The Frostborn-the one destined to end the war, the one blessed by the magic of Aether-was supposedly nothing more than a hopeless fairytale, a myth lost to time.
Welcome to one of the August 11st stops on the blog tour for Frostborn by Michael Haddad with Goddess Fish Promotions. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for spotlights, reviews, author guest posts, and a giveaway! More on that at the end of this post.
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About the Book
by Michael Haddad
Published 14 May 2021
Genre: YA Fantasy
Page Count: 227
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The Frostborn—the one destined to end the war, the one blessed by the magic of Aether—was supposedly nothing more than a hopeless fairytale, a myth lost to time. But as the centuries-long war between the kingdoms of Eljud and Surtrol forces Elias Jökull to evacuate his village, a run-in with the fearsome Gjallarhorn army awakens within him a dormant power long since forgotten by the people—a power signaling the existence of the Frostborn.
With such critical news, hope of victory against Surtrol becomes contagious, yet Elias’s former life of slavery leaves him apprehensive about lending a hand to his own flawed kingdom. Even still, knowing the world will soon be in search of him, the newfound Frostborn must choose his allegiances quickly. And after encountering a ranked Surt captain, he does just that.
But while acting as a double agent, feeding intel to Eljud’s southern enemy and working both sides of the same border, his conflicted self struggles to anchor his loyalty to a single kingdom as buried secrets begin to unearth.
The incessant clash between the north and south is soon coming to an end and Elias will have to find a side to stand on. The hard question is: which side? Everyone wants the Frostborn for themselves, but for how long can Elias let the world string him along?
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She moves in front of him. “You’re going to get us in trouble.”
“I’ll be sneaky, don’t you worry,” he says, placing a hand on her narrow shoulders to move her aside.
She would argue more if he was not already treading up the path, slipping past the tight groups of travellers while May is engaged in a discussion with another merchant. He shakes his jacket off, folds his arms close to his chest, and lets the coat cover the bindings on each of his wrists. Elias scans the moving sea of people, lifting onto his toes to peek over them. There is no sign of the praised soldiers anywhere, but he perseveres regardless.
He gathers up a pace just quick enough to gain ground, though slow enough to avoid unnecessary attention. Every few steps, he looks to either side and up ahead. Each look yields no promising results, and when the third time comes for Elias to straighten himself out to see, his body knocks against an arm.
A hulking man wheels around, the furrows around his mouth deepening in rage. “By Kaldr, watch where you’re going!”
“Won’t happen again.” Elias eases away discreetly before his foot catches a slick patch of mud, threatening to trip him over.
He slams a hand against the nearest cart to steady his weight, but the jacket drops in the jolting movement.
The enormous man—who Elias now recognizes as a local fisherman named Eero—dives to grab the chains. “Looks like we have a slave on the run.”
He dips under Eero’s arm and the brawny hand snags air. Elias then pushes off the mud, readying his body for a sprint.
Without time to properly register, a jab strikes at the nape of his neck and another sinks into his gut. A foot then blurs at the corner of his eye, hooking behind Elias’s knee and bringing his body down to the mud, his back flattening over the ground. Pain bursts through his muscles, but he has no air to scream. He blinks through the swarm of black dots clouding his vision and heaves a ragged breath. His lungs are a brutal furnace of agony.
“Stop the convoy.” The command comes from a different voice, one too laced with poison to be Eero’s.
My Rating: 4 Stars
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I was granted complimentary access to Frostborn as part of my participation in a blog tour for this title with Goddess Fish Promotions. Thank you to all involved in affording me this opportunity! My thoughts are my own and my review is honest.
I sincerely wasn’t sure if I was going to sign up to review this one or not when the tour was first announced, and when I opted to review and received my tour date, I wondered if I’d made a mistake. The cover looks like so many indie books that have come onto my radar before. The synopsis sounds like so many books I’ve read before. It’s not that I didn’t think it would be well done, but I worried it would be a rehash of something overdone and because of that wouldn’t hold my interest. Well, I’m happy to say I was proven wrong!
I love the Nordic feel to this book with the fresh ideas and very engaging characters. As someone with Norwegian heritage who was raised participating in heritage festivals and Sons of Norway lodge meetings, giving your fantasy novel a Scandinavian flavour is a sure way to make sure I’m invested. When the concept of “the Frostborn” was first introduced early in the book, before we met him, I got GoT White Walker vibes but once again I was pleasantly surprised to be proven wrong. This frostborn is nothing like anything in Martin’s work.
I love the sacrificed twin aspect of this story. It has a twisted “prince and the pauper” feel, but neither party feels like they drew the long straw. I love the magic system that’s so tied to the environment. I love the gender equality in the military. I really enjoyed how amazingly sassy some of these characters proved to be. Katerina absolutely won my heart and would have been enough to keep me engaged in this book to the end even if the others characters hadn’t been as awesome (but many were.)
I noticed hints of LGBTQIA+ representation, particularly ACE, and while I do think we to celebrate casual representation more and there certainly isn’t anything in this book that was handled poorly, it did toe the line of queer baiting. This is almost Disney levels of let it be interpreted that way by those who want to see it, but we’re not going to explicitly state it because international market dollars. There was one scene that stood out to me where one character (I won’t specify who, no spoilers) does state something along the lines of “I’m not interested in anyone that way,” but other than that nothing struck me as confirmed, but it certainly felt like there was a lot more LGBTQIA+ acceptance in this world just off-screen.
Overall this is an excellent debut novel and a very compelling fantasy piece in general, and I look forward to seeing what this author does next.
About the Author
Hardworking university student and recent John Abbott College graduate, Michael Haddad doubles as a fiction author of the fantastic who throws himself into his own writing—who can’t stop imagining new worlds, new ideas, new characters. His passion for roleplaying games has earned him his fair share of teasing, but he’d be lying if he said it didn’t open his imagination. When not at his computer, typing away, Michael is often with his friends and family, losing terribly at tennis, hunkering down for movie marathons, and trying to get a good night’s sleep. As someone born and raised in Montreal, he is no stranger to having ice rinks for streets and snow up to the knee—but that’s nothing a warm cup of coffee can’t beat.
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Michael Haddad will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway
|June 2||Literary Gold||June 9||Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews|
|June 16||The Avid Reader||June 16||Sadie’s Spotlight|
|June 23||Viviana MacKade||June 30||All the Ups and Downs|
|July 14||Our Town Book Reviews||July 21||Fabulous and Brunette|
|July 28||Kit ‘N Kabookle||August 4||Seven Troublesome Sisters|
|August 11||Westveil Publishing||August 11||Long and Short Reviews|
|August 18||Aubrey Wynne: Timeless Love||August 25||Rogue’s Angels|
|August 25||Books in the Hall|
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Comments on “Frostborn by Michael Haddad – 4 Star Book Review”
Thanks for hosting!
Thank you for your review. We are happy you enjoyed the book!
Sounds like a good book.