Got a good run of books for this week and it is off to an amazing start with Shadow Frost.
IN THE KINGDOM OF AXARIA, a darkness rises.
Some call it a monster, laying waste to the villagers and their homes.
Some say it is an invulnerable demon summoned from the deepest abysses of the Immortal Realm.
Many soldiers from the royal guard are sent out to hunt it down.
Not one has ever returned.
When Asterin Faelenhart, Princess of Axaria and heir to the throne, discovers that she may hold the key to defeating the mysterious demon terrorizing her kingdom, she vows not to rest until the beast is slain. With the help of her friends and the powers she wields — though has yet to fully understand — Asterin sets out to complete a single task. The task that countless, trained soldiers have failed.
To kill it.
But as they hunt for the demon, they unearth a plot to assassinate the Princess herself instead. Asterin and her companions 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 decide just how much they are willing to sacrifice to protect the only world they have ever known.
That is, of course… if the demon doesn’t get to them first.
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I was definitely in the mood for this book I was in a bit of a reading slump and fantasy never fails to pull me right back out. What a great book to kick start me again, honestly it was a struggle to tear myself away, I was desperate to know what was going on.
First up I love magic, so I was super pleased to know that it was featured in this book. I also loved that it was a system based on the elements and that there was a structure and almost hierarchy of how many elements you could wield. I thought it made it really interesting and I liked that it had a base in something natural.
The characters were great, I liked that Asterin wasn’t your typical Princess, she could use magic but could also fight and hold her own. She is the kind of girl that tells it like it is and I loved the sass that she displayed on numerous occasions. I do think that things were at points made a little bit too easy for her, she kind of falls into suddenly having more magic and is kind of the chosen one to defeat the darkness, but I feel like she needed a bit more of a grounded motivation for these things.
Her friends that go out to help her defeat the demon were all great but I would have loved a little bit more fleshing out, we do get to occasionally hear from their perspectives and I like that there is a different viewpoint to see from but again I feel like I wanted more in the way of motivation from a few of them.
Story wise I’m not going to say too much but it is devious, there is a lot of twists and turns in this story, somethings you’ll maybe see coming but even then there will be an element that you won’t expect. I enjoyed how it all came together and pacing, for the most part, was ok, there was a lot of time in the forest that maybe slowed things down a little but then it did give us a little bit more time to get to know the characters, so swings and roundabouts.
I really enjoyed this book and even with the few things that could have been improved on it wasn’t anything big enough to put me off in any way. It is a fun and captivating adventure and an amazing achievement to be written at the age of 15, I wish I could have created such a world at that age.
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Coco Ma is a Canadian-Chinese author and pianist. She wrote her first novel, Shadow Frost, at the age of 15. Since she began playing the piano at the age of five and a half, she has also performed on some of the world’s greatest concert stages and graduated with a pre-college diploma in piano performance from The Juilliard School in New York City. Currently, she studies at Yale University. When she isn’t practicing piano, writing, or studying, you might find her bingeing Netflix or eating cake. Lots of cake.
Follow Coco on Twitter @shadowfrost2019 and Instagram @CakeForCoco or visit her website at Coco-Ma.com!