Title & Author: Fantasy of Frost (The Tainted Accords: Book One), Kelly St. Clare
Genre & Publication Date: YA Fantasy, January 14, 2015
First Line: I weave my way around the layers of semi-circle tables where the court members sit, ignoring their whispers as I pass.
Book Description: “I know many things. What I am capable of, what I will change, what I will become. But there is one thing I will never know…
The veil I’ve worn from birth carries with it a terrible loneliness; a suppression I cannot imagine ever being free of.
Some things never change…
My mother will always hate me. Her court will always shun me.
…Until they do.
When the peace delegation arrives from the savage world of Glacium, my life is shoved wildly out of control by the handsome Prince Kedrick who, for unfathomable reasons, shows me kindness.
And the harshest lessons are learned.
Sometimes it takes the world bringing you to your knees to find that spark you thought forever lost.
Sometimes it takes death to show you how to live.”
My Take: There was a lot to love about this book. The two kingdoms, Glacium and Osolis, are in fact two worlds separated by some kind of treacherous, floating rock formation in between. One is hot, the other cold, and they spin independently of each other. It was unlike any other fantasy setting I’ve read about. Yeah, you have to suspend anything you know about astrophysics to buy into it, but that’s why they call it Fantasy, right?
The author did a stellar job depicting the differences between the cultures of the two worlds as well. The way names are conjugated differently depending on the intimacy of the relationship, the complex system of etiquette on Osolis compared to the more blunt way of saying things on Glacium. It was all very detailed and gave me a feel for each place and their people.
The inciting incident in the story was a huge shocker. I haven’t had my jaw drop that far since Ned Stark. It completely changes the story and the direction you think things are going to go and emotionally you’re left floundering, trying to figure out where the hell this train is going to go–All to the good because Olina, our main character, feels the same way so it’s a moment in which the reader really connects with her. The words, “I’m with you, girl. I can’t believe that happened either!” went through my head frequently.
Now, the second half of the book left me disappointed. Things started to drag a bit and, as is sadly becoming the norm in YA Fantasy, the romantic interest is a complete dillhole. Why must alpha types be depicted as raging jerks with boundary issues? The guy kept slamming doors open and shut, bursting into her chambers even though she has told him it wasn’t okay. He’s controlling, he bellows, he has a wicked temper, and oh yes, he frightens her too. Toxic much? But we’re still supposed to like him for our heroine because he’s got a nice face and muscles. WHYYYYYY? And honestly, even if he behaved like that for a logical reason, and even if she resists his attempts to control her, this kind of adversarial romance just pisses me off. When I read these things in YA it always feels like such a wasted opportunity to show young adults (especially girls because they seem to be the target audience here) what a healthy romantic relationship looks like. I’m not saying the guy has to be without flaws, and I’m not saying there shouldn’t be conflict, but the dynamic should not be of an abusive nature. Ever.
The Magical: The two worlds, their politics, their leadership structures, and their distinct cultures.
The Mundane: I think I sufficiently vented about the romance aspect, but the ending felt way too open with nothing resolved, almost as if it cut off in the middle of a senten–
Summary of Thoughts: Currently this book is $0.99 for the Kindle. I loved a lot of aspects of it and the story kept me turning the pages, but what could have been a five or at least four-star rating sank down to three (barely) because of the toxic relationship that I just know is going to be played up in the sequels. Maybe the author intends to temper the guy in the next installments. Given how popular this series is, I really hope so.
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