Thoughts on books, family, and life in one impressive package.

Nightblood by Elly Blake

Initial Thoughts: “Elly Blake’s Frostblood series ended with a bang. I adored this series from the start, and I was eagerly anticipating the finale because I had no idea how it was going to end. Suffice it to say, Nightblood is everything I wanted in the series ending and more. Guys, it made me shed real tears. That almost never happens when I read, so books that do so always hold a special place in my heart. The story itself is pretty much perfection. The story goes to some very dark places, and there is plenty of violence to match that. Ruby faces the ultimate test in her powers and beliefs, and while she has grown and matured throughout the series, we still see glimpses of her initial awkwardness and charming ineptitude from the first book. The romance does not come easy, and any happy endings that occur are hard-won. I loved every minute of it.”

Now: I am still obsessing over the fact that Ms. Blake brought me to literal tears. I always get excited over excellent stories, but I rarely become so emotional that is causes a physical response like crying. The list of books that caused me to cry is so short that I can list them all without pause. In other words, it takes a lot to get me to cry, and yet there I was, weeping while reading as my heart tore during a particular scene towards the end of the novel. The pain and longing in that scene are so real that I forgot the scene was fictional. That is the hallmark of fantastic writing.

That one scene is the culmination of the rest of the series, and it highlights how stellar the rest of the story and series is. Ms. Blake does not just tie up loose ends, but she makes her heroes continue to fight and grow until the bitter end. They have to work for any happy ending they receive, which makes those endings so much sweeter for the victory they embody. Each story in the series develops into the other to the point where, while it would be possible to read each as a standalone novel, you lose so much if you did so. It is much more satisfying to see Ruby grow as much as she does, experience her journey, and cheer her on through all of the difficult decisions and impossible situations she faces. Ms. Blake’s Frostblood series is so impressive and satisfying that she is now on my must-read list, and I eagerly look forward to any future novels she might publish.

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