Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Frostheart by Jamie Littler

Frostheart by Jamie Littler
Published November 2019 Penguin UK

Way out in the furthest part of the known world, a tiny stronghold exists all on its own, cut off from the rest of human-kin by monsters that lurk beneath the Snow Sea. There, a little boy called Ash waits for the return of his parents, singing a forbidden lullaby to remind him of them... and doing his best to avoid his very, VERY grumpy yeti guardian, Tobu.

But life is about to get a whole lot more crazy-adventurous for Ash. When a brave rescue attempt reveals he has amazing magical powers, he's whisked aboard the Frostheart, a sleigh packed full of daring explorers who could use his help. But can they help him find his family . . . ?

Bursting with brilliant characters, heart-stopping adventure and tons of laughs, this is a magical tale about being brave, looking out for your friends, and finding your place in the world.

I read that this was a cross between The Christmasaurus (Haven't read it, but I did love The Creakers) Frozen (haven't seen it), How to Train Your Dragon (haven't read it OR seen the movie)....So I had no expectation other than the fact that it didn't really sound like a book I would read, based on those comparisons.

I had to read this one for work, and I am glad I did.  I am learning, that even though I say I don’t read fantasy…I do, in fact, love a good story, regardless of the genre it's wrapped up in, and that’s what this one is…a good story…and look at the cover!

I always use the prologue in The Creakers, as an example of the perfect start to a book, every school visit, that opening gets the kids hooked. Chapter 1 in Frostheart is longer, but I guarantee the result will be the same.  Within the first 16 pages, the scene is set...icy cold snow covered plains, drama, conflict, terrifying creatures. We meet Ash, small but brave and we meet Lurkers, ferocious creatures longer than two men with ice sharp fangs.

Ash has been left by his parents, living in a community where he doesn't quite fit in.  When he is basically shunned from by the Fira people, for being a Song Weaver, a dying breed that can supposedly tame wild beasts with song. Ash finds himself on The Frostheart a ship like sleigh, crewed by a mixed bunch of misfits, Pathfinders, who have no home, and spend their lives travelling between strongholds, making their living as traders.  If Ash is ever going to find his parents, it will be with Pathfinders.

It’s with this ragtag group that Ash starts to put the pieces of a puzzle together.  His parents used to sing him a lullaby, and now Ash has realised that it’s actually the start of a set of clues he needs to follow. He’s not entirely sure why, but hopes his parents will be there at the end.

Frostheart is full of interesting characters, good guys, bad guys, new snow covered worlds and at its heart, it’s about being brave, finding people who accept you for what and who you are, and about finding your voice, and not being afraid to use it.

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