Thursday, January 7, 2021

Book Sketch: The Frozen Crown by Greta Kelly

By: Greta Kelly
Published By: Harper Voyager
Release Date: January 12, 2021
Series: The Frozen Crown #1
Pages: 384
Genre: Fantasy
Reading Level: AAdult
Source: Netgalley
Buy the Book: King's English

Goodreads Summary: A princess with a powerful and dangerous secret must find a way to save her country from ruthless invaders in this exciting debut fantasy, the first novel in a thrilling duology packed with heroism, treachery, magic, and war.

Askia became heir to the Frozen Crown of Seravesh because of her devotion to her people. But her realm is facing a threat she cannot defeat by sheer will alone. The mad emperor of the Roven Empire has unleashed a horde of invading soldiers to enslave her lands. For months, her warriors have waged a valiant, stealth battle, yet they cannot stop the enemy’s advancement. Running out of time, she sets sail for sun-drenched Vishir, the neighboring land to the south, to seek help from its ruler, Emperor Armaan.

A young woman raised in army camps, Askia is ill-equipped to navigate Vishir’s labyrinthine political games. Her every move sinks her deeper into court intrigues which bewilder and repel her, leaving her vulnerable not only to enemies gathering at Vishir's gates, but to those behind the palace walls.

And in this glittering court, where secrets are worth more than gold, Askia fears that one false step will expose her true nature. For Askia is a witch gifted with magical abilities—knowledge that could destroy not only her life but her people. As her adversaries draw closer, Askia is forced to make an impossible choice—and no matter what she decides, it may not be enough to prevent Seravesh’s fall.

First Thought After Finishing: I need the sequel immediately!

Any novel billed with both magic and treachery is one that makes it onto my TBR list immediately. I was very excited to get a copy of The Frozen Crown on Netgalley, and the intriguing synopsis of this book did not disappoint! From the magic system to the political intrigue, this book kept me turning page after page to see what would happen next.

Askia is the rightful heir to the Frozen Crown of Seravesh, but political maneuvering of her cousin has kept her from her throne. Instead, her country is embroiled in a war with the Roven Empire. Orphaned and desperate to win back her country, Askia has traveled among war camps, fought with her army, but now must journey to a foreign court to gain allies to defeat Roven. However, once in Vishir, Askia discovers that the real battle is just beginning. Forced to navigate secrets, political alliances, and budding romances, Askia must decide how much she is willing to sacrifice for her country—or for herself.

In many ways, this book combined the best of YA and adult fantasy genres. The book was faced-paced with just enough world-building to appreciate the political dynamics. The magic system and guilds were very intriguing, especially Askia’s brand of witchery. There were definitely many powers and forces at play in the book, and it kept the storyline quite interesting trying to figure out how they would all interact together.

Askia is a strong female, forged through a difficult past, bound by loyalty to fight for her country. She wants to remain independent, to win her allies through her own merits and through the importance of her cause rather than playing romantic games. This is not to say that there are no attractions in this novel, or no good males, but it is not the overall focus. Instead, Askia spends most of her time training to be a better warrior, a better witch, and better able to navigate court politics. I enjoyed watching her come into her own, confront her past, and find a strength she didn’t know she had to make the difficult decisions.

I do wish that there had been a bit more world-building, especially at the beginning—the initial pages were a bit confusing, but the action quickly made up for that confusion. I would also have liked to see more time given to the relationship between Askia and some of the other characters. There is so much more I could say about this book, but it would be a shame to spoil anything. Many of the characters are more than they seem, and the truth only begins to come out the more that you read. I will be interested to see how the world expands in the next book, how the hints of romance play out, and how the characters will rise to new and unexpected challenges.

Most Memorable Aspect: Askia’s brand of witchery and her strength.


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