Eventually, she is freed by two frostbloods who want her help. The very nature of frostbloods and firebloods has them at odds, and although she is reluctant to help, she finds that these frostbloods are on a mission that aligns with hers- the death of the cruel and violent king. Ruby is a strong character with a good heart- she really just wants to be a healer like her mother. She is courageous and filled with every type of fire one could imagine- passion, short-tempered, witty. The story is told from her point of view, and she is a fantastic character from whom to learn about the kingdom and the mythical history of the gods and the powers bestowed.
As firebloods have been hunted and exterminated, Ruby has never learned to tame or use her skills. The first part of the book is her training with the frostbloods, whose skills were trained. Although they seem like their skills would be at odds, they are similar in many ways. Her time at the monastery is somewhat quiet and relatively uneventful/slower paced, set at odds with the second part/half of the book which is full of danger and much faster paced, taking place in the palace. In this way, it felt reminiscent of several different types of fantasy novels, and I absolutely adored the combination. However, I was unable to put down the book during the second half and caught myself reading even when I shouldn’t be- the action is so intense and constant that there isn’t a single good place to put it down during the second part. Be forewarned, and I mean that in the best way- you’ll want to keep reading/need uninterrupted time for this gem of a book.
The book was, in many ways, very predictable, e.g. her romance was easy to predict (which doesn’t mean that I didn’t love every second of it) as well as the true identities of some main characters (which I won’t give away so as to avoid spoilers). However, despite the ability to guess at events or some of the mysteries, the book was fantastic to read and the journey was incredible. I am not sure I can calm down my gushing enough to adequately express how very much I adored this book! I am already ready to reread it and enjoy the build of the romance and Ruby’s personal growth all over again. I am beyond thrilled to learn that this is part of a series, so I can continue with this wonderful world and characters, but so sad that I don’t yet have the next book. As a note, if you hate cliffhangers, you are in luck! This book does have closure and does not have a cliffhanger. However, the ending is not final and you can definitely see the room and potential for the rest of the series.
Overall, this was a really fantastic read, and it is definitely shooting to the top of my favorites. Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are entirely my own.