostblood kingdom, and Sudesia, the Fireblood kingdom, Elly Blake did an excellent job of bringing both cultures to life while driving home the idea that the two peoples are more similar than they think. I also really enjoyed how she slowly peeled back the layers of the Sudesian Queen, exposing her as a flawed human being. The political aspect of the book was interesting, even though I predicted some of the twists. While I liked most of the new characters introduced, I wasn’t a huge fan of Kai. The romance aspect felt contrived. I would much rather have preferred that he have an uncomplicated friendship with Ruby, I think it would have suited them better.
Fireblood was a strong sequel, although the pacing felt uneven at times and the ending was a bit rushed. I also would have liked to see Ruby training and mastering her powers for far longer than she did before taking the trials. Otherwise, the characters were quite good and there was a perfect mix of action based scenes and quieter ones. Plus it was amazing to see what true Fireblood masters can do. I will definitely be eagerly awaiting Nightblood, the conclusion to this enchanting series.