Frost is cursed – possessed by a wolf demon that brings death everywhere she goes. Desperate to find a cure, she flees her home, only to be captured by the Ruan Hill Guard. Trapped until she can prove she is not an enemy, Frost grows increasingly close to the Guard’s charismatic leader Luca and his second in command, the tortured Arian. Torn between two very different men, Frost fears that she may not be able to protect either of them … from herself.
I really loved this book. It’s not often that I find a book that I love from the first page to the last page and every page in between but Frostfire was one of those few.
We follow the misfortunes of seventeen year old Frost. She’s alone in a hostile world, believing that she is cursed and is just trying to survive while passing through life unnoticed. Everything changes for Frost when she stumbles across an ambush that she mistakenly intervenes in and meets the two young warriors who will change the course of her life.
I don’t like giving away spoilers so that’s all I’ll say about the story. However, I will talk about why I liked this book so much. Frost is a complex lead character with believable flaws and formidable strengths. Marriott has obviously spent a lot of time building layers of back-story that shape the person Frost is when we meet her and the person we see her become over the course of the story. Snippets of Frost’s early life are revealed to us in a series of flashbacks which are woven seamlessly into the narrative of the story. Marriott really makes you feel the desolate and loveless life that was Frost’s childhood. Strangely, though, you never feel pity for her; you feel empathy for her. And the choices Frost makes throughout the story, whether good or bad, are all in keeping with her character.
The two male characters are also as complex but are complete opposites to each other. Luca and Arian are friends, brothers in arms, but one is portrayed as goodness personified while the other is much darker. The way Marriott chooses to deal with this is to make you question what makes a person good or bad? I really enjoyed the interaction between the three and thought Marriott really made their individual and collective relationships work.
The quality of the writing really stood out to me in the best possible way. I didn’t notice the writing. At no point did it jar me, confuse me or irritate me. I didn’t have to backtrack to clarify what I was reading, I didn’t swear once because of bad word choices or poor structure. The writing never pulled me out of the story. Instead, it provided a favourite-comfy-jumper-type atmosphere in which I could just sit back and enjoy the story that was being told. Props to Ms Marriott. A final word on the writing. Although this book is a YA book, in my opinion it is simply a good book. She doesn’t patronize her readers, her writing style is simplistic yet mature and evocative and I really admire her writing and her story telling.
All told, I would certainly recommend this book to anyone that wants a good read. I can’t wait to track down Zoe Marriott’s other books. I only wish there were more of them.