Title: Shadow Frost
Author: Coco Ma
Series: Shadow Frost #1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, High Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Publication date: October 1st, 2019
IN THE KINGDOM OF AXARIA, a darkness rises.
Some call it a monster, laying waste to the villagers and their homes.
Some say it is an invulnerable demon summoned from the deepest abysses of the Immortal Realm.
Many soldiers from the royal guard are sent out to hunt it down.
Not one has ever returned.
When Asterin Faelenhart, Princess of Axaria and heir to the throne, discovers that she may hold the key to defeating the mysterious demon terrorizing her kingdom, she vows not to rest until the beast is slain. With the help of her friends and the powers she wields — though has yet to fully understand — Asterin sets out to complete a single task. The task that countless, trained soldiers have failed.
To kill it.
But as they hunt for the demon, they unearth a plot to assassinate the Princess herself instead. Asterin and her companions begin to wonder how much of their lives have been lies, especially when they realize that the center of the web of deceit might very well be themselves. With no one else to turn to, they are forced to decide just how much they are willing to sacrifice to protect the only world they have ever known.
That is, of course… if the demon doesn’t get to them first.
“This was a gateway to a realm of merciless darkness, of beautiful horrors and bloodthirsty nightmares. Hollenfér. Hell’s Way.”
I admit I was pretty intrigued about Shadow Frost after hearing such amazing praise and reviews about it, so I was very excited to pick it up and went into it with pretty high expectations, and I have to say I really enjoyed it. It was very fast pace and such a fun and entertaining read, and the mat do you cook in the world building where incredible.
First of all, I completely fell in love with the world and the magic. I think for a first book in a series it was very complex and we got to explore it a lot throughout the book in a very short period of time, which is something that I appreciated a lot because not always I come across these type of books where there isn’t a lot of information about these things thrown at us in the first few chapters, and instead these elements came as we kept reading the story.
The plot of Shadow Frost was also very intriguing. I think it was a very easy book to get into, and the story was so fast-paced that I just wanted to keep reading to know what was going to happen. Even though the plot wasn’t super unique or original, I think the author did a great job at building tension between the different characters and keep the story moving smoothly.
When it comes to the characters, I have to say that my opinion changed a little bit as I kept reading the book, but I still think the same way now as when I started it. However, because these characters had such interesting dynamics going on between them, I liked them more as I kept reading the book.
“When Asterin emerged from the darkness of her memories on that muddy shore and opened her eyes to see Rose’s distressed face hovering inches above her own, she looked beyond her fellow ruler and saw not a bleak, dismal sky, but a silver dawn, full of vengeful promise.”
Asterin was quite an intriguing main character, and though first she seemed like your typical protagonist and heroine, I really enjoyed her arc and her evolution throughout the story, and I think that the friendship going on between her and a different characters strengthened the more I keep reading.
However, I have to admit that I have mixed feelings when it came to the romance. It’s true that it wasn’t super fast paced or rushed, and it took its time to develop and to build that bond between these characters, but I think that it was a bit insta lovey, especially Asterin and Quinlan’s. The feelings that they had for each other I think appeared very early in the story, and I like my romances to be more slow burn, so that was something that even though I overall enjoyed I would have loved it more if it were done differently.
There were a few revelations that didn’t surprise me as much as I expected, along with other things that happened that in my opinion were quite convenient, and that shocking factor that I think was expected in certain parts of the story wasn’t there because some elements that were revealed or foreshadowed previously in the book.
Overall, I did really enjoy Shadow Frost and I think it was a very interesting first book in the series. Of course, there were certain tropes that I think are very overdone in YA by now, but I think that the author did a great job at building this world and this magic, and I’m interested to know more about it.
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This doesn’t change my opinion whatsoever. All thoughts are my own.
TW: self harm, abandonment
“Thunder rumbled of into the distance, promising an oncoming storm. Let it come, Luna thought. She was ready to taste the rain.”
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