Fireforst by Camille Longley is a YA fantasy novel due to be published on September 21st, 2020. It’s book #0 of the Flameskin Chronicles – a sort of a prequel setting up the scene. Thanks to Netgalley and the author, I got an ARC of the book. Without further ado, let’s dive into this long-postponed Firefrost review.
I really liked the book, even though I’ve given it just 3*. That just means, if you’ve seen my Review Policy, that something rubbed me the wrong way, and it was an integral part of the story. My Firefrost review might sound a bit disappointed, but I’m not. I’m quite happy I had the chance to discover Camille Longley and her story, as it was imaginative and fun!
Firefrost: The Plot
It’s set in a fantasy-rich world, where some people are born with a fiery demon – a Pyra, inside of them. This allows them to wield the power of flames. But if they burn too brightly, or too quickly, they’ll be consumed by their Pyra.
Due to the destructive nature of the demons, Flameskins are hunted down, killed the very moment their powers manifest, regardless if they are men, women, or children. And thus, a war wages between an army of Flameskins and the kingdoms.
It’s as we near the climax of that war, that our heroes meet – Sol, a mountain huntress, tasked with helping a princess cross a mountain pass, and Kelan, a Flameskin lieutenant, tasked with killing that same princess.
But when their paths cross, the story quickly transforms into an enemies-to-lovers adventure in the mountains. Whenever they think they can be safe, the impossible nature of their relationship forces them to run and hide, and run and hide, and run and hide some more. That was a bit annoying, to be fair.
Firefrost: The Characters & Romance
The characters are quite pleasant to read, and a good thing too, because we spend most of the time in their company. I’ll try to make this as spoiler-free as possible, but I have to say it. I didn’t like how Sol’s attitude toward Kelan was built. He was desperately in love with her, and throughout 2/3rds of the book, all she did was lead him on. Give him hope to stomp all over his heart after that.
It felt a bit unfair and made me roll my eyes on so many occasions. I don’t mind characters that don’t know what they want, and in a trope like enemies-to-lovers, something like that is not surprising. But it was every damned time.
I dislike characters that act without thinking and then try to justify they’re not to blame all of the time. Yeah, girl, it’s not your fault Kelan’s in love with you, but it is your fault for leading him on. It was the one thing I really had to bull through.
Should You Read the Book?
I think so, yes. I’d recommend it. If you’ve gone so far in my Firefrost review, you might wonder why? Well, Firefrost is a fast-paced, if repetitive, adventure. It has action, it has blood, it has love, and everything in between. The concept of the Flameskins reminded me of one of my most favorite books and stories – The Fourth Element & The Fourth Talisman series by the amazing Kat Ross.
What Camille Longley’s Firefrost lacked the most was worldbuilding. It wasn’t enough. They spent so much time crossing the mountains. I don’t know, maybe if the setting was different, there would’ve been more space for more worldbuilding.
But it’s a cool book, just not the coolest I’ve read. Firefrost is definitely a page-turner, and I doubt you’ll regret reading it. There’s a #0.5 story set 100 years after Firefrost available for free on the author’s website, called Flamecursed. It’s on my TBR, and that’s a clear sign the book wasn’t a disappointment, even though my review might sound a bit down. I’m sad I’ll have to say goodbye to Kelan and Sol, I really liked Kelan.
There’s also book #1 of the Flameskin Chronicles – Flameskin, to be released on September 16th. It’s good that there’s something to look forward too. It was a pleasant and interesting read, and I have some expectations for the further development of this world.