A Soul as Cold as Frost Book Review

Book Review: A Soul as Cold as Frost

Sixteen-year-old Helen Bell understood tragedy better than most kids growing up-she knew what it was like to wear clothes from donation bins and be mocked by the beautiful girls in school. She thought these brutal experiences made her ready for anything. But she wasn’t ready for this.

After an eccentric girl opens Helen’s eyes to let her see the realm of Winter–a world with intersects tucked carefully into the cracks of our own–Helen receives a summons from the Crimson Court to enter into The Quarrel of Sword and Bone; a traditional duel performed before one thousand witnesses that leaves only one survivor, she’s forced to finally pay attention to a handsome boy who’s been following her around with a warning on his tongue.

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Thank you Winter Publishing House and Jennifer Kropf for letting me read this book! This review is completely voluntary and all opinions are my own.

Author: Jennifer Kropf

Genre: Christian Fantasy

Age: 12+

Rating: 3.5/5

Helen is an ordinary sixteen-year-old that happens to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. A Rime, citizen of the kingdom of Winter, stumbles into her and gives her an Orb of Truth. Now a Carrier of an Orb of Truth, Helen is hunted by the evil Queen of Winter (think the Witch from Chronicles of Narnia).

A Patrol, her magical bodyguard with ice magic reluctantly offers to hide her from death and uncover the orbs secrets. 

This book has Chronicles of Narnia vibes but in a new, fresh setting that I found instantly intriguing. It’s hard to convey the vivid “taste” of this book. It’s magical (ice magic, orbs of light, curses), whimsical (dwarves, magical flowers, and life-giving peppermints) but there’s a distinct darker tone.

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What I Loved:

The World

I loved the world of Winter. The best way I can describe it is The North Pole meets Narnia. There’s magic, hot chocolate, magical creatures, and a robust society that promises exciting future tales. I found it so interesting that Winter was referred to as a snow globe. I feel like there’s more there. If not, I thought this terminology made a great describer that helped me grasp exactly what world I was pulled into.

Ice Magic

Everybody that’s anybody in Winter is throwing around some pretty sweet ice magic. Namely Zane and the evil queen. Thanks to the author’s vivid descriptions, I was able to very clearly “see” the ice magic in action, almost feel it blasting off my skin.

I also loved the “magical system.” The way the author introduces curses, the parallel universes existing together, the Truth orbs from the Dead King… all of this immersed me into the world. 

Zane

I loved Zane. He wasn’t your usual sidekick/love interest. Zane had a lot of layers that made me cheer and ache for him. For example, at first, Zane gave off burned out rescuer vibes. But then the author added another layer to him: he loves to laugh (sometimes to a fault), tease, and has a great sense of adventure that contrasts well with Helen’s serious personality.

I would love to see more of Zane in future books. He was definitely my favorite character. 

What I Didn’t Like

The Lengthy Descriptions (sometimes)

I think an essential aspect of the book–what made it unique–was the well-written prose.

However, if I had one complaint about the book, the ONE thing that made me give this book a 3.5 star rating, it was the descriptions. At times, I loved how the author could utterly immerse me into the story. She doesn’t just tell you the MC is drinking a cup of hot chocolate. She describes the hot chocolate in such rich detail that you can practically taste, smell, and see it yourself. This isn’t an exaggeration. I legitimately had to make myself hot chocolate while I read this book.

But. 

Other times, I got lost in the descriptions. Particularly during action sequences. Sometimes I legitimately had no clue what was going on. 

I remember there were scenes where I would wonder, “So, what’s the villain doing? Oh, she’s still walking toward him with a sword. She started that three paragraphs ago…” For me, these instances pulled me out of the story and made it difficult to continue.

Helen

There was nothing wrong with Helen. I didn’t have anything against her and her personality didn’t particularly annoy me. Having said that, I also had trouble connecting with her at times. I think the author wanted her to be an average teen, which I totally get. While I did enjoy watching her bravery develop, I also craved one more layer or something interesting to remember her by.

Would I Recommend?

Overall, I enjoyed A Soul as Cold as Frost. I would definitely recommend it, especially if you’re a fan of the Chronicles of Narnia. It’s a fantastic story for teens 12+ (although some may struggle with the lengthier descriptions. In any case, give it a try. You might love this aspect of the book!)

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