Review: Shadow Frost
Something dark is brewing in the kingdom of Axaria. A monstrous beast has been laying waste to the villagers and their homes. Described as a shadow demon summoned from the darkest depths of the Immortal Realm, it is invulnerable. Dozens and dozens of soldiers are sent out to hunt it down ... and not one has ever returned.
When Asterin Faelenhart, the Princess of Axaria and heir to the throne, realizes that she may hold the key to the demon's defeat, she vows not to rest until the demon is slayed. With the help of her friends, Asterin sets out to complete a single task-the task that countless trained soldiers have failed. To kill it.
As they hunt for the demon, they unearth a plot to assassinate the princess. Asterin and her friends 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 ask just how much they are willing to sacrifice to protect the world that they have always known.
What a captivating and imaginative tale of magic and friendship! While reading this, I felt like I was under an enchantment spell - I couldn't get enough of it and couldn't turn the pages fast enough.
So apparently the author was 15 when she wrote this and damn, am I super jealous of her incredible talent! To have this kind of creativity and grace with words and to be able to come up with such an incredible world, it’s a really impressive achievement. Major kudos to the author. I would have never even guessed and had I not known, would have assumed this was written by a highly experienced writer.
Shadow Frost is an original tale set in a complicated world that was masterfully descriptive, easy to follow and as equally easy to get lost in. With plot twists, endless surprises and obstacles thrown in our favorite characters' paths, I was constantly rooting for their success and safe passage throughout their dangerous adventure. All six main characters - Asterin, Quinlan, Rose, Orion, Eadric and Luna - were equally significant and equally likable. They truly felt like an ensemble cast, no single character more important or deserving than the other which is a very rare feat to achieve in a novel. Initially, I thought this was a story about Asterin with 5 supporting characters at her side, but you come to realize that all of her inner circle is just as important and have what it takes to be leading men and women in this magical tale. And that was simply refreshing. Asterin was the total badass I'd expected and loved instantly. Quinlan was the dashing and charming hero to our heroine that we deserved. Rose was lively, fierce and a badass in her own right (and while I loved all the six leads, she's definitely my favorite). Orion and Eadric were both powerful, reliable and surprisingly sweet. And Luna was the most surprising of all with the most notable character development.
Side note - as a professional graphic designer, I have to give major props to that gorgeous cover for capturing my eye and intriguing me enough to read the synopsis before finally deciding that, oh yes, this book was definitely for me.
I can't wait to read more in this series that I know will become everyone's new favorite fantasy YA go-to.
I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.