Review: Frostfire by Jamie Smith
Sabira jumped at the sound, for there was no one but the three of them there. Except, of course, there was another as well, hanging around Tserah’s neck.Her fraction of the mountain god. Her frostsliver.This was the first time it had spoken to Sabira – they rarely talked to anyone they were not bonded with.‘Thank you, I think,’ said Sabira, looking at Tserah, for the cleric’s senses were shared with her bonded frostsliver. Tserah smiled and touched her hand to the blue glow in her clothes.
.They all seemed to have such confidence in her. It scared Sabira. Her life had been full of uncertainty and it was hard to believe that now would be different. She turned to face the last stretch of the path, the glacier clouded by fog. For a moment, she stood still, gathering her courage. This was it. This was where she followed in the footsteps of every Aderasti that had come before . . .and the footsteps of her brother, Kyran. She blinked away a tear. She didn’t feel ready at all. Sabira took her first step.
At fourteen, Aderasti children are tested for the honour of bonding with a Frostfire – a fragment of ice with great power. A year after her brother goes missing, Sabira begins her journey up the mountain to bond with her Frostfire, but her plans are disrupted by an avalanche.
In order to survive, Sabria must face natural and man-made disasters and face up to the truth about what happened to her brother. A story of survival and heroism.
Snuggle up under a blanket and enter Sabira’s icy world.This book for me was all about the journey. The landscape felt so real that Icould her every footstep and see every cloud of breath hanging in the frozen air.
This story will be hit with fans of Frozen. Five years on from release, the original audience is getting bigger and looking for more complex wintery-stories. Frostfire holds the same magic of glaciers and tribes and mythical beings, but it has an edge – this is no harmless landscape. The very first sentence tells us that The mountain had murder in mind and this summarises the tone of the story.
Sabira is a tenacious heroine and also a realistic one. She is uncertain about her destiny. Even when she is chosen for the great honour of bonding with the Frostsliver and takes on the quest, she has other ideas of where she wants her life to go. We bond with her because she sees dreams beyond the walls of her village and her head isn’t turned by the offer of a prestigious future.
There is more than one opposing force in the story. Both human greed and natural disaster get in Sabira’s way, and there is more out on the mountain than she has ever realised. The political backstory gives us a sense of a world beyond Sabira’s borders and we know there are people who will go to great lengths to take the Frostslivers for themselves.
If you like highly-developed fantasy worlds and epic quests this is the story for you. A heroine who must face a journey and decide who she wants to become. The descriptive-writing is so strong it will leave goosebumps on your arms.
Thanks to Chicken House Books and Laura Smythe PR for my copy of Frostfire. Opinions my own.