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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 7 July 2012
Another excellent book by Zoe Marriott, set in the same world as Daughter of the Flames but peopled with different characters including the heroine, Frost, who is cursed with a condition she calls `the wolf' that causes her to break out into a battle frenzy if she sees her own blood spilt in anger which causes her to attack anyone in sight, even her nearest and dearest and the beautiful, golden, perfect Luca who may prove to be her salvation or may make things unimaginably worse...
There are fantasy elements - Frost's Wolf, and the intervention of the gods - but the whole story is firmly grounded in the realities of the author's world and there are no easy solutions. And at least on character we have invested a good deal in dies...but there is resolution and reconciliation at the end.
A book I can thoroughly recommend.
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on 16 July 2012
The blurb of Frostfire cannot express the ride this novel will take you on. If you read it around people they may wonder why you have gone from laughing hysterically to sobbing into your hanky within no time at all - and yeah, definitely have a hanky to hand.

The three main characters are some of the most developed and three dimensional characters I have read about in a long time. Frost is simultaneously a very strong character, who has pulled herself through a lot, and at the same time such a very weak and fragile person. She is not a heroine that you always agree with - sometimes you just want to give her a shake - but you do always empathise with her. Frost's history is revealed to the reader slowly and with each revelation we become more awed at her strength. Frost is forced to undergo a massive emotional transformation and you are rooting for her all the way.

Luca and Arian are just as developed, although we never delve into their minds. My loyalties to the two men just kept switching until I decided that I just love them both equally.

One character experiences something that completely changes their entire personality for a time, and the reader is left shaken as the foundations that they are relying on are smashed apart and we are wondering if they can ever be rebuilt. As a reader I was completely wrong-footed as I did not see it coming. This, of course, added to the amazingness of the story but it also makes you wonder what it takes change a person completely, and whether this change is permanent.

The novel fearlessly tackles all different types of love; friendship, family (the difference between blood and family), hero worship, love built simply from having somebody try to understand you ... but most of all, what is real love. When Frost first begins to fall in love the reader completely supports it and falls in love along with her. It is not until almost the end of the novel that we realise that what we first thought of as love was mainly hero worship and a feeling of security that has never been felt before. The true love is built up over the course of the book and kind of hits us in the face with a frying pan of emotion.

The book is full of kick-ass heroines (not just Frost) and heroes and packed with action. But it is the underlying story of friendship that binds the narrative together and will have you in tears. If you want thrilling fight scenes alongside your romance, and fully developed characters then you'll enjoy this book!

It is not necessary to read Daughter of the Flames before reading this book, though it is set in the same world. However, I would definitely recommend all of Zoe's other books, especially Shadows on the Moon.
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on 20 July 2012
Zoë Marriot is one of those authors I adore. When I receive a book by her, I know I will be lost in a fantasy world from the moment I begin reading to the final paragraph on the last page. Her writing is just so evocative, I find my emotions become entwined with her words and I react alongside the characters to the events that occur in the book.

FrostFire is set in the same world as Daughter of the Flames, which is the only book by this author I haven't read. I didn't feel that I needed to read it as this book stood very well on its own.

When we meet Frost, she really is in a bad way, her self esteem is non existent and it is only when Luca helps her to blossom as her person, that she begins to shine like the rising star she should be. You can almost feel her glistening in the sunlight, as she conquers her fears and learns to live with the wolf inside her. She becomes such a strong character as the book progresses, you find yourself cheering her on from the sidelines. There is an intensity to her relationships between Luca and Arian, that gripped me completely. On finishing the book, I was still torn over which character would have been right for Frost, however I find myself leaning towards Arian more than Luca, as he is such a tortured soul himself. His connection to Frost felt stronger to me, than Luca's. Each character within this emotional triangle, go through a cycle of emotions and reactions, each taking their turn to shine as well as suffer.

The plot is strong and full of action, as the characters fight to stay alive and save their community.
I loved the world created by the author. The writing is extremely descriptive as always and you are aware that the author has painfully taken time over every word chosen and every decision made. The climatic ending left me shocked. I was not happy with the outcome as I wasn't expecting it. I was gasping at the events that occurred in the last hundred pages. I have been placated since by the author via Twitter over her choices, so I am now in recovery from the events that occurred!

Zoë Marriott is an exceptional author who weaves magic through her words allowing her readers to become part of her fantasy world. I would always recommend her books to everyone to read.
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on 17 July 2013
Zoe Marriott's writing is a breath of fresh air. It flows amazingly and you can just feel your eyes glide over the page. You start reading and soon realise that over 100 pages have gone by and you've been sat in a trancelike state for the past however long. Thankfully FrostFire did exactly what Zoe's previous books have done to me, sucked me in completely, ripped open my heart and stitched it back up again, just to do it all over again.

The story was heartbreaking. Frost is an amazing narrator and character and right form the start you can tell she is a sweet, lovely person who is terrified of this thing inside her. The story right at the beginning about when the wolf first appeared from her was so sad and really makes you warm to the character straight away. She tries to refrain from getting close to people because of what she is and what can happen to them and that really comes across in her personality. Once she is within the Hill Guards camp the story really gets going and you get more of her background, and the backgrounds of both Luca and Arian.

The characters were amazingly well developed and they really jumped off the page at you, I could visualise them all so well, but especially Arian, he was so vivid in my mind it was scary at times, I could sense facial movements and everything! Other characters were quite minor but you get to know the three mains, the healers Livia and Rani were amazing, especially Livia as she really came round for Frost and you could tell how much she cared for her. Hind was a mentionable character and I really liked what she added to Luca's character, especially towards the end. The other characters were all very minor except for Ion who really scared me, like seriously, I felt a full on shadowy presence when he was on the page!

The pace of the book is just right I reckon, some people may find it a bit slow going at the beginning and the main plot has a lot of build up, but it works and you find out more about the characters in the way that it works. With the writing following as well as it does too you will hardly notice that not a great deal happens within the first 100 pages, you will enjoy them anyway!

The main thing I was worried about in FrostFire was the love triangle aspect of it. I don't do well with love triangles and I was worrying so much about it but I needn't have done. At first for a few pages I did think that maybe the love triangle was different in the sense that Arian had a thing for Luca but when I realised that they were practically brothers I got worried again! Then the story went on and the way the love triangle aspect was done was actually different, it was less `oooo which boy should I choose' and more `he's a really sweet guy but I like the other one more, maybe if the other one wasn't around' and I preferred that.

FrostFire was almost perfect for me, honestly it was, Zoe mentioned on her twitter that she was worried that the book was too emo and to be honest, it is a little emo, but when you read what Frost has been through and what she has to live with, you really understand it. I loved Frost's narration and how descriptive FrostFire is without being over bearing. I like how certain things are picked up on but not made a big deal of, especially sexuality and I loved the ending, even though it broke my heart and made me cry on my lunch break at work!

I really couldn't recommend FrostFire highly enough. It's an amazing fantasy with fantastic characters and brilliant writing. I wish I was half as talented as Zoe is, she will be a favourite of mine for a very long time.
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on 14 August 2012
Last year I went on holiday and took with me Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriott and it was incredible, one of my favourite books of the year. And now Zoe has done it again. This year on holiday, I took with me FrostFire and ended up crying several times into my hotel pillow late at night. I remember once not wanting to leave to go sightseeing because I had just 50 pages left.

I was slightly worried about taking FrostFire with me, as it is a sort of sequel to Daughter of the Flame, which I own and haven't yet read. But they appear to be more companion novels, because while some of the events that occur in Daughter of the Flame will be slightly spoilt after reading FrostFire, it won't have ruined it entirely for me. And I'm still desperate to read those last few books from Zoe Marriott's backlist. Zoe Marriott really knows how to create an amazing world filled with characters and situations that I care about deeply. Her writing is quite gorgeous and moving and I will always be excited to read more of her stories.

And right from the prologue of FrostFire, and I was hooked. What is this story about a girl possessed by a wolf demon? I wanted to know more instantly. And things aren't looking great for our main character, Frost, as this demon inside her comes out in a rage at the sight of her own blood. This rage that overtakes Frost has led to some terrible things. Frost has been put through some terrible things, her mother seems to barely tolerate her existence, there is no love or comfort in Frost's life - only beatings from her mother, the taunts of other people, always the risk of imprisonment and death if her curse is ever found out. But on a mission to find help against the wolf inside her, Frost stumbles on a Hill Guard whose job it is to fight against rebel warriors. Frost is persuaded to join and there she meets two very different men - Luca, a golden boy with a great sense honour and justice, and the troubled Arian, his best friend.

FrostFire really has everything - there's lots of action and kick-ass axe-wielding which made me cheer. There's a wonderfully sweet romance, but also some great friendship building between a cast of characters that have very similar stories of abandonment and heavy guilt. I love that Arian and Frost in particular are very broken and have been through such difficult things. There is a great deal of suffering in this novel, but still, they are all able to find a place to belong and the love of those around them give them the confidence to be more.

This is true for Frost more than anyone. I love her transformation from the beginning of the novel to the end. Her confidence in herself and her abilities grows and grows as she finds love and acceptance from this band of hill guards. With the strength of that behind her, Frost is really a character to behold. And this book is one to be savoured. I really recommend it!
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on 9 July 2013
Frostfire is a book with a PULL. It's one of those too rare books that pulls you in and makes you forget the world around you actually exists. It's a thrilling tale with plenty of action, fantasy and romance, and once again Marriott shows off her amazing skill at universe building.

A skilful storyteller, Marriott lures us into this world of Frost, a 17-year-old girl living in a world that isn't our own, who has battled her whole life with something she calls "the Wolf". Accused by many of being possessed by a demon, Frost has known since the age of 8 that if her blood is spilled, an uncontrollable rage will take over her body that she is unable to control until it's all over. Many times Frost has narrowly escaped being punished for the actions she cannot control with death, but each time she has managed to escape. But not this time.

Now, Frost has been captured by the beautiful Captain Luca and his best friend and lieutenant, the dark and surly Arian. Frost is held hostage high up in the Subira mountains where she soon learns Luca leads a troop of soldiers, planning for the day when they will attack their enemy, the evil Constantin. This is a man whose enjoyment of the suffering of others knows no bounds and who is now responsible for the slavery of the dark-skinned people in the country of Ruan, where this story is set. Frost will do anything to stop this slavery and when kind-hearted, optimistic Luca gives her the chance to become one of those who will bring down Constantin, she seizes the chance.

What ensues is a captivating story told in the midst of beautiful scenery and it is ultimately a story of love and betrayal. Frost has only ever been treated with fear and hatred, and Luca's acceptance of her is not one that she finds easy to accept. The romance that blossoms is not without its bumps in the road, not least because of "the Wolf", but both characters feel so genuine and so easy to love that every bump for them feels like a mountain of heartbreak for the reader. Their love is so enthralling that even the love-triangle sub-plot, which has become so cliché since Twilight, seems to melt so easily into their romance and come so naturally for the characters that it added to the story rather than distracting from it. The same could be said for the sub-plot where the girl is torn between the good brother and the bad brother, reminiscent of The Vampire Diaries. After all, this is neither Twilight nor TVD and a comparison to either would only insult Marriott's beautiful storytelling. Any readers desperate for a heroine who stands up for herself and fights along with the men will love Frost; likewise anyone who wants to read about a hero who doesn't try to shield his girl from all the world's evil, but trains her to fight and use the many skills she has already acquired, will love Luca, and perhaps Arian too.

There's no insta-love here, either. Frost falls in love gradually as the book progresses, and as readers we're pulled along with her, caught up in these feelings of desire, fear and confusion. It can't be said that she always acts selflessly, but after almost losing everything she had come to care about she realises the crucial difference between infatuation and love. This is a lesson many teenage heroines could do with learning. (Bella are you listening?!)

Don't be fooled into thinking this is the story of a love-sick teenager, though. Yes there's love, but also friendship, touching customs of a world not our own, realistic battle scenes, death, meaty characters with hidden pasts... FrostFire has a bit of everything. But the main theme of this book is finding yourself. Frost finds herself in the most unexpected way, and with a little help she may even come to accept the demon she has been battling her whole life.

It has to be said, Zoe Marriott writes like no one else. Her ability to create new worlds, and characters that feel tantalisingly real, feels generally unrivalled in the current YA fiction market. Her books are worth picking up if you haven't read her already (and if you have, there's no debate about whether or not to read FrostFire), and don't worry if you haven't read Daughter of Flames as this is a companion novel, not a sequel. But if you like your heroines tough, your heroes worthy, and your books unforgettable, FrostFire is for you. The only drawback you'll find here is being able to find something to read afterwards; the FrostFire comparisons will inevitably be there and there can only be one winner.
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on 24 October 2014
Now I'm going to warn you ahead of time when it comes to this review. It was going to be full of gushing and sappy words and phrases like 'ALL THE FEELINGS' and 'OMG ZOE YOU ARE AN EVIL GENIUS!' but I doubt that would help anyone reading it make an informed opinion about anything other than I'm a Marriott fangirl (which I am). I completely adored Shadows on the Moon because of the glorious characters and eloquent writing style that found me in a world that was so magical I barely wanted to leave. Zoe Marriott has done it again and quite frankly if you've ever read one of her books before you'd be a fool not to make grabby hands for this one too.

Set as a companion novel to Daughter of the Flames (which I hadn't read before and will be very soon) I can't say if it spoils or not but I didn't notice it because the story was very much it's own self and the characters were bold and brave. Frost is a girl with troubles and a past that weighs heavy on her shoulders as she's haunted by a curse. The Wolf within her takes over her body in that 'fight or flight' moment and doesn't stop until it's killed or savaged those attacking or just near by. Frost has such guilt over it that it controls her ability to get close to anyone and trust and when Luca, leader of the Hill Guard with the mission to stop the rebels that are encamped in the mountains and are killing civilians or kidnapping them for slaves, and Arian, his adoptive brother and second in command.

It's a tangled tale of war, battles both personal and physical, love and heart ache, passion and fear. Frost is a formidable female character that is oddly both weak and broken and in the same instant the image of pure strength. I still don't understand how Zoe managed to pull that off but it hurts my brain to think about it too much so I just enjoy the pretty.

I was reading with my jaw open for most of FrostFire because it was stunningly gripping and I could bare to leave Frost, Luca and Arian for longer than I had to. I still think Shadows on the Moon is my favourite book by Zoe Marriott but this is a seriously close second. Zoe writes ALL THE FEELINGS and I feel them.
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on 14 December 2012
I really loved this book. It's not often that I find a book that I love from the first page to the last page and every page in between but Frostfire was one of those few.

We follow the misfortunes of seventeen year old Frost. She's alone in a hostile world, believing that she is cursed and is just trying to survive while passing through life unnoticed. Everything changes for Frost when she stumbles across an ambush that she mistakenly intervenes in and meets the two young warriors who will change the course of her life.

I don't like giving away spoilers so that's all I'll say about the story. However, I will talk about why I liked this book so much. Frost is a complex lead character with believable flaws and formidable strengths. Marriott has obviously spent a lot of time building layers of back-story that shape the person Frost is when we meet her and the person we see her become over the course of the story. Snippets of Frost's early life are revealed to us in a series of flashbacks which are woven seamlessly into the narrative of the story. Marriott really makes you feel the desolate and loveless life that was Frost's childhood. Strangely, though, you never feel pity for her; you feel empathy for her. And the choices Frost makes throughout the story, whether good or bad, are all in keeping with her character.

The two male characters are also as complex but are complete opposites to each other. Luca and Arian are friends, brothers in arms, but one is portrayed as goodness personified while the other is much darker. The way Marriott chooses to deal with this is to make you question what makes a person good or bad? I really enjoyed the interaction between the three and thought Marriott really made their individual and collective relationships work.

The quality of the writing really stood out to me in the best possible way. I didn't notice the writing. At no point did it jar me, confuse me or irritate me. I didn't have to backtrack to clarify what I was reading, I didn't swear once because of bad word choices or poor structure. The writing never pulled me out of the story. Instead, it provided a favourite-comfy-jumper-type atmosphere in which I could just sit back and enjoy the story that was being told. Props to Ms Marriott. A final word on the writing. Although this book is a YA book, in my opinion it is simply a good book. She doesn't patronize her readers, her writing style is simplistic yet mature and evocative and I really admire her writing and her story telling.

All told, I would certainly recommend this book to anyone that wants a good read. I can't wait to track down Zoe Marriott's other books. I only wish there were more of them.
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on 4 July 2012
Another great book by Zoe. Set back in the same place as Daughter of the Flames but with new characters, it has the same feel to the story. The characters are once again strong and complex and the action is relentless.
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on 29 March 2014
I'm thirteen and have a pretty bad sense of focus. Until it came it came to this book! It was a thrilling, gripping book that gave me shivers and brought me to tears.

In the book you connect with the characters and form a sort of liking in such little time which i have rarely found in the hundreds of books I've read. Zoe Marriott found a way of connecting with you and making you feel like you were there and feeling what the characters themselves were feeling. I find it pretty easy getting into a book but it usually takes a chapter or so. Was this the case? No, Zoe got you enticed all on her own in the first word or so! I had started reading the book in the morning and all through the day my mind couldn't focus on the work at hand and kept drifting back to the book thinking about what was going to happen. The emotions it makes you feel are so strong they will make you laugh with the character, cry with them, hurt with them but most of all grow with them and learn. If you want a book for your teenage daughter to keep her quiet I would always reccomend this. It's more than a book! It's a seperate life!
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