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.
I went into this book with a little hesitation because it sounded similar to a lot of other YA books I’ve read recently. Thankfully, once I started reading it I found the author really took the story and made it her own. It was fast-paced, had a lot of world-building woven through the story, and had great characters.
Ruby, the heroine of the story, was someone I definitely wanted to root for. She was very sassy and acted tough even when she was frightened. She was much stronger than she believed she was and was someone I could believe would come out the other side of the fight. She was a survivor. I liked her transition from the beginning and thinking little things like practicing her Fireblood powers wasn’t a huge deal; to the middle and blaming herself for not having better control on her powers; to the strong young woman we see at the end, ready to fight and kill the Frostblood king.
I really enjoyed the supporting cast of characters in this. Everyone served a purpose and there were a few standouts where I can’t wait to see where the plot of the series takes them. The chemistry between Ruby and Arcus, a temperamental Frostblood was very apparent and I loved the way they bickered with each other, the way they slowly began to trust each other and believe in each other.
The fast-paced made this a quick read. Everything that was happening was making me want to read more, from Ruby’s training with her powers to the Gladiator-style battles in the arena, to Ruby’s mission to kill the Frostblood king. A lot of time was spent on Ruby’s training so if the reader wasn’t enjoying that part, it might feel long or slow but I really enjoyed that part. Everything about it made me want to pick up the sequel when it comes out.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.