Author: Camille Longley
Series: Flameskin Chronicles
Page Length: 372
Publication Date: Sept. 21, 2020
Synopsis: She’s a huntress:
Sol d’Hillerod is sent on a desperate mission through a treacherous winter pass. She carries with her the only hope of her village’s survival, and she will do whatever she must to keep her world from burning.
He’s a monster:
Lieutenant Kelan Birke has spent his whole life fighting for his freedom and his soul. As his control slips, and the war rages on, he knows it won’t be long before he loses himself entirely to the fire that flows through his veins.
Sol and Kelan are enemies in an age-old war, forced to depend on each other to survive a perilous journey through the mountains. As fire melts the ice in Sol’s heart, she questions everything she’s been taught to believe, and Kelan becomes more desperate to fight the flames that consume him. Together they discover that their struggle will have repercussions for both sides of this burning war.
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An enemies-to-lovers fantasy story, Firefrost is an adventure-filled prequel to the Flameskin Chronicles. Sol, a huntress, leads a group through the mountains, she knows the journey is dangerous. Flameskins an enemy race have targeted Princess Isabella, one of the people in Sol’s party. They are attacked, but that isn’t the only trouble that lurks in the mountains.
An avalanche kills all but Sol and Kelan, enemies on the opposite sides of a raging war. In order to survive, Sol and Kelan reluctantly travel across the mountains together. The pair have been taught to hate each other, but, as they travel across treacherous territory, they begin to question all they know. The enemies turn to friends, and they realize that their feelings for each other are the least of their problems. They must face the war that continues to rage, the political deception that they are unwittingly pulled into, battles for power, the dangerous land that they travel, and the prejudices that threaten to tear them apart.
The fantasy elements in the story are unique and immersive, as is the world that the author created. Flameskins, for example, have the power of fire because of the pyras that live inside of them and constantly try to take them over. Once the pyra takes over, the person is lost to the demon forever. Mages and nature that has magical components are equally dynamic, as is the setting. I could easily visualize the frigid mountain, the icy, frozen paths, the epic battles, the villages, and other elements of the setting.
Sol is a fantastic protagonist. Strong, stubborn, and hard, she grows so much throughout the story. She has strong biases against Kelan’s race. Sol idolizes her deceased dad, who told her how evil the Flameskins are, and she has no reason to doubt him. However, the more she gets to know Kalen, the more she thinks her father is wrong. Watching her slowly come to terms with her ever-growing feelings and her fear of giving in to love is fantastic!
As much as I like Sol, Kalen’s character is equally fascinating. Trained from age ten to fight and embrace his pyra, Kalen struggles between his duty and his desire to not lose himself. Kalen is a strong-willed warrior who fights to maintain control over his pyra. He is also quicker to show his feelings and fierce in his desire to protect Sol. I found his character to be complex and intriguing.
Of course, my favorite part of the story is the romance between Sol and Kelan. I’m a sucker for a good romance, and Sol and Kelan won my heart. They both have to face their life-long prejudices in order to work together and survive the mountains. You can tell how uncomfortable they are at first by their stilted and awkward conversations and Sol’s angry refusal to compromise. Kelan even tries to joke with Sol at times, but she still grapples with hate and anger. However, traveling together in extreme conditions softens both of them, and they grow to trust, rely on, and even like each other.
I love how their relationship grows. When Sol asks Kelan to wait for her, his response is so sweet. “For a thousand years he would wait, if he had to.” These are two wounded and conflicted people who have suffered loss and have insurmountable responsibilities. However, they learn that they are stronger together than they ever were apart.
There are also some great messages in this story about what it means to be a family, the long-lasting and detrimental effects of racism, facing inner demons (literally and figuratively), and embracing love. Political intrigue, found families, secrets, potential kidnappings, and more make for a richly developed and action-packed plot.
A binge-worthy romance/fantasy, Firefrost is a wonderful prequel to the Flameskin Chronicles, and I can’t wait until the first book in the series is released. Thanks so much to Netgalley for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Kelan’s frozen heart shattered inside him. A thousand shards of Sol embedded in his chest, cutting him apart on the inside.
She need Kelam, like the way she needed the mountains and the trees and a bow in her hands. He was as much a part of her life now as the mountains were.
If you like fantasy stories with dynamic characters and cool (Well, actually they’re hot. lol) powers, then this is the book for you!