Only the truth can save her world. How far will she go to find it?
Ember Mikailanova’s childhood home of Dusk is dying. She and her best friend, Eli, the only two young people left, flee in search of the mythical city of Frost. When they find it they are taken in by pale friendly folk with wide smiles and a talent for talking around all her questions without answering them.
Ember finds work fixing the glitching automatons who serve the Queen and maintain the wall that separates the citizens of Frost from the monsters of the Wastes. But she can find no cause for their increasingly erratic behavior.
Why can’t she get straight answers from anyone? And what lies beyond the Southern Wall that the residents of Frost believe to be the end of the world?
Queen of Frost is the first book in the completed Frost Trilogy by Aria Nobel.
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Queen of Frost Review:
I’ll be the first to admit that I am a sucker for a cover with a crown on it. Give me my fantasies with palace intrigue, regal gamesmanship, and I’m sold. Queen of Frost starts off feeling mildly dystopian.
The people of Dusk are freezing to death. Cut off from a consistent supply of warm clothes and food, Ember and her BFF Eli make the trek into the cold to search for a better, if mythical sounding, land: Frost.
Braving the icy tundra to gain access inside Frost’s walls turns out to be the easiest part of their journey. As Eli and Ember explore their new home, Ember starts to wonder: what powers this warm, posh city, and what lies behind the motivations of its ruling queen? The warm city of Frost seems like a relative Utopia, but are things as good as they seem?
Ember’s mechanical skills are a unique addition to the Chosen One trope – and one I wish I saw more of. Her discoveries about the inner workings of Frost push Ember to make some drastic choices that leave us with a well-played cliffhanger ending.
I found myself wanting more from this author. The world-building was inconsistent, and the characterization was a bit flat. This book felt incomplete. The MC seemed to go from overly trusting to highly skeptical in the blink of a pretty pair of eyes. I couldn’t make the leap between her “just along for the ride” self from the first chapters to her “fixated on finding out secrets” self truths later on.
The author does a fine job painting a picture of the surroundings and differences between Dusk and Frost, but then layers in world-building details in fits and starts that pulled me out of the plot. This one felt like it just tried to do too many small things and never quite stuck to an idea.
Overall this book is a solid three-star read for me. I’m definitely keeping this author on my watch list because I would love to see what she tackles next. Queen of Frost is a great in-between book for when you feel serious reader fatigue. It’s fast-moving and straightforward – kind of like when you rewatch episodes of a sitcom. Queen of the Frost is good entertainment, but there’s not a lot of overarching substance.
Thanks to NetGalley and Sterling & Stone for the digital review copy in exchange for my honest review.