Author: Zoë Marriott
Series:
 Ruan #2
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Walker
Pages: 439
Published: July 2012
Source: Review copy from publisher
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First Sentence
The first time the Wolf took me I was eight.
Blurb

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.

Thoughts

The first thing that bears mentioning is to ignore the fact that this is second in a series. You can read FrostFire as a standalone and that is exactly what I did and I didn’t feel like I missed out once as the world-building is utterly amazing, the two books are merely set in the same world. So don’t be put off – this was a great book!

I’m not sure why but I presumed this was a kind of werewolf high fantasy.. It’s not. It’s something completely unique. Frost is cursed with wolf demon’s spirit which takes over her body completely whenever it perceives her to be in danger, i.e. when somebody else sheds her blood. She cannot control it and becomes a danger to anybody nearby up until the moment it subsides. This is how she comes across Luca, Arian and the Ruan Hill Guard and thus unfolds an extremely unputdownable story which felt genuinely romantic.

I instantly liked our protagonist, Frost, perhaps because Zoë has given us this scene which garners so much sympathy for the character straight away. There are a fair few flashbacks which explain why Frost is the way she is and create a quite gritty, frightened atmosphere. She goes through some terrifying things, and then Zoë comes along with this totally heartbreaking ending. I tell you guys, I finished this book on my break at work and I was in tears.

Zoë explores race, slavery, gender and other such issues, however mildly, in FrostFire. I like it a lot. It’s not something I see so much in young adult fantasy fiction but I really think it should be a prominent feature and from what I understand her other novels also take a look at various prejudices in a similar manner.

Well I’m now a Zoë Marriott fan and can’t wait to get reading her other novels.

The Ruan series:

1. Daughter of the Flames
2. FrostFire