Firefrost

Title: Firefrost
Author: Camille Longley
Genre: Fiction/ Fantasy/ YA/ Romance/ Magic
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 5/5

Favourite Quote: ‘”Fire isn’t evil. We all use fire, to cook, to light and warm our homes. Without fire, humankind wouldn’t survive.”
“But it is evil to use it like this. To be tainted by it. To let it enter the blood.”
“I won’t apologise for saving your life.”
“It’s better to die untainted than to let the poison take you.”
“Maybe we aren’t so different,” Kelan said softly. “We’re both afraid of what fire can do to us.”‘

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley.*

 

Sol is now the strongest hunter in their small mountain village when she took the role after her father died. As the oldest sibling, she is left to fend for her family whatever it takes. When their closest allies requests her help to guide them through the snowy mountains, in order to form an alliance with a distant city to help the war against the Flameskins, she isn’t in a position to say no. Even if it’s a mistake to travel over the mountains during the cold season with access to limited resources and fighting against the power of the mountain storms. What she didn’t expect was to find a Flameskin camp so soon in their journey, and having no choice but to fight their way through the soulless demons that are determined to stop them. 

Kelan is a Flameskin lieutenant who is in a constant inner battle against his Flameskin possession. He will not let his demon take over who he is no matter what the cost. Left with a small number of troops to stop a marriage alliance to be used against his people, his orders are to kill Lady Isabelle whatever it takes. When his camp is suddenly attacked, Kelan wasn’t prepared to be caught so off guard and soon the camp becomes overthrown and he finds himself as the last man standing in front of his enemy. He quickly finds himself a prisoner with a maniacal to stop him from accessing his demon’s ability and a watchful hunter keeping him in his place as they continue their journey through the mountains. 

‘Sol marched toward him, but he sprung up and backed away. “I should’ve left you buried in the snow,” she growled. 
“I’m glad you rescued me, but I’m still not going to put that back on.”
Sol reached for her knife and Demon’s hands sparked with fire. She would’ve preferred to freeze to death than to burn to death. She gripped the manacle, her fingers brushing the emberstone inside it. 
“You should be more careful who you threaten, Sol,” Demon said. 
“If you kill me, you’ll never find that village.”
“Maybe I should take my chances.” 
“Kill me, then. That’s all demons do. Kill, and destroy.”
She met his turquoise eyes and held his gaze.’


 

I thought I’d make a fresh start on my NetGalley shelf and get through books I’ve been putting off for a while. I’m starting to feel guilty that the majority of the books I’ve downloaded are already archived on my shelf, it isn’t fair on the authors. This self declaration lead me to Firefrost. I fell in love with this book by it’s cover.. cus, well look at it.. it’s so pretty. *dreamy eyes*
There seems to be a lot of reviewers that have found something wrong with this story which holds them back from giving it full stars, and whilst I agree, there are quite a few things I didn’t like about this book – I honestly can’t help but give it 5 stars anyway. I don’t tend to find a lot of books like this where I can honestly say it simply just hooked me in for its unique storyline and believable characters. I found myself being drawn in to their adventure more than I realised and I fell in love with it.

I didn’t know this at first, but this book is just spinoff prequel to the Flameskin Chronicles. It’s a fantastic introduction to the universe and I will definitely be looking into the main series to discover more about the magical world that was refreshing and wonderfully original. 
The type of characters were distinct and well written with their magical aspects, you have the Flameskins who are humans born with a fire demon pyra who slowly possesses the host the more they use their fire ability until they are taken over completely, the Saints who are essentially Flameskins who are unable to be possessed by demons and have full control over their powers and Mages who can gain access to magic whilst touching an emberstone but will slowly lose a part of who they are the more they use it. Of course you also have the humans across the continent who fear those with magic and have declared war against them, except the Saints. I even liked the power of the mountain spirits who recognise one of their own and were acknowledged as gods and goddesses through out each magical land told through fables and stories, such as the Ulve Mountain gods with their ice wolves and seeds of magic. 

The story itself was told through both perspectives of Sol and Kelan which helped build on their characters as well as the slow burning romance between them.
Both characters on opposite sides of a war, both intertwined through unfortunately circumstances, both having to work together to survive the journey through the snowy mountains, determined to use each other to their own advantage before betraying the other when the time comes. What they didn’t expect was to find a connection on their journey that will create an understanding and unspoken commitment to one another. 

I liked Sol and her strong willed stubborn attitude and her bias against the Flameskins race after everything her father had taught her at the beginning. It really shows how much she matures throughout the story but I have to say, the love hate was a bit annoying to start with, I was getting fed up with Sol with the whole ‘I hate him’, ‘I think I like him’, ‘but he’s a demon so I hate him’, ‘but I do I like him’, ‘but he’s a demon’, ‘but I must like him’ aspect. I honestly don’t know how Kelan stuck around at times, Sol was so frustrating that even I couldn’t handle her indecisiveness. Not that I didn’t respect it or completely understand it. She spent her entire life fighting against the one person she now spends every moment with in order to survive, the one being her father fought to protect his family against was now keeping her warm at night – she sees herself as a disgrace to his father’s legacy and everything their village stood against. It’s no surprise she battles with herself when it comes to Kelan. However, I do have to admit, it’s only when she starts questioning everything she knew and comes to to accept her feelings for Kelan that the story really blooms. They come to rely on each other to survive, a romantic us v.s the world rather than fighting each other at every corner which was becoming a bit tedious at times.

‘”I’m not a demon.”
“Kelan-“
“Call me fool, call me Flameskin, call me anything you like, but never call me Demon.”
“Kelan, I meant-“
“I didn’t choose this. We don’t get to choose our parents, or what we’re born to. And every moment is a battle for me. You don’t know what it’s like to have to resist what you are, to fight every day of your life to keep the fire at bay.”
He stood over her, his eyes hard, and angry heat radiated from him. Sol shivered and resisted the urge to lean into him. His shoulders slumped and he pulled her in. 
“You’re freezing,” he whispered. 
She was stiff in his arms, but she couldn’t pull away. She hated how much she craved the warmth of his body. 
“I’m not like the others,” he said. “What do I have to do to prove that to you?”
“I don’t know.”‘

Kelan had his good and bad moments, he could go from being a scary ass fire demon army lieutenant, to a scared cowering human in an instant. It was like sometimes he forgot he was born a soldier even without his demon inside him to rely on. How he clung onto Sol like a lifeline, he was too desperate for a fire warrior but it played the part to build up his character and the relationship between them so even I could appreciate that. You were able to see both parts of his character when he let go of his humanity and the person he was so desperate to be when he fought off his inner demon. The way that he was willing to do anything to keep Sol safe was heartwarming, even when she continued to fight and belittle him. I have to say though, even when they began to see something more between them, I really didn’t like how easily Kelan was manipulated to think the worse of Sol after he was willing to give up the world for her. Pick a lane! 

The scenery was beautifully dire with the endless snowy setting that goes on for so long in the story, the slow perilous journey through the mountains gave you enough time to get to know the characters as they came to rely on each other. It created a magically isolated setting that tested their strength and patience, you could truly imagine yourself there keeping warm in a cave, hiking through the snow with snowshoes or coming across empty villages on their path to the city hunting for food. Even after they left the snowy mountains, the author took their time to really build up the world and the environment around them whether it was Sol’s home village, travelling across the country to escape the war that threatens to tear them apart or their escape to the dark forest of Hivid Wood full of wraiths and abandoned Flameskin children. The whole world building was fantastic and I can’t wait to discover more in the main chronicles! 

 

My Rating

 

Goodreads Review:
She’s a huntress: Sol d’Hillerod is sent on a desperate mission through a treacherous winter pass. She carries with her the only hope of her village’s survival, and she will do whatever she must to keep her world from burning.
He’s a monster: Lieutenant Kelan Birke has spent his whole life fighting for his freedom and his soul. As his control slips, and the war rages on, he knows it won’t be long before he loses himself entirely to the fire that flows through his veins.
Sol and Kelan are enemies in an age-old war, forced to depend on each other to survive a perilous journey through the mountains. As fire melts the ice in Sol’s heart, she questions everything she’s been taught to believe, and Kelan becomes more desperate to fight the flames that consume him. Together they discover that their struggle will have repercussions for both sides of this burning war.

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I moved to Japan with my husband and cat three years ago which has been one big adventure. The only downside (besides missing my family and dairymilk) is that I've moved to a country where English bookshops are limited, plus the idea of transporting so many books back home sounds dreadfully expensive. I've grown to love my Kindle which is why I'm fixated on ebooks. It connects nicely to my goodreads and netgalley account also which means I'm always adding more to my never ending list of books. I read fiction and love all things fantasy, YA, historical fiction and classics. Add a bit of mystery and I'll be hooked!

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