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.
Fireblood (Frostblood #2)Featured
To start with my favourite part, I shall bestow you with details. The training not only allowed us to see Ruby's physical strength growing, but also her mental and emotional strength as well. She learned to focus, be one with the magic, and let go. For Ruby to actually embrace her emotions, if only partially, is a huge step for her. She may not be a Frostblood, but she definitely acts like she could be. Or at least she did in the first novel. I loved imagining the actions that had to go with her mental and physical struggles as she learned to hone her abilities. It gave me an insight into the characters that I otherwise wouldn't have had. Not to mention, Ruby and Kai bantered a lot which kept the tone light and amusing.
Which, unfortunately, brings me to this: love triangle. Ruby and Arcus were fairly instant, though they didn't act on it until quite a while after. They seemed to work in the first book. However, in Fireblood we get to see a new side of him, of them as a couple. Being the King of Frostbloods who hate Firebloods leaves little room for romance with the enemy. So no, Arcus does not man up and declare his undying love for Ruby, nor does she fight to be at his side and not merely a Lady of Court. They didn't fight for each other. And then someone else came into the picture. Someone who treated Ruby like an equal, who didn't care if others saw him touch her, laugh with her, smile at her. They taught each other a lot in their time together and allowed each other to grow. But Ruby just can't get Arcus out of her mind. It was frustrating. I actually wanted her to forget about him. I still do. So I actually really enjoyed the blooming romance in this book more than I did in Frostblood. It made me root for the characters.
As for characters. Arcus is now the King, struggling to attain and then to maintain control of the throne. Peace is within grasp but only after a lot of hard work, and after the horrible reign his brother just left, people are not so eager to help Arcus succeed in his endeavors. There was political intrigue mixed into every interaction between Arcus and Ruby until Ruby herself started getting sucked into it. People want to kill her so their King is no longer tainted. If she leaves Arcus will not have to fight for his throne so hard. And then when she leaves, even more politics follow her. Through her struggle to become a part of Court life, Arcus merely sees her as someone to call upon, someone who will be there. He doesn't seem to see her struggle to fit in, and he doesn't do much about it other than put her in positions she'd rather avoid. He seemed more careless in this installment.
Kai on the other hand used humor and wit to keep himself going, which provided readers with a lot of smile-inducing moments. He is honestly probably my favourite character. Full of sass, witty remarks, and a passion he won't deny, he made the pages breathe life. I hope the next book has more of him!
Overall, I enjoyed Fireblood and will be continuing this series!
Upon arriving in Sudesia, Ruby learns that she is not a welcome addition to their society and is given a very short amount of time to prove herself amongst the Firebloods, to attempt to become a Master (after a series of life-threatening tests). Although I thought this sounded like something that could make a whole book, the tests are a relatively small part of the overall story and most of the novel deals with interpersonal relationships. Ruby seems a little immature and to spurn the devotion of Arcus. The love triangle (or should I say square?) that develops felt a little forced, and I couldn't really understand all the drama around it. The relationships seemed like more of after-thoughts than anything else, and I couldn't get into the dilemmas/dramas surrounding them. The very real threat of the Minax who was released and continues to torment the kingdom and Ruby takes a backseat to a lot of relationship drama, when I often felt it should be the other way around.
Overall, I still enjoyed it and would give it 3-3.5 stars, but it didn't spark the same passion I felt about the first book and seemed more like a rehashing/less personal growth in this one. I am still curious to see how this develops and would like to continue with the series- I'm hopeful that we'll see a lot more growth and focus on the storyline that pops up here and there (the battle with the Minax/threats to sanity that were hidden in the thrones). The last part of the book was again the most action-packed and interesting, while the first half seemed a bit slow. I'll be curious to see how the next one develops!
I really liked seeing the Fireblood kingdom and how different it was from the Frostblood one. There were many great additions in this sequel that made me like it even more than the first. Hopefully that trend keeps up and the third one is also amazing. I loved the introduction to Kai, his flirtation, his confidence, his backstory, his unwillingness to treat Ruby as fragile. He did need her just as much as she needed him and them training together and helping each other were great scenes. And there were many of them. I loved seeing the relationship between them, whatever it was turning into, develop.
Ruby was fierce in this book. In the first one, she had a lot of growth with regards to becoming stronger and trusting herself and her powers. In this one, it was more about her determination to fight and destroy to Minax, even if she still wasn’t convinced she was the prophesied Child of the Light. I loved seeing her learn to push her powers even more than in the first book and her learning more about the Firebloods.
I also loved the way the mythology has been worked into this series and continued to be important. It wasn’t just a quick explanation at the beginning of book one and then forgotten about, it was a huge part of the prophecy and was something that kept getting elaborated on through this sequel. I would definitely read a spin-off series of the Gods of this world. It’s going to be way too long until the next one comes out but at least we already have a title and cover!