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Fireblood by Elly Blake

BOTTOM LINE: The wait is going to be much too long for the third book. I want it now!

Genre: Young Adult; Fantasy
Publication Date: 12 September 2017
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Synopsis from the Publisher:

“Against all odds, Ruby has defeated the villainous Frost King and melted his powerful throne. 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.”

My Thoughts: When last we saw Ruby, she was wondering what her life would be like living among Frostbloods as the love interest of the Frostblood king after having destroyed the last Frost King. Upon the opening pages of Fireblood, we learn exactly how difficult the struggle is. So when she is invited to visit the land of the Firebloods, we rejoice as she gets the opportunity to learn more about her people, learn more about her powers, and find a way to help Arcus.

As such things usually go, there is nothing about the trip that happens the way Ruby expects. There are agendas within agendas within agendas working against her, and Ruby is a bit slow when it comes to discovering them. She spends much of this book on her back foot, always trying to gain the upper hand but finding that she misread the situation yet again. It becomes a bit frustrating because we know she is a stronger character than this. Thankfully, we do get to see a bit more of Ruby’s powers, and she does get better at wielding them. We also learn more about her past and her mother. This helps round out her character a bit, explains a few unanswered questions, makes her less of an orphan, and helps offset the timidity of character she exhibits this go-round.

Upon finishing the book, there is the feeling that Elly Blake is not quite done with Ruby. Not only is there another book in the series, but her powers and her story remain unfinished. As we saw in the first book, there is much potential in Ruby. However, by the end of the second book, while more comfortable with her powers, you get the impression that she still hasn’t quite grown into all of them. Something is missing, and when she discovers what that is, there are going to be fireworks. What it is will undoubtedly relate to the big reveal in Fireblood, but what it has to do with the series ending remains to be seen.

One of the best things about Ruby is her independence. She does not sit around waiting for Arcus to find time in his day to spend with her. Instead, she is willing to put aside her feelings for the greater good of both countries. It is a lovely bit of sacrifice and a reminder that you should never lose sight of what is important when in a romantic relationship – yourself, your ideals, and your sense of duty.

Fireblood is a welcome sequel to the Frostblood series. It suffers only slightly from second book syndrome as Ruby is a bit too passive at times, reacting instead of acting. This was a flaw in the first novel as well, so I hope that in the third book she becomes bolder about taking the initiative. The story remains interesting with plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing, only some of which are totally predictable. In all, it remains a strong story with fun, well-developed characters. The only thing now is the year-long wait to find out how it all ends.

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