*click cover for free download today 4/13/15*
|*click cover for free download today 4/13/15*|
A good introduction to a promising Fantasy series.
+ Interesting and entertaining cast
+ Intriguing protagonist
+ Many mysteries
+ Imaginative customs for the Solati and Bruma. They are like introvert vs. extroverts
+ Olina kicks ass
+ Olina is selfless
+ Narration fits Olina's personality
+ Detailed and methodical action
+ The author sticks to continuity really well. (Ex. Character injuries heal realistically.)
- Plot slows down in the middle.
- I sometimes found Olina's stubbornness and rebelliousness annoying.
- The ending comes out of nowhere.
- Not much is resolved by the end.
I was given this copy of the book in exchange for a review.
FoF begins right at the start with its characters. We're introduced to Olina, our protagonist, and the world of her people, the Solati, and the visiting delegates from Bruma. We're also introduced to Olina's love interest, Kedrick, A Bruma prince who proves to be charming, kind, inquisitive, and madly in love with Olina. Olina is the centerpiece of the story and Kedrick is the fulcrum upon which it all balances. Olina proves herself to be a very interesting character with a lot of intrigue surrounding her and her past. The story is narrated through her own first person POV. One thing about the Solati is that they are reserved and subtle in almost all of their actions and decisions. They find openness and familiarity very uncouth. Because of this Olina has a very measured way of talking and it follows through with her thoughts during her POV narration. Her thoughts are very matter of fact and measured which fits with her Solati upbringing. That's very good attention to detail on the author's part.
Olina is a very fascinating character and lives an interesting life. She is a Solati princess and next in line to be queen, called Tatuma by the Solati. She lives her whole life dedicated to the goal of being a capable and strong Tatuma after her mother Avanna. Olina has a lot of strangeness to her including the fact that she spends a lot of time helping out at an orphanage despite it being frowned upon. She finds some comfort and solace here with these kids, more than her normal life affords her. Another strangeness of hers is the fact that she sneaks out and trains in combat arts with an old soldier. This is a huge secret for her but she enjoys the training and has confidence in her fighting abilities. Olina's biggest strangeness though is the fact that she has to wear a veil at all times around others. She doesn't know why but it's always been this way. The only time she's taken it off resulted in the murder of an innocent child because the child had seen her face. But beyond her strangeness Olina is strong-willed to a large degree. She works hard to accomplish her goals and does everything possible to see them through. Her demands and attitude annoyed me at times but there was no question that her strength of character and will were nearly unmatched.
Olina and Kedrick
They share a world crossing love but are each a part of a race that finds the other repulsive. The Solati sly, reserved, and measured while the Bruma are brazen, brash, and impulsive. That cultural divide is strong on both sides and yet these two find solace in one another. They're are both kind, strong, quick-witted, and open-minded. There is something about Olina that attracts Kedrick despite the fact that he can't see her face and Olina is experiencing feelings for Kedrick that she never thought possible in herself. They both change in small and profound ways because of their devotion for one another but it's a sad sort of love because you know that everything is working against their union including the very rules of their cultures.
The Tatuma Avanna
Cold and cruel. She's an ice queen that ironically lives on the fire world. I'm surprised she hasn't melted yet. Her ice doesn't come from her body temperature or any sort of powers but instead from her temperament. She treats Olina like a bag of s*** each and every chance she gets. She is less of a mother and more of a dictator.
Olina's people, the Solati, live on a dangerous world called Osolis that's engulfed by flames. Their own homeland is only a few 'rotations' from being burned away and so the Solati migrate when the heat and fire becomes threatening and build their houses and other buildings with a fire resistant wood called Kaur. They depend on the cold from the ice World, Glacium, to keep temperatures regulated in their own homeland just as Glacium depends on their heat to keep its world from completely freezing. There are Kaur forests and boiling lakes throughout Osolis. The Solati wear lightweight fabrics and breezy clothing like togas to keep cool. The Solati of Osolis are typically a subtle and measured race with customs that one could call prim. The Solati also have strange naming conventions for their people. Solati children are all born with have an O at the start of their names but when they get married the drop the O. So if Olina ever gets married for instance she'd become Lina. Just don't call her that before she's married or you'll be committing a very major faux pas unless you're closely related to her. And let's say Olina gets married and becomes Lina, if her husband ever dies then as a widow she's now Alina since widowers get an A to start their names. I tend to like quirky customs like this and think it's really cool.
The Bruma on the other hand live on the world of Glacium, an ice world that's the total opposite of Osolis. Large sleds are the main transport of Glacium and most of the Bruma's houses and structures are wrought with solid stone. Furs cover everything from people to beds in large piles and alcohol is the beverage of choice for adults for the warm and mirth it provides. The Bruma of Glacium are a large race, even the women who tower over the average Solati. The Bruma are prone to speaking their minds and are very hot-blooded and vulgar. Sex isn't shied away from in Bruma culture and even open talk of it is embraced. Though preferring to dress in warm furs and leather the Bruma women sometimes like to dress very scantily clad during festivals to the delight of the men.
The plot points in Fantasy of Frost each hinge on a major event. Because I can't talk about these main events without spoiling anything I'll try to be as vague as possible while giving a decent synopsis. I said I'll try, keep that in mind. Okay so the beginning of the book is dedicated to us getting to know Olina, her problems, her world, and the characters around her. All of this leads to the first major event of the book, someone dies, and this changes everything. From then on we're taken to a new place and must piece together the mystery of the person who died. All the while new questions spring forth such as Olina's connection with her veil. Well the decent synopsis part failed because I can't figure out how to say more without spoiling it.
I really enjoyed Olina's journey in Fantasy of Frost. I feel that she's tested so many of her own limits during her ordeals that she's become a much stronger person and that's compelling to read about. I think the worlds of Osolis and Glacium as well as the customs of the people of both worlds very intriguing and worth exploring more. I also really enjoyed all the other characters and the humor and warmth they brought to the story. These are characters that really helped change Olina and they are characters that the lonely and broken need to recover. I do feel that more resolution could have been provided at the end of the book. None of my questions were answered and a lot was left hanging. I also feel that the way it ended came out of far left field but at least it promises more to come. I'm looking forward to the next book and continuing Olina's journey, just remember not to call her Lina.
You can visit Kelly at http://www.kellystclare.com/ and find some fun little snippets to hold you over until the release of Fantasy of Flight: Taint Accords #2, on May 24, 2015.