I am just like so many times lamenting about how to rate this... I think it's around 2.5Stars.
So not quite good but way better than ok. Hence I am rounding it up.
I wouldn't have wavered in the first half. But the second half sadly highlighted my problems with the book.
Let's first talk about the world building. It's my favorite part of the book. I like the mythology Blake built around the Frostblood Saga. We given little bits as the story unfolds, forming an interesting background to the storyline. The reader gets thrown into the deep end at the beginning of the book, but one gets to discover a world of elemental magic, beasts of different origins, characters driven by power and idealism. While I am not completely wowed by the world building, I did like it. It is your classic high fantasy set up for sure and has loads of potential.
I am a little divided when it comes to character building. I liked Ruby well enough. I get where she was coming from and in the first half of the novel I could relate to her. BUT then she felt just like the rest of the entire cast a little to formulaic. Too thought through and too scripted.
The story line is where my biggest issue lies. It was completely predictable. I mean completely. I knew where this is going from the beginning. I could have told you each twist and turn a mile ahead.
Despite that I rather enjoyed the first half. I found myself caught up in Ruby's struggles, in her growing friendships with the people around her. I even quite enjoyed the romance, however cliche it might be. The second part however, while there was way more action, the whole thing felt even more predictable. I knew exactly where Blake was going next. The big revelations had me yawning. Not only that I found myself rather annoyed with the weird unnecessary love-triangle. I just wondered why Blake had to go there? Couldn't she keep that cliche out?
Now I feel like I should mention that I have read a lot of fantasy books in my life. I've been reading epic fantasy since I was 9 years old after all. Which means, I have a lot to compare to. But also that I have a lot of expectations. I have a feeling that readers who haven't read half as many might enjoy this more than I did.
So while I like the first half and I enjoyed the action scenes, I found myself wondering if I am going to read the next novel. At the end of this one, I didn't feel the urge to read the next. Yet... for the first time since I started the series, I am not sure where Blake is going to take this next.. and it has me wondering.. Guess I'll be reading Fireblood after all.