Hi all! So excited to participate on the Shadow Frost Blog Tour for the Fantastic Flying Book Club! Click here to follow along, and be sure to enter the giveaway down below!
The Book and its Author
IN THE KINGDOM OF AXARIA, a darkness rises.
Some call it a monster, laying waste to the villagers and their homes.
Some say it is an invulnerable demon summoned from the deepest abysses of the Immortal Realm.
Many soldiers from the royal guard are sent out to hunt it down.
Not one has ever returned.
When Asterin Faelenhart, Princess of Axaria and heir to the throne, discovers that she may hold the key to defeating the mysterious demon terrorizing her kingdom, she vows not to rest until the beast is slain. With the help of her friends and the powers she wields — though has yet to fully understand — Asterin sets out to complete a single task. The task that countless, trained soldiers have failed.
To kill it.
But as they hunt for the demon, they unearth a plot to assassinate the Princess herself instead. Asterin and her companions begin to wonder how much of their lives have been lies, especially when they realize that the center of the web of deceit might very well be themselves. With no one else to turn to, they are forced to decide just how much they are willing to sacrifice to protect the only world they have ever known.
That is, of course… if the demon doesn’t get to them first.
Coco Ma is a Canadian-Chinese author and pianist. She wrote her first novel, Shadow Frost, at the age of 15. Since she began playing the piano at the age of five and a half, she has also performed on some of the world's greatest concert stages and graduated with a pre-college diploma in piano performance from The Juilliard School in New York City. Currently, she studies at Yale University. When she isn't practicing piano, writing, or studying, you might find her bingeing Netflix or eating cake. Lots of cake.
Follow Coco on Twitter @shadowfrost2019 and Instagram @CakeForCoco or visit her website at Coco-Ma.com!
Thank you to Blackstone Publishing for sending me a copy!
Shadow Frost is a fun, immersive high fantasy read that’s perfect for a fall evening. I enjoyed the magical elements and reading about the queens, princesses, and warriors adventuring to save their land.
I thought the affinity system of magic was neat to read about. I liked that it was simple to explain and easy for the reader to understand, but that the characters could still produce powerful magic and fight demons just as if in a “raw magic” system. The affinities were elemental (earth, water, and fire being the main trio), but could be used in a variety of ways, including as weapons in combat. One thing I noted is that Asterin isn’t a chosen one, per se, because she isn’t unique in her powers. I liked that her obligation to go on the quest stemmed from a sense of duty to her country, and not because she was the only person who could save her world.
This brings me to the great teamwork also featured in the novel. I enjoy high fantasy stories with a mid-large sized cast, and Shadow Frost absolutely delivered. The interpersonal dynamics of the team were great to read about, and I loved seeing them work together and learn to trust each other, when some of them had expressed differences beforehand. Each of them stepped up with extreme bravery and willingness to sacrifice everything for the realm and each other.
Asterin: Great leader, but has flaws! She was a very well rounded character, and as I mentioned earlier I appreciate how she didn’t have to take on the whole burden of the quest. She was open to the possibility of teamwork and letting other people assist, which I like in a hero. This is also incredibly necessary in a high fantasy—you can’t have a main character who takes on too much, because then the different plot threads begin to feel all the same. I’m so happy none of that happened in Shadow Frost. Though I have all the admiration for Asterin, Luna is probably my favorite character. She never failed to help those she loved and further the quest, and I felt so so hard for her. Her life story is so intriguing, and at some points I kept reading just to find out what happens to her.
The romance was nice but felt fairly average. Asterin and Quin were cute, as were Luna and Eadric. Orion also has a romance, but in the name of no spoilers I won’t say anything else about it.
I found the plot rather predictable until the last quarter, when I was taken by surprise by some unexpected twists. Until then, everything had been straightforward, and though Shadow Frost wasn’t always the most enthralling read, I remained entertained and I was always driven to find out the ending of Asterin’s journey.
The villains were pretty great, but I definitely feel like they could have been deeper. I think the concepts were there, though, and I liked seeing the royal family drama become part of a world-destroying plot.
Overall, definitely pick up Shadow Frost for a light high fantasy read perfect for a fall evening in! 4/5 stars.
Hey, I'm Shreya! I love to read, write, travel, and drink coffee.