Frostblood | Thoughts
I like the idea of this book a lot. Set in a world where the gods of North and South bestowed gifts on humankind, people have fallen far from the original intention of each gift. In the North the gift was ice, creating Frostbloods with the power over cold, turning their blood a deep blue and making their skin always cool to the touch. In the South were Firebloods with the gift of fire, their blood a dark red and skin burning hot. Naturally, these two peoples fall constantly into war, with the Frostbloods coming out as victorious and all but destroying the race of Firebloods. East and West played their roles as well in balancing the world, and we get swept into an interesting history filled with world-ending prophecies and saviors of light.
Ruby is a Fireblood who could be by all accounts the last of her kind. She knows her gift is dangerous and has tried her whole life to keep the gift concealed, to disastrous results when she loses her temper. Think Elsa in Frozen, but with fire. When she is rescued by a group of Frostbloods looking to use her to help them achieve an impossible mission, she sees a way to get revenge on the king who destroyed all she loved.
Gods-touched mortals with powers over the elements; mad kings corrupted by evil magic; shadow beings looking for conduits to further seep their darkness into the world; scarred warriors who are more than they appear; a heroine tempted by the absolute control and power the darkness offers...these are all excellent starts to what could have been an enthralling fantasy.
However, the story is incredibly underdeveloped. It could be so much more than the shell it is, with a lot more fleshing out and more attention to detail and world-building. The plot is rushed along and in many places obviously forced in unnatural directions, the romance is shaky, decisions are made with no real foundation, and characters have nearly no development. It was hard to feel anything for their plight and mission. I hesitate to say the romance drove the story, because this does have a lot more to offer than just the two MCs falling in love. But because of the rushed pace, we move from hatred to friendship (maybe?) to love at warp speed...can't really call it instalove as there was some effort to maintain the lifelong-instilled mistrust the Frostbloods and Firebloods feel for one another at first. But not much.
Frostblood is a great idea, but the minimum effort in story and character development produced a lackluster result.