Monday, June 4, 2018

BOOK REVIEW | Frostfire by Amanda Hocking

Title: Frostfire
Author: Amanda Hocking
Series? Yes, the first in a trilogy, the Kanin Chronicles
Pages: 321
Publication Date: January 6, 2015
Source: I checked out Frostfire at my local library.

The first book in a magical new YA series from New York Times bestselling author Amanda Hocking that invites readers back to the beloved world of the Trylle.

Bryn Aven is an outcast among the Kanin, the most powerful of the troll tribes. Set apart by her heritage and her past, Bryn is a tracker who's determined to become a respected part of her world. She has just one goal: become a member of the elite King’s Guard to protect the royalty. She's not going to let anything stand in her way, not even a forbidden romance with her boss Ridley Dresden. But all her plans for the future are put on hold when Konstantin– a fallen hero who she once loved – appears to be up to something dangerous, kidnapping changelings. Bryn is sent in to help stop him, but will she lose her heart in the process?

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post titled, "Goodreads Chooses my May TBR!" One of said books was Frostfire, which I added to my Goodreads list years ago, when I first heard of Hocking. Since then, I have read Hocking's Trylle trilogy, and was interested in this companion series. Going into this, I knew I would have fun, but I didn't think it would be my next favorite book of all time. And let's just say, I was right! 

Frostfire is the first book in Amanda Hocking's Kanin Chronicles, a trilogy set in the world Hocking had previously established in her Trylle trilogy. To know more of my thoughts on the trilogy, click here, here, and here for the reviews for the first, second, and third books, respectively.When I read the Trylle trilogy, I was pretty disappointed with the first book. As the series progressed, I enjoyed the books more. I hope this will be the same for the Kanin Chronicles. While I enjoyed Frostfire more than Switched, I do have some complaints.

Frostfire opens up in a flashback that occurs shortly after the events of the third and final book in the trilogy. I appreciated this, since it has been a bit since I had read the other books, and it acclimated me back into the world. However, this is technically a first book in a series. With Switched, there was a lot of time dedicated to world building. In Frostfire, there wasn't nearly as much, and it felt as if Hocking assumed that those who are reading Frostfire have read the Trylle trilogy. There is a good chance that you might be confused for some time on the world if you haven't read the original trilogy before this one.

Unlike my experience with the Trylle trilogy, I liked the protagonist, Bryn, right away. In the prologue, we see her life take a 180 turn, as she barely saves her father's life at the hand of one of her heroes. This is a life-changing experience for Bryn, and I appreciated that the scene was included. From the beginning, Bryn is ambitious, determined, and independent. I loved that she didn't back down and stood up for what she believed in. At times she spoke out of turn, but I liked Bryn overall.

My main issue with this book was the portrayal of the characters in relationship to their age. In Frostfire, Bryn is 19 years old. Ridley is 27, and Konstantin Black is 29. To me, Bryn acted more like a 16 to 17 year old, and Ridley like 19. While we didn't get to see many scenes with Konstantin, he also struck me as younger than his actual age. Whether it be because Amanda Hocking usually writes protagonists with younger ages or something else, I didn't think that their actions reflected their age. There are times when Bryn lashes out at people she cares about, and says things that I, an 18 year old (turning 19 this year), would never say. Bryn has these moments where she is extremely rude, and struck me as vastly immature for a 19 year old. Ridley, while not outright rude as Bryn, just comes off as much younger. I don't understand why Hocking decided to age up the characters, but I don't think it was executed well. 

Another main issue of mine were the romantic interests. Since Bryn is an adult, I don't have an issue with Ridley being 8 years older than her. There were also hints that Konstantin might develop into a love interest, who is 10 years older. The age difference doesn't necessarily bug me, but the fact that Hocking decided that these two characters were viable love interests does. Ridley is Bryn's boss. Entering into a relationship with your boss can lead to an unbalanced power dynamic in the relationship. Konstantin, as told in the synopsis, almost murders Bryn's father, and yet there are hints of romance. From what we know as readers, Konstantin is a dangerous criminal. He might not be the mastermind behind everything, but I don't think that excuses Konstantin's actions, and that readers should be okay with Konstantin being a love interest for Bryn. I wish that there would have been a love interest that wasn't Bryn's superior or the person who almost killed her father.  Is that too much to ask?

Despite these issues, I did have fun reading the book. Hocking is great at making sure that there is never a dull moment. Because the plot is at a break-neck pace, even when I was taken out of the story due to my complaints, I continued to read because I wanted to know what would happen next. Hocking managed to write a compelling story about a strong-willed protagonist. While the actions might not reflect the character's ages, and the romance interests are troubling, I still was interested in the story and what was happening next. I'll be continuing on with this series, and hope that some of my problems will be resolved! 

With that, I give this book
3 out of 5 Stars!

Have you read Frostfire? What did you think?

Thanks so much for stopping by and I'll see you soon with another post!

Happy Reading!

Genni @ Ready, Set, Read!


  1. This sounds really interesting but I don't know if I could get past those romance problems or the age portrayals... It's really strange, but those are the types of small things that irritate me to no end! Do you have those weird pet peeves where it's super irrational to dislike a book because of a few parts of it but you still do? It annoys me to no end because it ruins otherwise perfectly fine and interesting books!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

    1. No, I completely understand! For a while, love triangles was what I tried to avoid. I can't think of my pet peeves on the spot, but I know I have some! :D Thank you so much for stopping by Laura!

  2. I liked this book more than I thought I would! The whole series was pretty good. The author drops the non-love-triangle not too long into the series if I remember correctly (I mean you kind of already know Bryn is going to end up with ____). 😊 I hope you enjoy the rest of the books!

    Have a great day, Genni. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. I'm glad that you enjoyed the series Alyssa! Once the love triangle thing disappears, I think I'll like the series a bit more. I don't know if I read into it too much, but I was definitely feeling some ~vibes~ between Bryn and Konstantin and I didn't appreciate it, haha!

      Thank you Alyssa! I have high hopes. :)

      Have a great day as well!

  3. Glad you still enjoyed it, though, Genni!