Frostfire by Amanda Hocking
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book. Let me tell you about this book.
As a general principal, I try not start on a series until all of the books have been released. I gave Amanda the exception, because all of her books have release dates (with a pretty short timespan in between), and I just love every one of her books that I've read.
And Frostfire did not disappoint.
I love how she crafted Bryn, the protagonist. As promised, Bryn was a strong female lead, aggressive. But not without flaws. I love how she obstinately refuses *committed* romantic relationships, placing her career above romance. I also love how Mrs. Hocking strategically placed the revealing of Bryn's faults. She's headstrong and brave, and not afraid to cut someone down for disagreeing with her, be it her parents or friends. The arguments were a bit jarring (mostly because Bryn is fiercely loyal and it's strange to see her disagree with those she loves), but definitely not misplaced. I personally disagreed with Bryn on some points, but that's okay because it fit wonderfully with her character. Strong female leads, like strong male leads, are not without flaws.
To the story itself, I loved revisiting the world of the Trylle, or in this case, the Kanin. And because Bryn grew up in this world, and is half Skojare, her perspective is much more immersive to this magic than Wendy's was. Speaking of which, I got really excited when King Loki and Queen Wendy made their appearance, even though they did not play large enough of role to speak with Bryn. All the same, there are definitely some familiar faces from the Trylle trilogy that were nice to revisit.
As far as the antagonist goes, once Bryn persists in her investigation on Konstantin, it became rather obvious to me on who the real "baddie" was (briefly revealed at the end). Still, it was quite enjoyable to read through Bryn's and Konstantin's recurring meetings. I love Konstantin as a character. Troubled, impassioned. Conflicted. And even though you find out a little more just at the very end, it does little to solve the mystery the characters have found themselves in.
On a social commentary approach, I love Hocking's descriptions, defense and criticisms she has on the ingrained class system. She provides a closer look from the bottom of this pyramid, with Bryn treated so contemptuously, and offers a broad range of opinions on the matter through each of her characters. And also, I enjoy Hocking's tackling of the LGBT issue by presenting characters with different orientations.
All in all, a great start to what I am sure will be a riveting series!
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