October 6, 2014

Frostborn - Lou Anders

Frostborn book cover
Frostborn by Lou Anders
Series: Thrones & Bones #1
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: August 5, 2014
Source/Format: Netgalley/BEA (Thanks!) || e-galley/ARC

Meet Karn. He is destined to take over the family farm in Norrøngard. His only problem? He’d rather be playing the board game Thrones and Bones.

Enter Thianna. Half human, half frost giantess. She’s too tall to blend in with other humans but too short to be taken seriously as a giant.

When family intrigues force Karn and Thianna to flee into the wilderness, they have to keep their sense of humor and their wits about them. But survival can be challenging when you’re being chased by a 1,500-year-old dragon, Helltoppr the undead warrior and his undead minions, an evil uncle, wyverns, and an assortment of trolls and giants. (from Goodreads)

Honestly, I have a deep love of middle grade novels, as they transport me in an instant back to the days when I still lived at home and begged for new chapter books whenever I was at the bookstore with my parents. There’s such a great variety of middle grade in bookstores (way more than I remember as a kid), and Frostborn is a fun addition to the group.

Initially, I felt like Frostborn was going to get a pretty average, “it was okay” rating from me. The beginning is mostly an introduction to the two main characters – Thiana, a half giant/half human girl, and Karn, a human boy destined to take his father’s place. While getting to know characters is definitely part of reading a new book, I felt like it dragged just the teensiest bit.

However, Thianna and Karn are soon forced to leave their homes and all that’s familiar to them. When they come across each other, they decide to team up and journey together. This is where things started to pick up! I’m usually a fan of characters going on journeys in fantasy novels, and their journey (complete with perils and escapes) was really entertaining. Frostborn moved at a quicker pace from this point onward, inspiring me to keep turning the pages in order to find out what would happen next.

Of the two characters, I liked Thianna a little more than Karn. It was fascinating that she was portrayed as the stronger one, as befitting her stature and strength as half-giant. But Karn too had notable skills, particularly when it came to strategy. Both characters share a similar trait that I feel would be relatable – their search for a place where they belong.

Upon finishing Frostborn, I did feel a certain sense of satisfaction. It’s a delightful book that, while inspired by Norse history & lore, also manages to infuse a lot of imagination and creativity. The author ends on just the right note too, with a strong ending that still leaves room for possible additional books. If you’re looking for middle grade novels that will appeal to boys and girls a little younger in that age group, then Frostborn is definitely one you should check out.


Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment! I love seeing what you have to say, and will try to reply (here or on Twitter) as soon as I can :)